Debate continues on log harvesting ban in Myanmar

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In a workshop held late July the former Director Genaral of the Forestry Department, Dr. Kyaw Tint, explained his latest research on how the Myanmar Selection System (MSS) could be modified in the light of the decision to restrict harvesting.

Dr. Kyaw’s conclusion was that a total harvesting ban could create as many problems for the forestry sector as it is intended to address and that sustainable harvesting could be permitted in designated areas under close monitoring.

In a related development U Myo Min, Director of the Forestry Department has been quoted as saying the harvesting contract between the Myanma Timber Enterprise and private logging companies will be cancelled.

It has been stated that MTE will undertake all logging with its own resources when harvesting resumes after the 2016- 17 one year logging ban, However, the industry is asking what volumes the MTE will be capable of delivering.

The debate on the proposed total harvesting ban rages on.

From the industry’s point of view a total ban will mean they are starved of raw materials, may have to curtail production and may have to reduce their workforce. On the other hand there is an urgent need to get the country back on the track of sustainable and legal harvesting and to eliminate the illegal cross border trade.

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