This paper is the main output of a research project initiated by Pyoe Pin, and led by ECCDI with support from the University of East Anglia, whose aim has been to fill the gap in knowledge over the progress of Community Forestry in Myanmar through a systematic study. This paper presents the key data and findings, and offers policy recommendations based on these.
Of Myanmar‟s 67.6 m ha land area, forests currently cover around 48%, although there has been a declining trend for the last century (they covered over 65% early in the 20th Century). The declining trend is particularly dramatic for dense forests, which have more than halved in the last twenty years, from covering 45.6% of land in 1990, the single largest land use, to now just 19.9%.
The long -term decline in forests, is due to a combination of factors; change of land use (especially land hunger from the growing population), commercial timber harvesting (and the indirect effect of increasing accessibility through road construction), and also intensifying pressure on remaining forests for livelihood needs especially fuelwood.