After banning timber log exports in April to reduce deforestation and better regulate the timber industry, the government will take initiative to gradually reduce timber extraction, according to a senior government official.
Timber will now be imported from outside the country to supply the timber processing industry if necessary, U Win Tun, union minister for Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, said.
“Timber production will be reduced to half of what is normally produced in the past few years. The cut is aimed to reach a sustainable amount of production based on the resource-related factors and statistics,” he said.
While raw timber logs are banned from export, partly processed timber or processed timber goods are allowed to be exported.
“We will produce (timber) within a limit. We will not allow extraction that causes deforestation,” U Win Tun said.
The government will provide support to the wood processing factories in Myanmar. Timber imports are planned if the material demands of the factories are not met by local production.
However, as Myanmar has no legislation or policies regarding timber imports, the regulatory framework should be relevant and smooth, said U Kyaw Win, managing director of National Wood Industry.
“Traders have also provided inputs to ensure transparency in setting taxes and establishment of an encouraging and attractive tax framework,” U Win Tun said.
In addition, as part of the initiative to promote the local timber-based industry, the government said it has no intention to expand forest resource extraction. Existing timber production will be reduced gradually to the eventual point of no extraction, the minister said.