I hope my reviews from late 2012 of Inle and Pagan indicate some of the issues which Myanmar will need to overcome before they are ready. Regarding Inle
- I refer in its review to the environmental problems which it faces. I have found a few recent documents about it which show that UNESCO has been involved across 3+ years in trying to clean the place up in preparation for its addition to the World Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage lists. It appears that priority for the moment has been given to the former – but phrases used in the following documents do indicate that WHS status could still be on the cards at a later date. How realistic the optimism of the comment taken from the final document below really is - time will tell!!
a. This, initiation document for a project titled the "Inle Lake Conservation and Rehabilitation Project" is unfortunately of unclear date (possibly, from some dates in the report, late 2011 or early 2012??)http://www.unesco.or.id/rfp/Attachment%20C-Project%20Document.pdf
It states - "UNESCO will work with UNDP to inscribe Inle Lake as a biosphere reserve and also carryout technical assessment based on the World Heritage Natural Site Guidelines as the lake has a potential to be enlisted as a World Heritage Site."
And "UNESCO will undertake a technical (natural /cultural heritage site) assessment of Inle Lake which has the potential to be nominated to the World Heritage Site. Recent concerns about the ecological sustainability of the lake and its landscape have been raised. The Department of Archaeology has suggested that this site should be considered as having Outstanding Universal Value under criteria (iii), (iv) and (vi) of the World Heritage Convention (reflecting "traces of a civilization that has disappeared", being an "excellent example of a typology of architecture, urbanism or landscape at particular stage of human history", and speaking to "important historical events or living traditions)"
b. This, dated 24 Aug 2013, is the "mid term report" for the project described above http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDQQFjAD&url=ht tp%3A%2F%2Ferc.undp.org%2Fevaluationadmin%2Fdownloaddocument.html%3Fdocid%3D7577&ei=8 JbXU76eOMPnywOQuYLABg&usg=AFQjCNG-ufyf4idP6_OGiXcJRIg46g9TBQ&bvm=bv.71954034,d.bGQ
It states - "The two strongest elements of Project design are its alliance with UNESCO to study the possibility of listing the Inle Lake basin as a World Heritage Site (since the technical assessment in 2012 (Ed -this??) has changed to the creation of a Biosphere Reserve
c. This decision made before Aug 2013 to go for World Biosphere reserve status is confirmed in this report of Jun 2013www.elevenmyanmar.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2588:unesco-studie s-inle-lake-to-enlist-as-biosphere-reserve&catid=44&Itemid=384"The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have started making surveys to enlist the Inle Lake as a biosphere reserve for conservation and sustainable development, according to an official from the Inle Lake Wildlife Sanctuary."
d. And, finally, this, dated 10 Jun 2014http://www.mm.undp.org/content/myanmar/en/home/presscenter/speeches/2014/06/10/openin g-remarks-by-country-director-toily-kurbanov-at-the-knowledge-sharing-workshop-on-lak e-conservation-management-practices-/"we are expecting any day the news from UNESCO that Inle Lake is approved as a Biosphere Reserve of global stature and importance."Regarding Bagan
a. The UNESCO DG visited the site in Aug 2012 and this UNESSCO news puff indicates the sort of work ongoing to prepare Bagan for nomination - no indication that it will be concluded in the short term! http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/924
b. This is a more recent news report on ongoing work. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/breakingnews/UNESCO-to-help-Myanmar-list-monuments-in -ancient-B-30237264.html