YANGON, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- An art and music festival Voices for Wildlife was held here in Yangon late Friday.
Aiming to support the government's combat on illegal wildlife trade across Yangon region as well as to raise awareness of wildlife conservation in the country, the festival was celebrated at the Mahabandoola park in downtown Yangon.
The festival showcased varieties of wildlife-themed activities, displaying wildlife-themed artworks and performances by local artists.
Yangon region authorities have recently announced a ban on all illegal sales across the region, devising Yangon as the first city in Southeast Asia to become "Illegal wildlife trade free."
"We really appreciate the Yangon regional authorities for initiating the ban in the region and we are looking forward to the government's further efforts to reach the ban to the other regions and states in the country," said 50-year-old visitor U Mya Han.
Wildlife trafficking is the fourth biggest transnational crime after drugs, weapons and human trafficking.
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.
Local and international non-governmental organizations are accelerating efforts to expand the area of land for wildlife reserve in the country.
The authorities have designated 42 protected areas which accounts for 5.79 percent of total country area so far in Myanmar.