Vice President U Myint Swe calls for more forestry protection

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April 10, 2017

Authorities have been urged to step up efforts to prevent illegal logging as the government has been implementing the sustainability of the country’s forests.

“We need to work together with the people to prevent the further depletion of Myanmar’s forests, which cover 42 percent of the land,” Vice-President U Myint Swe said at the meeting with the officials on his visit to the government forest reserve and Phoe Kyar Elephant Camp in Yedashe, Bago Region, yesterday. During his inspection tour of greening efforts in the Bago Yoma mountain range, he also inspected the 15-acre teak plantation for producing seeds.

“Tree plantation should meet the target of the plan. Besides, rare wildlife and elephants in Bago Yoma mountain range should be conserved,” he added.

He also urged the officials to explore prospects for nature tourism sites in the forests as the government halted the production of timber to allow forests to re-establish themselves.

According to a Forest Resources Assessment carried out by the FAO in 2010, Myanmar’s forest cover was 46.96 per cent. By 2015, it had fallen to 42.92 per cent.

A reforestation project in Myanmar has been implemented as a 10-year project from 2017-18 to 2026-27. In the project, 352,438 acres of forest plantations will be planted by the government and 285,104 acres by the private sector. Support work for regeneration of forests in 815,538 acres of timber extraction forest will also be made. About 500,000 acres of natural forest in the dry zone will be preserved, while 770,332 acres of grouped forest for local usage will be developed. The plan is to extend the forest reserve area by 16,160 square miles, or 6.19 per cent of the country’s land area, boosting the total forest reserve area to 30 per cent.

Afterwards, the Vice President visited a 300-acre private teak plantation in the Yoma Kyopyin protected forest in Yedashe Township and inspected the five-year old teak plants.

The Vice President then visited plantation site No. 2/2017, where 300,000 teak saplings are being prepared, inspected the ground preparation work for planting, fire prevention plans for the post-planting period and discussed about providing job opportunities for the local populace. This is part of the Myanmar reforestation project in Bago Yoma Forest Reserve.

Afterwards, the Vice President visited the ancient Pyu and Sri Ksetra sites in Pyay, Bago Region and viewed the Pyu era artifacts exhibited in the museum. He also visited Rahanda Cave Pagoda and Baw Baw Gyi Pagoda, where officials explained the history and significance of the pagodas.

In the afternoon, he visited a 160-year-old teak plantation planted by a German Botanical expert Dr. Brundig in 1857. It is situated between mile post 176/4 and 177/0 on Yangon-Pyay Road. The plantation has 3,503 teak trees planted between 1857 and 1968 on 78 acres of land.