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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 > Forest management - scientific and general

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Forest management - scientific and general

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: Democratising Timber: An Assessment of Myanmar's Emerging 'Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade' (FLEGT) Process
Date of publication: 07 October 2014
Description/subject: "... This paper attempts to analyse the key aspects of reforms required to ‘democratise’ Myanmar's timber trade, and the political–economic interests contributing or obstructing reform. The main aim of this paper is to assess the prospects for reform of Myanmar's timber sector in light of theemerging FLEGT process, and to apply a political ecological analysis to the ways in which the political–economic power balance will determine the outcomes. We use aspects of political–ecological analysis to understand the nature and dynamics of the contested reform process: firstly structural explanations for the ways in which different groups gain access to resources — in this case forests and timber, andwho gains and loses through these processes; and secondly, a critical analysis of how polices relate to the exercise of power and practices on the ground. (Springate-Baginski and Blaikie, 2007: 10). Methodologically, the often opaque and generally illicit nature of Myanmar's present timber trade makes primary data collection extremely difficult, even hazardous. There is also limited government data, and what there is, is systematically misleading (EIA, 2014). Therefore for this overview paper we necessarily rely on secondary sources and anonymous interviews (conducted in Spring 2013), along with the personal experience of the authors. To help clarify the complex and fluid contemporary situation this first section sets out the overall political and historical context of Myanmar's timber trade..."
Author/creator: Anthony Neil, Oliver Springate-Baginski, Aung Kyaw Thein, Win Myo Thu, Faith Doherty
Language: English
Source/publisher: Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
Format/size: pdf (643K)
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2016


Title: Silvicultural, Inventory and Harvest Guidelines for Community Managed Forests: Some Recommendations for Discussion
Date of publication: October 2014
Description/subject: ..."This Working Paper examines options for improved sustainability and economic viability for community forest in Myanmar (See also Wode et al 2014). It was prepared under an EU-FAO Regional FLEGT Programme project implemented by Fauna & Flora International that is exploring opportunities and constraints for commercial timber production from community forests. The paper is written in the form of a draft ‘Guide for Forest Management’ that could be applied by Forest User Groups who have been handed over natural forest resources for sustainable long-term management and protection under a Community Forest (CF) certificate and with a CF management plan available. It is not a substitute for government regulations or departmental guidance, and is intended to promote discussion on sustainable forest management in the context of legal CF in Myanmar"...
Author/creator: Bjoern Wode
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Conservation and Development Program (MCDP)
Format/size: pdf (4.5MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 April 2016


Title: Land Suitability for Oil Palm in Southern Myanmar
Date of publication: 17 June 2014
Description/subject: "... The first commercial small-scale oil palm plantations were introduced to Myanmar in 1926 covering 120 ha. In the 1980’s the European Economic Community and Swiss government implemented a palm oil project to stimulate growth in the sector. As of 2014 401,813 ha have been allocated and 134,539 ha planted. The government target is to plant 282,470 ha by 2030. The land is allocated to 44 companies, comprising 43 local companies and one Foreign Direct Investment. Three foreign companies have joint-ventures with local companies. Although much land is now planted, there appears to be significant scope to improve yields with better technical capacity and planting material. Down-stream, there are five mills owned by three companies with crude palm oil (CPO) processing capacity varying from 1.5 to 60 tonnes of fresh fruit bunch per hour (Zaw Win, 2014). Expansion of mills currently faces financing constraints. The main driver for expansion is to meet domestic demand for edible oil; there are 60 million people in Myanmar consuming 400-500,000 metric tonnes of edible oil (palm oil, sesame and ground nut). Myanmar is importing palm oil; in 2012 this was 330,000 metric tonnes with a value of $376 million from Indonesia and Malaysia. Self sufficiency in edible palm oil is a national target, but local production is currently dwarfed by these imports. Oil palm plantations in Myanmar are principally found within a narrow belt of coastal lowlands in Myeik and Kawthaung Districts (Figure 1). Donald et al. 2014 report that potential productivity in this area is low by international standards (Figure 2) due to climatic conditions. As a contribution to assessing the long term commercial viability of Myanmar’s oil palm industry, as well as its social and environmental impacts, we surveyed the agroecological conditions where it presently occurs and where it could be further developed. The Agritech Portal of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University states that, “Oil palm requires evenly distributed annual rainfall [of at least] 2000 mm without a defined dry season. In areas with a dry spell, deep soil with high water holding capacity and a shallow water table augmented with copious irrigation will satisfy the water requirement of the oil palm. “Temperature can be a limiting factor for oil palm production. Best oil palm yields are obtained in places where a maximum average temperature of 29o-33oC and minimum average temperature of 22o-24oC are available. Higher diurnal temperature variation causes floral abortion in regions with a dry season.” Within Myanmar, annual rainfall, the presence of a distinct dry season (Figure 3) and elevation (an indicator of local variation in diurnal temperature range) already limit the area suitable for plantations. Sandy loam soils restrict the potential for irrigation and make the requirements for fertilizer high. Across the entire country, the duration and reliability of the wet season has decreased as climate variability has increased, and this trend is likely to continue..."
Author/creator: Stuart M. Sheppard, Earl C. Saxon
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forest Inform/Fauna & Flora International (FFI)
Format/size: pdf (4.1MB)
Date of entry/update: 17 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: Democratic Change and Forest Governance in the Asia Pacific: Implications for Myanmar
Date of publication: 2014
Description/subject: ".. While the signs of democratization in a country may raise hopes of better natural resource governance, especially of forests, evidence from the Asia Pacific region in countries such as Indonesia and Cambodia demonstrates no significant relationship between a country's transition toward democracy and better forestry governance. Myanmar's transition to democracy is unlikely to counter this trend. Deeply vested interests operate within democratizing countries that outweight the support inside governments or civil society for improving forestry conservation..."
Author/creator: Stephen McCarthy
Language: English
Source/publisher: East-West Center
Format/size: pdf (452K)
Date of entry/update: 16 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: Baseline Study 4, Myanmar: Overview of Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade
Date of publication: August 2011
Description/subject: "... In the early 20th century, the scientific management of Myanmar’s natural forests under the Myanmar Selection System (MSS) was world-renown.1 By the 1970s, the MSS began to break down. Today, the application of scientific forestry in the country has been marginalized. Timber remains a significant source of revenue, although relatively less for the national Myanmar government as multi-billion dollar oil, gas, hydropower and other energy related contracts surge. Timber and other forest products represent a significant source of income for ethnic political groups, most notably in Kachin State along the border with China and Karen State along the Thai border. The Government of Myanmar has established development priorities in a number of sectors, including agriculture and forestry, but these plans are not detailed and mainly focus on output indicators. Overall, 70% of Myanmar’s population residing in rural areas (50-60% of the estimated total population of 60 million) depend heavily on forests for their basic needs (FAO, 2009). Some 500,000 people are thought to be dependent on the forestry sector for employment. The contribution of forestry to GDP was an estimated 1% in 1997–98 (ITTO, 2006), but timber exports alone constitute approximately 10% of Myanmar’s total official export earnings. Teak alone contributes 60-70% of the export earnings from forest products, but these exports are of an increasingly low-grade, which command lower prices than the high-quality teak that made Myanmar famous..."
Author/creator: Kevin Woods, Kerstin Canby
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forest Trends
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB)
Date of entry/update: 16 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: Developing a Scientific Basis for Sustainable Management of Tropical Forest Watersheds:_Case_Studies_from_Myanmar
Date of publication: 2005
Description/subject: Table of Contents: 1. Introduction. 1.1. Biophysical and geographical descriptions of Myanmar . 1.2. The state of forest management in Myanmar . 1.3. Objectives of the study . 2. Review of Tropical Forest Management Systems. 2.1. Tropical forests of the world 2.2. Deforestation in the tropics 2.3. Sustainable tropical forest management . 2.4. Silvicultural management systems of tropical forests 3. Analysis of Stand Structure and Diversity 3.1. Aspects and scales in quantifying the structure of forest stands 3.2. Whole stand pattern analysis 3.3. Neighbourhood pattern analysis . 3.4. Point pattern analysis 3.5. Empirical data. 3.6. Developing algorithms for calculating variables and functions . 3.7. Results 4. Modelling Individual Tree Diameter Growth of Naturally Grown Teak . 4.1. Review of growth modelling of natural Teak in Myanmar 4.2. Empirical data. 4.3. Analysis of individual tree growth of Teak 4.4. Model development 5. Modelling Stand Development for All Species . 5.1. Stand table projection approach for updating forest inventories 5.2. Aggregating species for stand table projection 5.3. Mortality function. 5.4. Forest inventory data of Paunglaung Watershed 5.5. Developing a spreadsheet model 5.6. Updating the forest Inventories on Paunglaung watershed ii 6. A Yield Regulation System for Sustainable Watershed Management 6.1. Conceptual dilemma . 6.2. Operational problems . 6.3. Tactical elements of the yield regulation system . 6.4. Strategic facets of the yield regulation system . 6.5. Developing a yield regulation system for Paunglaung watershed... 7. Conclusions: 7.1. Analysis of stand structure and diversity . 7.2. Modelling individual tree diameter growth of naturally grown Teak . 7.3. Modelling stand development for all species . . 7.4. A yield regulation system for sustainable watershed management . 8. Summary.. 9. Zusammenfassung .. 10. References..
Author/creator: Min Thant Zin
Language: English
Source/publisher: Universitätsverlages Göttingen
Format/size: pdf (1.93MB)
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2010


Title: The History of Taungya Plantation Forestry and Its Rise and Fall in the Tharrawaddy Forest Division of Myanmar (1869-1994)
Date of publication: 1998
Description/subject: "... In some areas of Myanmar (formerly Burma), trees are planted amongst agricultural crops in hill-farms (taungya). This "taungya system" is one method of restoring tree cover and can also be regarded as a forerunner of agroforestry. The system is widely believed to have originated in the Tharrawaddy forest division of Myanmar, but the actual location of its origin is likely to be the Kaboung forest area. The taungya system was first devised by Dr. DIETRICH BRANDIS, an early German botanist-turned-forester in Myanmar, in the mid 1800s after he observed the taungya of the Karen hill people. Taungya teak plantations expanded in the Tharrawaddy forest division from 1869 as teak grows well there and the facilities for teak timber extraction are good. However, the annual establishment rate in Tharrawaddy has fluctuated greatly. The establishment of taungya plantations has gone through three periods of growth and decline. The growth phase of the first period began in 1869 when Imperial foresters succeeded in employing the hill Karen to plant teak in their taungyas, and was followed by a decline from 1906 when the scattered taungya plantation became difficult to manage. The second period began from 1918-19 when concentrated regeneration under the Uniform System was introduced into the division. This period's decline started in 1930 and was caused by the farmers' revolution. The third period began in 1948, but the thirty years to 1979 were politically and socially unstable, so there was very little planting throughout this time. The growth in plantation establishment began in early 1980 when the government focused on reforestation to boost timber production, but it decline came in the late 1980s and was primarily caused by socioeconomic and government policy changes. Higher wages for taungya workers and more productive agricultural techniques for taungya crops are now necessary if taungya plantation management is to be successful in the future..."
Author/creator: San Win, Minoru Kumazaki
Language: English
Source/publisher: Japan Society of Forest Planning
Format/size: pdf (1MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 April 2016


Title: Forest Management in Myanmar
Date of publication: 1996
Description/subject: Development of Forest Management: Management, Reservation, RegenerationWorking Plans, System of Management, Importance of Inventories in Forest Management, Plantations, Past Productions, Future Yield. Effect of Forest Management: Discussions, Conclusion, References. Discussion: Teak yield reduction in Myanmar is due to over exploitation especially in the accessible areas. This can be recovered by providing rest period and proper silvicultural operation. It is to be noted that plantation yields can be very high quantitatively and economically. More emphasis should be given to the plantations with higher investment.There are two area the author noted the problem of deforestation is very serious. The first one is in the Central Dry Zone of Myanmar. Due to high population and very low rainfall the area is very serious effected and sustainable agriculture is facing with problems of land degradation and desertification. For this it was found that Government is supporting for rehabilitation and reforestation.Second area need attention is the mangrove of Ayeyarwady Delta. In that area the deforestation is so high and entire mangrove forests were wiped out within two decades (Myint 1995a). UNDP/FAO assistance is operating in the area through community development derivatives (Myint 1995b). 49KB
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.icimod.org/
Date of entry/update: 01 September 2010


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