A total of 8,964 acres (3,628 hectares) of forest currently managed by the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF) will be privatised and sold to local and foreign investors, according to a ministry announcement.
An official from Forest Department under the ministry said that forests in Kachin, Tanintharyi, Bago, Magway, Rakhine and Shan state are up for grabs for local and foreign firms who are interested in establishing private tree plantations.
He said the department has surveyed the areas around the country where there are not enough trees and studied which type of trees would be suitable for those areas.
Before 2005-06 fiscal year, forests were controlled by the government, and private logging was done in secret.
U Bar Bar Cho, joint secretary of the Myanmar Timber Merchant Association, said, “We got permission to plant trees for private plantations after 2005-06. We have seen more development in replanting forests after that.”
“Most people want to plant only teak in Myanmar and teak wood is considered mature after 30 years. So, these investors are long term investors. Laws concerning forest management should be strengthened in order to prevent losses for them.”
According to statistics from the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, there are 29,794,721.62 acres of re-planted forest and 11,652,940.77 acres of old growth forest, for a total of 41,447,653.39 acres in Myanmar.