Photo by @edkashi/@viiphoto February 27, 2017
The tranquil waters of this highland lake are flanked by high mountains and in the mists of dawn there is a quality of light and a quiet serenity that many visitors describe as mystic.
A traditional fisherman works in the early morning on Inle Lake, Myanmar’s second-largest freshwater lake and a candidate for World Heritage Site status. There are small villages along the banks with Buddhist temples, one-hut schools and bustling markets. Many houses rest on stilts above the waterline. There are floating vegetable farms. And the fishermen propel long, wooden skiffs by balancing at the back of the boat and wrapping their leg around a single oar as they push through the still waters with a unique motion that has become the symbol of the local Intha tribe.
Inle Lake is a complex ecosystem. It is ranked among Myanmar’s top tourist destinations, but under a military regime spurned by much of the world, visitors were rare. Then, three years ago, when a civilian government replaced a half century of iron-fisted rule, change in Myanmar — and the lake — began to accelerate.
Deforestation, excessive use of fertilizers and climate change are threatening Myanmar’s second-largest lake and its residents, making the situation an environmental catastrophe in the making. Overfishing, deforestation on its shores, an excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers and toxic waste and sedimentation are choking the lake, which forms a valuable ecosystem. The effects of #climatechange have worsened the situation. Now, a UN-funded campaign, is working together with the lake’s residents to reverse the damage. #lakeinle #Burma #Myanmar #waterissues #photojournalism #documentaryphotography #environmentalism