Almost 30 million hectares of forest area may be lost in the Mekong region by 2030, according to the Living Forests Report from WWF Myanmar.
The forest area in Great Mekong would diminish by between 15 and 30 million hectares by 2030, due to farming, plant cultivation, animal husbandry and illegal timber trade. Eighty percent of the forest lost will likely happen in eleven regions around the globe which have monsoon seasons.
The report also says that amount of forest loss on a global scale will be up to 170 million hectares between 2010 and 2030 if the current situations are not rectified.
According to official data, the total forest coverage area is around 100 million hectares.
WWF International director general Marco Lambertini said, “We need proper land usage plans to be able to preserve the long term value of old growth forests.”
Deforestation has a huge impact on climate and environmental changes and it is one of the most dangerous factors that inhibits the development of Myanmar economy, said Dr Htun Lwin, a renowned climatologist.
The report also says that the forest area has been reduced by one third between 1973 and 2009 in Mekong region. The reasons are animal husbandry, plantation and irregular territory expansion for farming done by owners of small farming businesses.
Moreover, timber production and wood cutting are also a major cause of forest deterioration. Businesses related to mining, hydroelectricity, and infrastructure projects such as road building have increased.