YANGON, Burma (AP) — The U.N.’s cultural agency has named Inle Lake as Burma’s first biosphere reserve to help safeguard natural ecosystems while promoting sustainable economic development.
Inle Lake, also known as Inlay Lake, has diverse plant and animal life and is one of the Southeast Asian country’s most popular tourist destinations.
The designated reserve covers 489,721 hectares (1,891 square miles) in southern Shan state in eastern Burma.
UNESCO said Wednesday that the designation was made at a council meeting in Paris. There are about 630 biosphere reserves in the world.