Overview of Forest Sector

Myanmar has about 42.19% of the country’s land area covered by forest resources, accounting for 28.5 million ha. Myanmar possesses great variation in topography and climatic conditions, and six major forest types can be found in the country, ranging from mangrove forests, dry forests, deciduous dipterocarp, and hill and temperate forests. Among these, mixed deciduous forests and hill and temperate evergreen forests are the major forest types, covering an area of 38.20% and 26.92%, respectively. Of the total forest cover, the closed forest is accounted with an area of 12,260,000 ha (12.26 million ha) and the open forest is 16,284,000 ha (16.28 million ha).[1][2][3]

Under the management of the Forest Department, Myanmar’s forest area is designated as Reserved Forest (RF), Protected Public Forest (PPF), and Protected Area (PA). The collective constitution of RF and PPF is termed as Permanent Forest Estate (PFE). RF has the best quality and high commercial value but grants no harvesting rights to the public. On the other hand, PPF gives the public some harvesting rights but has lower commercial value. PA aims to preserve diverse ecosystems and the species richness of Myanmar.[4]

As of August, 2021, the RF area is accounted with an area of 12,017,240.5 ha (12.02 million ha), and PPF is 5,309,205.5 ha (5.31 million ha). The current achievement of country’s total PFE (RF+ PPF) is approximately about 17,326 446.0 ha (17.33 million ha) which covered 25.61% of the national target set up in the 30-years National Forestry Master Plan [3][4]. As of August, 2021, an estimated 4,121,496.25 ha of distinct forest ecosystems has been preserved under the category of Protected Area (PA) which covered 6.09% of the national target set up in the 30-years National Forestry Master Plan[3][4]. Of the total PAs, 8 PAs have been designated as the ASEAN Heritage Parks, 5 PAs recognized as the Ramsar Wetland sites, and 2 PAs acknowledged as UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Reserve-MAB[3].

Forests play an important role in contributing to Myanmar’s economy, and socio-economic and well-being of the local people as over 70% of the country’s population resides in rural area and mainly depend on forest resources for food, fodder, shelter, and fuel. As deforestation surge continues in Myanmar, however, the forest cover area decreased from 57.9% of the country area in 1990 to 42.19% in 2020, ranking the seventh-most deforested country in the world[1].

The Myanmar government has made efforts stepped up to stop deforestation through the National Forestry Master Plan, Myanmar Reforestation and Rehabilitation Programme and National REDD+ Strategy. The National Land Use Policy (2016) which is one of the main guiding elements for national land-use administration aims to promote sustainable land use management, strengthen secure land tenure and protect customary land tenure rights of the ethnic nationalities. In addition, the updated Nationally Determined Contributions in July 2021 set out the mitigation targets in the array of sectors and made a commitment to halt and reduce deforestation through promoting reforestation and rehabilitation, forest protection and conservation.

[1] FAO. 2020. Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020. Main Report. FAO, Rome. 
[2] FAO-Country Report of Myanmar. 2020.
[3] Forest Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.
[4] Forest Department. 2020. Forestry in Myanmar. Forest Department, Myanmar.

Forest Policy Archive

DATETYPETITLEENGLISHNATIONAL LANGUAGE
2017-18 to 2026-27Strategy/PlanMyanmar Reforestation and Rehabilitation ProgrammeLink
2001-2002 to 2030-2031Strategy/PlanThe National Forestry Master PlanLink
-Strategy/PlanNational REDD+ StrategyLink
2021Strategy/PlanMyanmar's Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the UNFCCCLink
2020ReportForestry in MyanmarLink
2019PolicyNational Environmental PolicyLinkLink
2019PolicyMyanmar Climate Change PolicyLinkLink
2019InstructionsCommunity Forestry Instructions (Revision on 1995, and 2016 Community Forestry Instructions)Link
2019RulesForest Rules (Draft) (Adds to and revises 1995 Forest Rules )LinkLink
2018LawForest Law (Revision of 1992 Forest Law)Link
2018lawConservation of Biodiversity and Protected Areas Law (Revision of 1994 Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law)Link
2018LawConservation of Biodiversity and Protected Areas Rules (Adds to and revises 2002 Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Rules )Link
2016PolicyNational Land Use PolicyLinkLink
2015Strategy/PlanMyanmar's National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP)Link 
2014RulesEnvironmental Conservation RulesLink
2012LawEnvironmental Conservation LawLink
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