Myanmar is well known for its natural Teak (Tectona grandis) forests. Of the world’s 19 million hectares of natural Teak forests, more than 16 million are found in Myanmar.
Because of Myanmar’s wide geographical spread, its forests are very varied. The forests types are mixed deciduous forest (38% of the total forest area); hill evergreen forest (25%); evergreen forest (16%); dry forest (10%); deciduous dipterocarp forest (5%) and tidal, beach, dune and swamp forest (4%). Myanmar is well known for its natural Teak (Tectona grandis) forests, which are classified among the mixed deciduous forests. Of the world’s 19 million hectares of natural Teak forests, more than 16 million are found in Myanmar (ITTO, 2011).
According to the FAO (2015) Myanmar has around 29.0 million hectares of forested land, which constitutes to 44.2% of the total land area. Around 28.1 million hectares are primary or otherwise naturally regenerated forest and around 944 thousand hectares are planted forest.
The annual rate of deforestation in Myanmar was 1.2% for the period 1990-2015 (FAO, 2015) with rapid expansion of commercial agriculture, alongside legal and illegal logging, and the clearance of forest areas for infrastructural projects being the main drivers (Forest Trends, 2015).
The country has labelled approximately 7% of its land area (about 4.5 million hectares) under the Protected Areas System Working Circle, which covers National Parks and Sanctuaries. According to the National Forest Master Plan the country aims to have 10% of the total land area under protected areas in 2030 (FAO, 2015).
The full 100% of the forest area is owned by the state, but certain management rights can be granted to communities or private companies. However, there are some forest areas (about 41 000 ha) that are not under “state ownership”, but are brought under community forests owned by the local people with long-term lease permission of the government.
|Land surface||65.8 million hectares|
|Forest cover||29.0 million hectares (44.2%); mostly other naturally regenerated forest|
|Production forest||20.5 million hectares designated for production|
|Forest ownership||100% publicly owned
|Annual change rate||-1.2 % per year; over the past 25 years (1990-2015)|
Source: FAO, 2015
See also: Global Forest Ressources Assessment 2020, FAO