Conservation of Forests and Trees

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  • Khin Maung Oo
  • Since time immemorial, natural forests and trees have grown exuberantly and abundantly in Myanmar. It was a pleasant place for the people to live in, as it had been sparsely populated and trees in the regions in which it rained too much, had grown heavily so much so that sunshine did not shed its light onto the ground.
    With the increasing population and unrestricted deforestation, the numbers of trees have been decreasing and we are severely suffering from climate change. As a consequence of deforestation we have been suffering from flash floods, torrential rains and drought.
    According to data collected in 1918, 68.9%of the area in Myanmar had been covered by forests with only 42.92% in December 2015, reducing by 20% of the forest area within 80 years. It was a great loss for the country.
    Surveys carried out every 5 years by FAO had shown that 51.54% of the country was covered by forests in 2000, 49.25% in 2005, 46.96% in 2010 and 42.92% in 2015. The area covered by forests had been decreasing.
    Why have very precious trees been cut down in such an unrestricted way? The only answer to this question is none other than greed and selfish interests. It must be said that those who had cut down trees and forests and those who have the duty to protect them from being destroyed are responsible for it. Giving too much favor to a handful of people led to great loss for the public.
    Now, conservation of forests and reforestation is being implemented. Though we all know the evil effects of deforestation, illegal cutting down of trees is still being done almost on a daily basis. There may have been difficulties in seeking out and arresting those who are responsible for illegal cutting down of trees due to security situations of the broader areas. Yet, prevention must be made for the interest of the people under the careful surveillance of those responsible in these border areas.
    It is not sufficient to prevent illegal logging with existing teams and organizations. As there are people in every region, people’s forces must be exerted. The public must be organized by sharing educative talks on trees and forests. Campaigns for reforestation and reducing deforestation must be performed with awareness and alertness by people’s co-operation.
    Though the State had been carrying out plantation of forests since 2007, there are still limitations so success is small. As it is difficult to implement with the State’s effort alone, private forest plantations must be encouraged.
    Forests are as precious as gold. Myanmar fell into the hands of imperialists on account of teak. Simultaneously, the country is experiencing climate change due to deforestation. Provided that forests are conserved and planted systematically, our forest areas will increase again and we will be able to regain our good weather.
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