A place to spread the culture of environmental sustainability in the Myeik Archipelago, Myanmar
Within one of the last paradises on Earth, the Lampi Marine National Park Visitor Centre is both a guesthouse and a field station for environmental research activities. It is a centre that aims to promote the knowledge of the Park’s key natural and cultural resources and make local community and visitors aware of the need to protect this inestimable richness.
Lampi Park is the only marine national park in Myanmar. It protects a rich biodiversity of over 1,000 species of animals, plants and marine life, with evergreen and mangrove forests, rivers, freshwater sources, sandy beaches and coral reefs. Lampi Island is the “Mother island” of the Moken, the sea gypsies whose livelihood are threatened by the deterioration of natural resources.
Protecting the fragile balance of this unique ecosystem is essential. The Lampi Visitor Centre was built and inaugurated in 2016 with the aim of promoting exchange of knowledge on issues related to coastal resources protection.
The Centre, jointly managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) and Istituto Oikos, is equipped with a rain water collection system and solar panels. The building includes:
the Park Office for staff and researchers;
a multi-functional hall for educational activities and workshops. It displays informational materials and educational panels about the Park’s natural and cultural resources, Moken artifacts and handicraft products produced by the local community using recycled materials;
a guesthouse with 5 rooms and kitchen facilities;
a spacious open wooden deck.
Visitors are welcomed at the Visitor Centre by the Park staff and Oikos staff, who can provide a wide range of information about the Park’s natural resources, its management challenges and ongoing conservation work programmes. A guided visit to the Centre has also been included in the Village tours organized by specially trained local guides.
The Visitor Center also serves as a meeting point for research experts, international students and key stakeholders involved in environmental conservation in the wider Myeik Archipelago. Several educational activities are implemented: the schools of the villages are involved in educational paths in order to make them aware on the importance of protecting fragile environments and species such as mangroves and sea turtles and sustainable management of the marine resources.