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Home > Main Library > Forests and forest peoples > The forests and forest peoples of Burma/Myanmar > Human activity in the forests of Burma/Myanmar > Forest management > Production forest management

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Production forest management

Individual Documents

Title: Legally and Illegally Logged Out: Drivers of Deforestation & Forest Degradation in Myanmar
Date of publication: March 2016
Description/subject: "... Myanmar’s forest and timber sector has been central to the country’s economy and society, particularly over the last century. Since the colonial era, timber has been a major export revenue earner to Burma/Myanmar and thus subject to much political debate (Bryant 1996). In addition to timber export revenues, the forests of Myanmar have always provided timber and non-timber forest products for domestic consumption as well as a range of environmental services including water catchment, habitat for flora and fauna, carbon storage, and soil nutrient recovery in rotational agriculture. Myanmar’s forests have contained some of the most valued timbers in the world – particularly rosewoods and teak. Now, amidst unprecedented political reforms in Myanmar, the forest and timber sector is currently undergoing a process of reform. This is indicated by a number of policy changes, most significantly: 1. The 2014 Log Export Ban – which has made it illegal to export unprocessed logs 2. The Government’s engagement in a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process with the European Union’s Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative, requiring transparency and compliance improvements that are mutually agreed upon between the government, the timber sector and civil society. This policy redirection is essential, although long overdue. Practical implementation is inevitably going to take time and face obstacles as powerful political-economic interests allied to the former military regime will seek to maintain their access to timber and land as well as control over revenue flows associated with the commercial utilisation of these national resources. Meanwhile the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF) is under strong pressure from international timber traders to increase supply, more evidently recent pressure from China, and also missions from European and US timber sector representatives. This pressure is due to a combination of factors; growing demand around the world, declining supply of tropical hardwood from shrinking forests, and growing stringency around compliance concerning illegal sourcing. In order to respond to these pressures the authors have tried to clarify the status of the timber industry, the status of the forest resource including its management, and the challenges for reform..."
Author/creator: Thorsten Treue, Oliver Springate-Baginski, Kyaw Htun
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALARM/DCA
Format/size: pdf (2.9MB)
Date of entry/update: 17 April 2016

Title: Following the Money: An Advocate's Guide to Securing Accountability in Agricultural Investments
Date of publication: 2015
Description/subject: "... Large-scale agricultural investments – in plantations, processing plants or contract farming schemes, for example – have increased in recent years, particularly in developing countries. Investment in the agriculture sector can bring much needed support for rural development, but communities have also witnessed significant negative impacts. Some of the most serious involve local landholders being displaced from their lands and losing access to natural resources critical for their livelihoods and wellbeing. Instead of contributing to rural development, ill-conceived investments can undermine people’s rights to food, to water or to decent work. Improving accountability is essential in ensuring that investment processes respond to local needs and aspirations and respect human rights. Yet many deals struck between companies and governments to establish agricultural ventures are not fully transparent, making it difficult for the public and local communities to scrutinise projects before they materialise on the ground. Despite international human rights law and best practice requiring full transparency, public participation, and free prior and informed consent of local communities, civil society participation is often missing and once negative impacts have occurred citizens may struggle to have their voices heard or hold the company or the government to account. Weak governance is often accompanied by limited accountability to citizens. Yet, despite these challenges, many citizens have been able to hold companies and governments to account. For this to happen, local communities and the organisations that support them have to get organised, get informed and be strategic. Supporting affected communities to get organised so that they can collectively challenge or influence the project is essential to any successful advocacy. Success can take a long time – sometimes involving years of struggle – so ensuring strong community solidarity is key. Communities should be aware of their rights and what laws, regulations and policies are in place to protect them. An organised and informed community can then begin to devise a sophisticated advocacy strategy to achieve their goals. Usually the first step is to take complaints directly to local authorities, national authorities or the business operating on the ground. But when these approaches have limited success, communities and their supporters should not give up. There are other strategies that can be tried which reach beyond the borders of the project and the country where it is located. Behind most large-scale agricultural projects is a web of global actors that make the project possible. These actors include banks and companies that are funding the project and the companies that are buying the produce being grown or processed by it. All of these actors are necessary to the project’s success, and all are aiming to earn a profit from it in one way or another. They all have a relationship with the business operating on the ground and have the ability to influence it. All of these actors have some responsibility to ensure that the project does not harm communities. Knowing who is financing the project, who is buying the produce and who else is making the project possible and profitable – in other words, ‘following the money’ – opens up a range of opportunities for improved accountability. We call the web of actors involved in a project an ‘investment chain’. Within this chain there are ‘pressure points’. If affected communities can identify the strongest pressure points and take actions directed at effectively influencing key actors in the investment chain, they are more likely to achieve their goals. Understanding investment chains and pressure points, and effectively making use of them, can prove difficult. This Guide provides information, practical tips and exercises on how to map an investment chain behind a project, identify the strongest pressure points along the chain and then devise effective advocacy strategies that leverage those points. It explains what you need to know, the challenges you may face and the strengths and weaknesses of a range of advocacy options. Examples are provided from cases around the world where communities have tried to ‘follow the money’ and have used a number of strategies to hold investors and governments to account..."
Author/creator: Emma Blackmore, Natalie Bugalski, David Pred
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Inclusive Development International (IDI)
Format/size: pdf (7MB)
Date of entry/update: 18 April 2016

Title: Rapid Assessment of Options for Independent Sustainability Certification for Community Forestry in Myanmar
Date of publication: October 2014
Description/subject: "... We here examine several options for independent certification of community forests with a view to legal timber harvest. A number of certification standards and types have been developed world-wide, with the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC; www.pefc.org) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC; info.fsc.org) being the most widely recognised standards for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and Chain of Custody (CoC) certification. This report considers the suitability of both systems in the context of nationally recognised community forest management in Myanmar, through the conduct of a rapid field assessment of the constraints and opportunities in two forest user group networks in Tanintharyi region and Kachin State. Certification concepts and our initial findings were presented in a roundtable meeting in Yangon in August hosted jointly with EcoDev and the Myanmar Timber Merchants Association, and attended by RECOFTC, Myanmar Forest Certification Committee, IUCN and other stakeholders. The presentations are reproduced in Annex 1 and 2. Our rapid field evaluation shows that, in the case study sites, an external review by an accredited timber certifier – either Forest Stewardship Council or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification – would currently cost more than the benefits it will bring to the to smallholders. The main constraints are that; a) managed areas are currently too small (
Author/creator: Bjoern Wode, Robert Oberndorf, Mark E Grindley
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Conservation and Development Program (MCDP)
Format/size: pdf (8.8MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 April 2016

Title: A Study of the Role of Forest and Forest-Dependent Community in Myanmar
Date of publication: 07 April 2014
Description/subject: "... This study was intended to find out the benefits of forests, especially for non-wood forest products (NWFPs), to forestdependent local people and the relation to their socio-economic status. Sampling (169 respondents) was chosen to be an equal distribution of household’s economic status. The survey was conducted face to face with structural interviews using both open-and closed-ended questions. The results showed that bamboo and bamboo shoot were considered as the most collected NWFPs in the Bago Yoma region. The average consumptions of NWFPs were 302.50  90.12 viss to 501.27  120.65 viss. Furthermore, the research revealed that the collection of NWFPs showed negative correlation with income availability and livestock possession. The study aims to help provide the necessary information for sustainable forest management..."
Author/creator: Inkyin Khaine, Su Young Woo, Hoduck Kang
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forest Science and Technology
Format/size: pdf (169K)
Date of entry/update: 16 April 2016

Title: Myanmar's Rosewood Crisis: Why Key Species and Forest Must be Protected Through CITES
Date of publication: 2014
Description/subject: "... Extremely rapid growth in Chinese imports of ‘redwood’, ‘rosewoods’ or ‘Hongmu’ timbers from Myanmar in the past two years is directly driving increased illegal and unsustainable logging, posing a real threat to governance, the rule of law and the viability Myanmar’s dwindling forests. EIA research shows that, based on current trends, the two most targeted Hongmu species in Myanmar - tamalan and padauk - could be logged to commercial extinction in as little as three years. With financial rewards for illegal loggers and timber smugglers dwarfing traditional incomes, and evidence of corruption facilitating illegal business, Myanmar’s domestic controls will be unable to effectively stem illegal trade. Myanmar urgently needs to engender legal reciprocity from strategic timber trade partners, particularly China, to ensure Myanmar’s forestry and trade laws are respected along its land border. In the absence of laws prohibiting illegal timber in China, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) presents the most immediate and effective mechanism to secure China’s respect for Myanmar’s forestry and trade laws. The Myanmar Government should seek CITES Appendix III protection for its at-risk Hongmu species – Dalbergia oliveri / bariensis (tamalan) and Pterocarpus macrocarpus (padauk) - at the soonest opportunity to ensure trade is in line with sustainable exploitation of existing standing stocks. The CITES community should assist Myanmar in both instituting and enforcing CITES listings for these key species, and in seeking regional Appendix II listings by the 17th CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP17) in 2016. Enhancing the capacity of Myanmar’s existing CITES Management and Scientific Authorities will be an important element of this work...."
Language: English
Source/publisher: EIA
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB)
Date of entry/update: 17 April 2016

Title: Myanmar Forest Sector Legality Analysis
Date of publication: September 2013
Description/subject: "... This report has been prepared by NEPCon1 on behalf of ETTF, with funding from the UK Government’s Department For International Development, DFID. The goal of evaluating forest and timber legality issues of Myanmar is to support the development of long term sustainability solutions of the forest and timber industry. With this report ETTF specifically wishes to pinpoint relevant challenges to the Myanmar timber industry with regard to the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). One important question currently posed by stakeholders is: “Will Myanmar be able to export timber to the EU considering the EUTR requirements and definition of legality”? Trade sanctions imposed on Myanmar were recently suspended, and focus is now being given to the potential for sustainable management of natural resources, including forests. The Myanmar government and timber industry are showing increased interest in improving the management of forest. Specifically, the Forest Department has invested in a number of staff trainings since 2011. After a recent visit by ETTF as part of a wider mission organised by the European Forest Institute and the EU Delegation in Bangkok, it is clear that there is a strong will to maintain the forests and develop the local industry. With this in mind the present project will aim to identify: 1. applicable legislation for forest management and transport of timber 2. potential gaps in current forest management practices in Myanmar between the legal framework requirements and actual practice 3. weaknesses in the existing legal framework (laws and regulations), that hinder effective verification of legality and identification of timber origin at the point of export The current report aims at providing an overview of potential risks of legal non-compliances in the forest sector in Myanmar, and also to provide inputs for how these risks can be managed and support the efforts to enable Myanmar to export legal and, on the long term, certified sustainable timber to the international markets. It should be underlined that this report does not provide any formal approval of the forest management practices, timber trade procedures, processing and trade systems of Myanmar. Based on the EU definition of forest sector legality, this report describes issues affecting the risk that timber from Myanmar has been harvested or traded illegally..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: NEPCon, European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF)
Format/size: pdf (1.8MB)
Date of entry/update: 17 April 2016

Title: The Economic Value of Forest Ecosystem Services in Myanmar and Options for Sustainable Financing
Date of publication: September 2013
Description/subject: "... This document reports on a study carried out to assess the value of the forest sector to Myanmar's economy, in order to justify and identify niches for developing forest-based payments for ecosystem services (PES) and other mechanisms that can be used to generate financing for forest conservation. The study focuses on nine categories of forest ecosystem services that are of high importance in economic and human wellbeing terms, and for which sufficient data are available to enable monetary valuation: wood-based biomass and energy, wild foods, animal-based energy, watershed protection, coastal protection, carbon sequestration, maintenance of nursery populations and habitats, pollination and seed dispersal, and nature-based recreation and tourism. The study first assesses the baseline: it identifies the ecosystem services that are currently being generated by the forest sector, and estimates their economic value. It then models two possible policy and management futures: “Forest Degradation”, under which forest lands and resources continue to be degraded and over-exploited; and “Forest Conservation”, under which forests are used sustainably and conserved effectively according to the goals and targets laid out in the Forestry Masterplan..."
Author/creator: Lucy Emerton, Yan Min Aung
Language: English
Source/publisher: Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF), EU
Format/size: pdf (2MB)
Date of entry/update: 18 April 2016

Title: Deforestation in the Ayeyarwady Delta and the Conservation Implications of an Internationally Engaged Myanmar
Date of publication: 14 September 2011
Description/subject: "... Myanmar is a country of huge biodiversity importance that is undergoing major political change, bringing with it new international engagement. This includes access to international markets, which will likely spur investment in export-oriented agriculture, leading to increased pressures on already threatened ecosystems. This scenario is illustrated in the Ayeyarwady Delta, the country’s agricultural heartland sustaining high deforestation rates. Using the Delta as a model system, we use an integrated approach to inquire about whether and how imminent agricultural reforms associated with an internationally-engaged Myanmar could introduce new actors and incentives to invest in agricultural expansion that could affect deforestation rates. We use a novel remote sensing analysis to quantify deforestation rates for the Delta from 1978 to 2011, develop business-as-usual deforestation scenarios, and contextualize those results with an analysis of contemporary policy changes within Myanmar that are expected to alter the principal drivers of land-cover change. We show that mangrove systems of Myanmar are under greater threat than previously recognized, and that agriculture has been the principle driver of deforestation on the Delta. The centrality of agriculture to the Myanmar economy indicates that emerging policies are likely to tip the scales towards agricultural expansion, agro-industrial investment and potentially greater rates of deforestation due to the introduction of well-funded investors, insufficient land tenure agreements, and low governance effectiveness. The broad national challenge is to initiate environmental governance reforms (including safeguards) in the face of significant pressures for land grabbing and opportunistic resource extraction..."
Author/creator: Kevin Woods
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Journal of Peasant Studies
Format/size: pdf (783K-reduced version; 4.2MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs22/Webb_-_Deforestation_Ayearwaddy.pdf
Date of entry/update: 16 April 2016

Title: Market Research and Enterprise Development for Community Forestry in Myanmar
Date of publication: September 2011
Description/subject: "... Pyoe Pin is a programme aimed at strengthening civil society in Myanmar. The programme is supported by DFID, the British Department for International Cooperation and implemented through the British council in partnership with local NGOs. Community Forestry (CF) is a key element of the programme, as it is seen as pathway to increasing the participation of civil society in influencing policy and practice with regards to communities. access and sustainable use of forestry land. CF can also improve forestry conservation and enhance the livelihoods of communities. CF has been a national development tool since 1995, when the Ministry of Forestry issued instructions for the issuing of Community Forest certificates. In Kachin state in northern Myanmar bordering China, Pyoe Pin has been working with two local NGOs (ECODEV and Shalom Foundation), who are in turn engaging with forest villages, to increase their awareness of appropriate forest usage and management, through assisting these communities to apply for community forest certificates. These certificates provide community rights to forest products and tenure for 30 years. Working through 120 villages, 54 Forest User Groups (FUGs) consisting of about 40,000 people have been created, who are replanting degraded forest areas, and also balancing their livelihood needs with greater understanding of sustainability. So far, 31,445 acres have been prepared for CF, but aside from 3000 of these acres, the rest has not yet been granted the lease, largely a result of lack of institutional support for this process as government prioritizes commercial allocations of land over community allocations for CF. As yet, CF has not shown significant direct economic impacts, but it is hoped that income from forest products, produced by and for the communities engaged, will have an impact on the incomes of the communities and households involved. One of the challenges has been how to increase the commercial viability and impact of CF by bringing greater alignment between commercial and community priorities. Some parts of the CF Instruction have hindered the maximization of economic benefits that can be gained by CF as they limit community rights to harvesting and selling at minimal levels. In addition, both private sector and Government have not considered CF as a potential partner for sourcing raw materials. But the environment is ripe for undertaking analysis and piloting of alternative models. There is a new Minister of Forestry, formerly head of Myanmar Timber Enterprise, who has experience in extensive forest-based commercial ventures. In addition, a recent national CF workshop was the first of the kind to bring experts from around the region to discuss findings from a national-level appraisal of CF in Myanmar since inception 15 years ago. In this context, Pyoe Pin envisages to develop a pilot project that will seek to demonstrate: 1. the value of CF as a real national development tool for the poorest communities, and to increase institutional support for its realization. 2. CF can be a commercially viable business partner for private sector 3. that it is important that communities who apply for CF status should be supported with the expedient granting of leases 4. that CF Instructions need to be revised to allow communities to commercialize their CF Towards these objectives, Pyoe Pin started to identify CF products that could have the greatest market potential and feasibility of being taken up by community forestry, which can then supply the products to larger domestic and possibly even international markets. An initial brainstorming session with foresters from NGOs and research institutes and businessmen from the Timber Market Association in December 2010 identified a preliminary shortlist of forest products. This selection was mainly based on secondary sources of information on market potential to help narrow down a more appropriate list for additional value-chain analysis..."
Author/creator: Foppes, J., Moe Aung, Paing Soe
Language: English
Source/publisher: Pyoe Pin
Format/size: pdf (1.3MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 April 2016

Title: Exploring the Socio-Economic Situation of Plantation Villagers: A Case Study in Bago Yoma
Date of publication: 2008
Description/subject: "... Massive scale plantation forestry in Myanmar began in the early 1980s as a drastic measure to fulfil the increasing demand for timber and to prevent the conversion of deteriorated forestland to agricultural land. More than 30,000 ha of forest plantations have annually been formed since 1984 (Myanmar Forest Department 2000). Myanmar has also launched a Special Teak Plantation Program in 1998 which has an annual plantation target of 8000 ha in addition to the normal plantation scheme. Myanmar Forest Department is recruiting shifting cultivators and applying the taungya method in plantation projects because it can avoid conflicts at the time of teak plantation establishment, achieve large plantation area targets in remote areas and overcome the problems of insufficient funding and insufficient labour. Further, as the plantation area is under the intensive care of taungya farmers for their intercrops, the Forest Department can expect a higher survival rate of trees for the first year. The Forest Department is planning a joint venture by establishing plantation villages near or inside the reserved forests with the aim of securing labour for plantation establishment at reduced cost and with increased efficiency, as well as protecting the existing natural resources including old plantations more intensively with the participation of the taungya farmers. In brief, Myanmar Forest Department is trying to get people participation in the promotion of reforestation. From the commencement of the project, the foresters have been arguing about whether the project would create forest protective groups or forest destructive groups. Past experiences suggest that taungya farmers are likely to destroy the plantations once they have been established. ‘Evidently there were destructions of many teak plantations and other plantations of valuable species during the Second World War (1942−45) and again during the 1988 pro-democracy movement by the villagers who had involved in establishment of those plantations’ (Ba Kaung 2001). Why did the taungya farmers become destructive instead of the intended protective groups? In the author’s judgment, the underlying issue is an economic one, and it is essential to explore the socio-economic situations of the groups involved in taungya teak plantations..."
Author/creator: Tin Min Maung, Miho Yamamoto
Language: English
Source/publisher: DSSENR Tokyo University of Agricultre and Technology
Format/size: pdf (823K)
Date of entry/update: 17 April 2016

Title: A Brief Review of Forest Restoration Programmes in Myanmar
Date of publication: 1993
Description/subject: "... Evolution of the Myanmar strategy of forest restoration is reviewed and five types of forest plantations, with different sets of objectives, under different ecological conditions are described. Socio-economic and environmental issues of reforestation through plantation forestry are discussed and technical aspects of site selection, species choice, nursery practice, planting methods and follow-up silvicultural treatments are briefly presented. Use of well-adapted genetic resources; correct site/species matching, good silviculture and sustained protection at all stages from seed collection to harvesting is stressed. Priority areas of further research needs are also indicated..."
Author/creator: Sein Maung Wint
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forest Resource Environment Development and Conservation Association (FREDA)
Format/size: pdf (52K)
Date of entry/update: 16 April 2016