Myanmar designates the Gulf of Mottama as a Ramsar Site

Myanmar designates the Gulf of Mottama as a Ramsar Site

8 May 2017

The Gulf of Mottama, covering an area of 42,500 hectares, is Myanmar’s fourth Wetland of International Importance. The Site (Ramsar Site no. 2299) is situated at the mouth of the Sittaung River along the eastern shores of the larger and undisturbed Gulf of Mottama within Mon State.

The Gulf has a tidal range of between six and seven metres; the mouth, which is around 100 kilometres wide, narrows into a funnel-shaped bay to produce a powerful bore phenomenon that can reach heights of over a metre on spring tides in the upper estuary. As a result the tidal mudflats of the Gulf are among the largest in the world.

The Site supports a large number of species including marine fish, invertebrates and up to 90,000 migratory waterbirds in the non-breeding season. Among these waterbirds is the critically endangered spoon-billed sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus), of which the Site perhaps hosts more than half of the remaining global population. The Gulf of Mottama also supports the livelihoods of thousands of people by providing fish for local and regional consumption.

The designation of the Site as a Wetland of International Importance was made possible through consultations between government and local communities, and they are working towards the implementation of a management plan.