The Italian Ambassador, Pier Giorgio Aliberti, visited Kawthaung and the Lampi Island Marine National Park, in the south of Myanmar, where the Italian NGO Istituto Oikos implemented the project titled “COAST - Building Local Capacity for Conservation and Tourism Development in Myeik Archipelago”, financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Istituto Oikos has devoted ten years to the conservation of natural resources and the sustainable management of the Lampi Island Marine National Park in the Myeik Archipelago, the only one of this type in Myanmar. The COAST Project – which is partly financed by Italy – has promoted development at local level, the valorisation of natural resources and the protection of the ecosystem’s biodiversity by consistently involving local authorities and native communities.
During his trip, Ambassador Aliberti met with several stakeholders involved in the final assessment of the activities carried out and of the results obtained. Istituto Oikos presented the project’s principal results: the construction of several buildings, including the facility hosting the security service, an office and a guesthouse; refresher courses for the Park’s employees; environmental monitoring equipment, protection protocols for specific species and a water distribution system.
The Ambassador’s visit also offered the opportunity to look at future prospects. The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) has recently approved another project assigned to Istituto Oikos called “STAR- Innovative Strategies for Environmental Conservation and Social Inclusion through the Development of a Responsible Ecotourism Model”. This initiative aims at promoting responsible tourism in the Kawthaung District by actively involving Myanmar’s authorities, local communities and the private sector; proof of the sustainability of the projects by Istituto Oikos and of the continuous and fruitful cooperation between Italy and Myanmar in the development cooperation sector.