In an interview with 7Day News of Myanmar, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC), Ohn Win, addressed the challenges faced in his administration; how to protect the remaining natural forests and is it possible to rehabilitate degraded forests so as to restore some lost forest cover?
He further explained that the two challenges are closely linked to end illegal timber trade. Whilst efforts made on forest protection and restoration are important, it is also needed to repair and recover waterways and dams and improve watershed management.
A first step would be regulation of the import and sale of chainsaws. This is to counter the growing illegal timber trade, which many experts said is stemmed from poverty and weak law enforcement.
MONREC plans to undertake a field resource inventory and follow up with satellite mapping to be repeated at periodic intervals.