Forests and forestry in Myanmar: an overview of forestry laws, policies, and strategies

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1. Background

Myanmar is rich in natural resources thanks to its various types of forests and diverse biological resources. About 42.19% of the country’s land area is still covered by forest resources, accounting for 28.5 million hectares (FAO, 2020). Myanmar possesses great variation in topography and climatic conditions, and six major forest types can be found in the country, ranging from mangrove forests in the coastal region and dry forests and deciduous dipterocarp in the central region to hill and temperate forests in the northern part of the country (Figure 1). Of 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 (Figure 2). Myanmar’s forests play an important role in contributing to the nation’s economy and supporting the socio-economic and well-being of the local people. Over 70% of the country’s population resides in rural areas and mainly depend on forest resources for food, fodder, shelter, and fuel.