Zalone designated a conservation zone
ZALONE Mountain is to be declared a conservation zone, MPs have been informed. In response to a question from Sagaing Region MP U Khin Maung Win (NLD; Sagaing 7), Conservation Minister U Ohn Win told the Amyotha Hluttaw on August 15 that the move would now go ahead.
U Win Naing Thaw, a senior official from the forestry department’s Nature and Wildlife Conservation Department, said it would take about a year to establish the zone, in which local residents would be able to make use of forest flora and fauna. However, he added, potential land ownership disputes would also have to be cleared up.
“Resolving all the land ownership problems could take five years,” said forestry department director U Myo Min.
The Sagaing Region forestry department will carry out most of the functions required to bring the zone into being, including conducting surveys and raising awareness among the local communities, said U Win Naing Thaw.
Minister U Ohn Win said designating Zalone Mountain as a conservation zone would help protect the ecosystems and various species in the area.
Environmentalist Daw Daewi Thant Sin also said the designation of Zalone was the best way of preserving it.
Community-based tourism would be able to provide job opportunities for local residents so that they refrained from damaging the ecosystems and threatening the forests and wildlife, she said, calling for a campaign to heighten awareness of the fragility of the zone.
“The zone should be able to regulate conduct within it that would disturb animal and bird species, including making unnecessary noise and leaving litter,” she said.
The Zalone Mountain area is located in an existing forestry conservation zone, Nant Khaung Huu, in Banmauk township, Sagaing Region.