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Home > Main Library > Forests and forest peoples > The forests and forest peoples of Burma/Myanmar > The forests of Burma/Myanmar: standards, policy, law and regulations > Forest policy in Burma/Myanmar

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Forest policy in Burma/Myanmar

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Results of a Google site-specific search for "Myanmar Forest Policy" on fao.org
Description/subject: 4,210 results (May 2016)
Language: English
Source/publisher: FAO via Google
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 July 2012

Individual Documents

Title: Resource Federalism - a roadmap for decentralised governance of Burma’s natural heritage
Date of publication: 24 October 2017
Description/subject: "While Burma’s ethnic states are blessed with a wealth of natural resources and biodiversity, they have been cursed by the unsustainable extraction and sale of those resources, which has fuelled armed conflict. Instituting a system of devolved federal management of natural resources can play a key role in resolving conflict and building a lasting peace in Burma. Despite some ceasefires on paper, Burma remains in a state of conflict. Ongoing offensives in Kachin and Shan states alone have left hundreds of thousands homeless. Fundamental calls for self-determination have gone unheeded in a lack of political dialogue to end decades of fighting. Military offensives into resource-rich ethnic areas have expanded Burma Army presence in plac - es previously controlled by de-facto ethnic governments. This has facilitated the rapid increase in the extraction and sale of natural resources in recent years. Resource projects have collected huge revenues for the army and the central government, but have not benefited local populations. Constitutional powers place natural resource ownership, control, and management fully in the hands of the central government. This report analyzes six key natural resources: forests, land, water, minerals, gems, and oil and gas. In each sector, a series of laws and practices prevent affected peoples from having a say in their own development: they cannot assess, provide input into, or censure the management of their natural resources. Ethnic women, particularly in rural areas, are doubly marginalized from natural resource governance. Centralised resource control is fanning the flames of discontent and anger . Resource projects are causing environmental destruction, human rights abuses, and loss of livelihoods, with unique impacts on women. Extracting and exporting raw, often non-renewable, resources is further inflicting an incalculable liability on future generations. Resources used to produce ener gy are consistently prioritised for export, contributing to the development of neighboring countries while resource-rich areas remain in the dark. People from across the country have staged protests and demonstrations, calling for an end to destructive resource exploitation and for constitutional rights to own, control, and manage their own resources. Ethnic political parties and armed groups are standing with the people in these demands. Devolved decision-making offers stronger accountability and representation at all levels of government, an opportunity for local input and control, benefits to local populations, and environmental sustainability. Burma does not need to start from zero in developing devolved governance structures. Local communities have managed lands, water, and forests with sustainable customary practices for generations, and de-facto governments have supported such practices with formal structures and laws..."
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Burma Environmental Working Group (BEWG)
Format/size: pdf (2.4MB-reduced version; 3.9MB-original; 1MB-briefer)
Alternate URLs: http://bewg.org/sites/default/files/2017-10/ResourceFederalismWEB.pdf
http://www.bewg.org/index.php/my/node/36 (statement in Burmese)
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2017

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: Constraints and Opportunities for Commercial Timber Extraction From Community and Smallholder Forests
Date of publication: October 2014
Description/subject: "... The National Community Forestry Instruction (1995) provides communities the opportunity for 30 year licenses to manage state forests lands for natural forest protection, mixed agro-forestry and timber production systems. The Forestry Master Plan (2001) envisions around 920,000 ha to be handed to local Forest User Groups (FUGs) by 2030, about 1.36% of the total land area. A recent review of community forestry (CF) conducted in 2011 identified a range of constraints to allowing individual CFs to “fulfil their potential”, and to scaling up the handover of CF to better meet the 2001 Forestry Master Plan targets. The review focused mostly on the institutional and technical impediments but also clearly identified the need for the scope of CF to shift from “subsistence to enterprise” and integrate “timber harvesting on a significantly larger scale”. Since 2008, FFI Myanmar and its partners have been actively supporting the establishment of CF as a tool for watershed protection, protected area buffer zone establishment and livelihood development. To date FFI has assisted over 50 communities with CF establishment, provided small grants and technical assistance to a further 30 CF groups, and conducted CF training for state and regional level civil society groups. FFI’s current strategic plan includes: i) The continued development of CF models to become self-funding, and ii) Evidence-based advocacy to streamline the CF application procedure. The long-term sustainability of CF in Myanmar may not be clear for some years, as even the oldest commercial CF trees are only 15 years old, but CF seems to offer considerable potential to provide a supply of timber and therefore generate substantial revenues for local communities. The current reforms in the Myanmar forest sector and the EU FLEGT initiative are providing an unprecedented opportunity to clarify community rights over CF timber and by doing so to promote the expansion and sustainability of CF. This report was prepared under an FFI project supported by the FAO/EU FLEGT Support Programme, which promotes the implementation of the FLEGT Action Plan by improving forest governance, providing technical assistance, and building capacity through funding projects in eligible countries..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Conservation and Development Program (MCDP)
Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
Date of entry/update: 19 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: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environment - Initial Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road Map
Date of publication: April 2013
Description/subject: "This interim assessment, strategy, and road map (ASR) of Myanmar’s agriculture, natural resources, and environment (ANRE) sector highlights the Government of Myanmar’s plans for addressing priority needs and identifies—in a preliminary manner—possible areas of international assistance for the sector. The ASR will be periodically revised based on new information and reflecting the evolving development partnership with Myanmar..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Format/size: pdf (3.3MB)
Date of entry/update: 16 April 2016

Title: Overview of Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade - Baseline Study 4 - Myanmar
Date of publication: November 2011
Description/subject: Table of Contents:- 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND MAJOR FINDINGS … 2. HISTORICAL OVERVIEW ... 3. NATIONAL FOREST STRATEGY, POLICIES AND REGULATIONS: 3.1 The Myanmar Selection System and Annual Allowable Cut; 3.2 Forest Law and Policy ; 3.3 Forest Land Categories; 3.4 Community Forestry; 3.5 Impact of Forest Law Enforcement on Local People... 4. DEMAND: DOMESTIC DEMAND AND WOOD EXPORTS: 4.1 Domestic Demand ; 4.2 Exports ... 5. TIMBER SUPPLY: DOMESTIC PRODUCTION AND WOOD IMPORTS: 5.1 Domestic Wood Production; 5.2 Plantation Production... 6. FOREST INDUSTRY: 6.1 Myanmar Timber Enterprise; 6.2 Non-MTE Harvesting; 6.3 Medium-Sized Companies and Traders; 6.4 Value-Added Processing... 7. ILLEGAL TIMBER TRADE AND MYANMAR STANDARDS, NATIONAL CODES, TIMBER CERTIFICATION AND VERIFICATION SYSTEMS: 7.1 Illegal Timber Trade; 7.2 Progress towards Standards, National Codes, Timber Certification and Verification Systems ... 8. STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS : 8.1 Government; 8.2 Timber Processing Industry: Private Sector and Quasi-Private Sector; 8.3 Civil Society; 8.4 Bilateral Donor Programs... BIBLIOGRAPHY... APPENDIX 1: MYANMAR TIMBER EXPORT PROCESS .
Author/creator: Kevin Woods and Kerstin Canby
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forest Trends for FLEGT Asia Regional Programme
Format/size: pdf (1.6MB-OBL version; 1.78-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.forest-trends.org/documents/files/doc_3159.pdf
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2013

Title: Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study: Country Report, Myanmar
Date of publication: June 1997
Description/subject: Working Paper No: APFSOS/WP/08 Forest Department, Ministry of Forestry, Myanmar Forestry Policy and Planning Division, Rome. Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok. "The scope of the study is to look at the main external and sectoral developments in policies, programmes and institutions that will affect the forestry sector and to assess from this the likely direction of its evolution and to present its likely situation in 2010. The study involves assessment of current status but also of trends from the past and the main forces which are shaping those trends and then builds on this to explore future prospects..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003