Myitmakha News Agency
Naypyidaw, July 21 – logging activities throughout Myanmar have been suspended for the current 2016-17 fiscal year, while logging activities along the Bago Yoma (mountain range) will be completely halted for the next 10 years, according to the Department of Forestry, which sits underneath the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.
“Logging activities along the Bago Yoma have been suspended for a period of exactly 10 years, the length of time of the forthcoming district administration project. While logging across the entire expanse of the country has been halted for this current [fiscal] year. Upon resuming logging activities to other areas around the country, the extent of annual logging will be reduced,” explained U Myo Min, director of the Department of Forestry.
The sounds of felling trees and cries from elephants dragging timber logs through the forest landscape will be absent from the Bago Yoma until the end of the 2026-27 fiscal year, while the Department of Forestry has made it known that forestry coverage of the mountain range as of 2015 stands at more than 26 percent, accounting for over 9 million acres.
When logging activities commence once more, the extent of trees logged will reportedly be abated through specification of the size of tree circumferences which can and cannot be cut down.
“Calculations have been made as to the amount of trees, whose trunk circumferences measure over the minimum set width, which will be able to be logged,” continued U Myo Min. “The tonnage of trees to be logged will be under this figure. Restrictions must be set on which size of trees can be cut down. In the past, only teak trees which measure more than seven feet and six inches could be logged. This has since been changed to six feet and six inches. Trees would still be rather large even if this was set lower. But, since the re-growth rate of trees wouldn’t prove to be cost-effective any longer, only trees over 6 feet and six inches have been permitted to be logged.”
Forest conservation efforts will be conducted simultaneously with logging activities, will unofficial logging has been prohibited and logging permits for private companies will also reportedly no longer be granted.
Myanmar boasts over 28 million acres of forestry, covering more than 16 percent of the country, of which seven percent is protected forest, according to the Department of Forestry.