Myanmar commits to address gaps in timber legality assurance system for improved forest governance
The Government of Myanmar has committed to improving the country’s timber legality assurance system following the release of a report that analysed the “gaps” in the system in the context of internationally recognised principles, requirements and best practices.
The Myanmar Forest Certification Committee (MFCC) commissioned the gap analysis report in early 2016, with technical support from the FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Myanmar first developed its Timber Legality Assurance System (MTLAS) in response to efforts by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to establish standardised regional criteria for timber legality, furthering ASEAN’s efforts to create an integrated regional economy. Since Myanmar entered the preparation phase for a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union (EU) in 2015, the focus has returned to improving the MTLAS to provide robust assurance that wood exported to the EU comes from legal sources.
The results of the MTLAS Gap Analysis report (PDF) were shared at a consultative workshop with 150 national and international stakeholders in Yangon in February 2017. Although the MTLAS is based on the current national legal framework and a well-established government verification system, the report recommends a number of key improvements.