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Govt to continue fight against illegal timber

The government is planning further crackdowns on the illegal timber trade in northern Myanmar, a senior government official says, and also plans to reduce legal logging in the coming years.

In April 2014, the government banned exports of raw timber to encourage job creation, maximise the value of forestry resources and help to conserve Myanmar’s remaining forest areas.

But Deputy Minister for Environmental Conservation and Forestry U Aye Myint said at the Myanmar-China Timber Trade Forum on January 14 that the illegal trade remains a huge problem, particularly in Kachin and Shan States, which abut China’s Yunnan Province.

The deputy minister blamed armed ethnic groups for the problem.

“We know these groups get high income from taxes on illegal logging. That undermines the peace-making process and threatens stability and the rule of law,” he said.

He said the government’s priority is to ensure sustainable harvesting of forestry resources. To replace the export of raw logs, it hopes to attract foreign investors to produce finished wood products, first to meet local demand and then for export.

For the complete article, please see Myanmar Times.