Oct 29, 2012

Myanmar to ban timber exports in 2014

Myanmar plans to completely stop exporting timber on April 1, 2014 to save its forests, authorities said.

“The project is focusing to save the remaining one-fifth of the country’s total area and also to manufacture high quality wood products to export,” said Thein Lwin, secretary of the Parliament’s Natural Resources and Environment Conservation Committee.

Myanmar’s forest coverage was down to 24 per cent in 2008 from 51 per cent in 2005, and 57 per cent in 1962. The main causes of deforestation are excessive harvesting of trees, rampant illegal logging, increasing use of firewood, as well as shifting cultivation system.

Under the project, the timber export is scheduled to reduce year by year. The government has also expressed readiness to completely stop exporting wood logs.

Myanmar produces about 283,000 cubic metres of teak and 1.98 million cubic metres of hardwood annually. Myanmar is a major exporter of teak in the world, taking up 75 per cent of the global market. It ships teak to China, India and other regional countries.

In 2011-2012, the country exported 371,000 metric tonnes of teak and 1,789,400 metric tonnes of hardwood.

Source: Eleven Media Group

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