Wetlands have been recognized by the project management planners of Myanmar Yang Tse Copper Limited as the vital link between water and land preservation. "Wetlands" is the collective term for marshes, swamps, bogs, and similar areas found in generally flat vegetated areas, in depressions in the landscape, and between dry land and water along the edges of streams, rivers, lakes, and coastlines. Wetlands can be found in nearly every state and climatic zone in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Most likely, a wetland exists in your village or very close to it.Many have been altered by human activities such as farming, ranching, and the building of roads, dams, and towns.
Wetlands have often been regarded as wastelands and sources of mosquitoes, flies, unpleasant odors, and disease. People once thought of wetlands as places to avoid or, better yet, eliminate. Largely because of this negative view, many original wetlands have been destroyed, drained and converted to farmland, or used to dispose of household and industrial waste.
At MYTCL we understand ecological processes better, and we have educated ourselves and altered our attitudes towards wetlands. We comprehend that wetlands are, in fact, valuable natural resources. Whether drier or wetter, bigger or smaller, wetlands provide important benefits to people and the environment. Wetlands help regulate water levels within watersheds; improve water quality; reduce flood and storm damages; provide important fish and wildlife habitat; and support hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities. Wetlands are natural wonderlands of great value.
Wetlands can be thought of as "biological supermarkets."
They provide great volumes of food that attract many animal species. These animals use wetlands for part of or all of their life-cycle. Dead plant leaves and stems break down in the water to form small particles of organic material called "detritus." This enriched material feeds many small aquatic insects, shellfish, and small fish that are food for larger predatory fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals.
Within the lease of MYTCL a section of green, lush wetlands separates the operations and is truly a remarkable sight to see. As wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rain forests and coral reefs an immense variety of species of microbes, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, and mammals can be seen within the MYTCL wetland ecosystem. Many visitors are in awe of jumping deer, flocks of geese and various ducks, as well as of the waters teaming with countless varieties of aquatic life.
Many ask "Why is there so much wildlife within the mine? Why are there more here than outside or near the villages?"
The answer is quite simple.... Because we protect the wildlife within our lease, outside our safe-zones they are open season for hunters. You see more here because we allow them to live in a natural ecosystem without intrusion and without fear.
The wetlands at MYTCL have survived for more than 16 years, and further expansion to rehabilitate areas no longer used for production will double the size of the MYTCL Wetlands within the next 5 years.