China-funded re­for­esta­tion ef­fort slated for Magwe

The Myanmar Times - - News - MYINT KAY THI my­in­tkaythi@mm­

TO com­bat the ef­fects of il­le­gal log­ging and de­for­esta­tion, the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion will part­ner with China to im­ple­ment a new eco­log­i­cal project in Magwe Re­gion, said Union Min­is­ter U Ohn Win.

The Chi­nese-Myan­mar Friend­ship For­est project was launched at an Oc­to­ber 30 cer­e­mony in Yan­gon. China plans to put for­ward K500 mil­lion to help re­build the co­op­er­a­tive for­est at the Ngamin Re­served For­est in Taungdwingyi township, Magwe Re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese am­bas­sador Hong Liang, the ini­tial Chi­nese in­put is set to fund the re­plant­ing of 42,000 trees over 120 acres by 2017.

In ad­di­tion, the De­part­ment of Forestry plans to im­ple­ment a Myan­mar Re­for­esta­tion Pro­gram along­side the friend­ship for­est start­ing in 2017 through 2026, said the de­part­ment’s di­rec­tor, U Myo Min.

“The for­est ini­tia­tive will take place in the Ngamin Re­served For­est,” he said. “Cur­rently, we can’t say the ex­act de­tails as we’re in the midst of sign­ing a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing.”

The Myan­mar Re­for­esta­tion Plan in­cludes 1,420,000 acres of land across the pub­lic, pri­vate and com­mu­nal spheres: 350,000 acres for govern­ment use, 300,000 for pri­vate sec­tors and 770,000 for a com­mu­nity-planted for­est.

As­sur­ing that the De­part­ment of Forestry will meet this long-term goal to re­pop­u­late Myan­mar’s once-vi­brant forests, U Myo Min said, “Both or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als’ do­na­tions to plant trees help to sup­port the re­for­esta­tion of Myan­mar.”

Myan­mar had the third-high­est an­nual rate of for­est re­duc­tion, just be­hind de­for­esta­tion-plagued Brazil and In­done­sia, ac­cord­ing to the Global For­est Re­sources.

Since 2010, Myan­mar has lost more than 546,000 hectares (over 1.3 mil­lion acres) of for­est on av­er­age each year, the UN’s Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion said in a 2015 re­port.

The chunk of for­est lost an­nu­ally is about the size of fel­low ASEAN coun­try Brunei, and rep­re­sents about 2 per­cent of the Myan­mar’s to­tal for­est cover.

Re­for­esta­tion ef­forts have been flagged as a way to stem the rapid loss as well as be­ing a cost-ef­fec­tive mea­sure to counter sea­sonal flood­ing.

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