Environment


The illegal logging of rosewood in Myanmar and throughout the region highlights the challenge of preservation in the absence of adequate enforcement.
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Residents raise environmental, health concerns
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The palm oil sector may be set for a take-off in southern Myanmar, but experts are divided on whether the controversial crop can be sustainable in the long term.
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Burmese tree species tamalan and padauk are disappearing at an extremely rapid pace as Chinese traders have begun targeting their high-value wood, and the species could be logged to extinction in Burma within as little as three years, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has warned.
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Burma and the Netherlands resumed water management cooperation in 2013 after a hiatus of some 25 years. During a recent visit by the Dutch minister of infrastructure and transport, both sides expanded the cooperation and revealed plans for a joint US$20 million pilot project to improve use of the Irrawaddy River.
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Lower House speaker Thura Shwe Mann has urged the government to explain its plans to build six controversial hydro-power projects on the Thanlwin River.
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Inle Lake is drying up, and could disappear within the next century if stronger measures are not taken to preserve it, experts warn.
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Myanmar’s forests are the final frontier for the logging of tropical hardwoods in mainland Southeast Asia.
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More than 10,000 mangrove trees will be planted in Pathein, the capital of the Irrawaddy Delta region that often sees massive flooding during the rainy season, sometimes forcing inundated local residents to flee their homes.
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Myanmar government will carry out maintenance work on two major rivers — Ayeyawaddy and Chindwin in the country, aiming at improving navigation on the two rivers, official media reported Thursday.
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People should prepare immediately for a heat-wave as potentially record-breaking temperatures look set to envelop many parts of Burma, according to Tun Lwin, the former head of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.
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The destruction of Myanmar’s forests must be curbed to prevent climate change, environmentalist U Tin Than told Mizzima on April 23.
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A total of 3,200 civil servants have faced legal action during the past 10 years for involvement in illegal logging, the director-general of the Forest Department in Nay Pyi Taw, U Zaw Win, said on April 22.
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Sule Pagoda Road in downtown Rangoon is famous for its role in Burma’s turbulent recent history. With its golden pagoda rising at one end, it has always served as a popular gathering point for street protests.
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Communities in northern Shan State have grown worried over two large hydropower dams planned on the Salween River and its tributary, after government officials and representatives of a Burmese and Chinese company informed them about the projects last month, Shan NGOs said Tuesday.
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A ban on all raw timber exports from Burma came into effect on Tuesday, in an attempt to rein in one of the country’s highly lucrative and notoriously corrupt extractives. The new regulation, which criminalises cross-border trade of unrefined wood products, is meant to stop the flow of raw resources and encourage development of value-added processing industries, though many are sceptical of the government’s ability to accomplish that outcome.
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An international environmental organization said it is working with the Burmese government to create a national park in Kachin State’s Hsalaw Township in order to protect the forests of the critically endangered Myanmar Snub-nosed Monkey, which are being logged by traders supplying timber to nearby China.
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Between 2000 and 2013, Burma’s rich forests were decimated through authorized logging as well as a massive illegal timber trade that saw 22.8 million cubic meters of wood with an estimated total value of US$8 billion leave the country, a new report says. (more…)

It is still home to some of the most pristine forests in Southeast Asia. But forest experts warn that Myanmar is fast losing its woodlands due to a combination of commercial logging, agricultural expansion and firewood harvesting.
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Where the Indian Ocean rolls toward Myanmar’s southwestern coast, a lacework of 800 islands rises, fringed with shimmering beaches of no footprints.
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