Myanmar holds wildlife festival in Yangon

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Photo taken on April 6, 2016 shows elephants at the Pho Kyar Elephant Camp in Bago Region, Myanmar. Xinhua/Maung Hlaing Myo

YANGON (Xinhua) – Myanmar is holding a wildlife festival “Voices for Wildlife”, starting here today to support the government’s combat on illegal wildlife trade and to raise awareness of wildlife conservation in the country.

The festival will take place at the Mahabandoola Park in downtown Yangon.

Yangon region authorities have recently announced a ban on all illegal sales across the region.

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“Wildlife trafficking is the fourth biggest transnational crime after drugs, weapons and human trafficking. We congratulate the regional government of Yangon on taking this step to end this crime across the region and will continue working closely with the national, regional and state governments to support the roll out of this ban nationwide,” Christy Williams, country director of World Wildlife Fund (WWF)- Myanmar said at Tuesday’s media conference.

The festival will bring a wide range of wildlife-themed activities for the people, displaying wildlife-themed artworks and musical and dance performances by local artists as well as screening of a short film “Bo Bo and Mo Mo” which portrays the love between a boy named Bo Bo and a young elephant.

“Our wildlife is our true wealth, more precious than gold and it is our responsibility to protect this wealth, our natural heritage for future generations,” said local street artist Arker Kyaw.

Meanwhile, Myanmar has signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to protect wild elephants, setting aside 9,205 square miles for elephant sanctuaries.

Myanmar government has also planned to shut down illegal wildlife trade markets in Golden Triangle border region, which is between Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, by 2020 with the help of the wildlife conservation groups.

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