Strengthening sustainable forest management in Myanmar

“Forest certification has the potential to greatly support Myanmar’s forest sector and contribute to the ongoing reform process,” said Dr Nyi Nyi Kyaw, Director General of the Forest Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation of Government of Myanmar at the launch of a new initiative to promote sustainable forest management in Myanmar.

The initiative will develop and test tools that support legal, sustainable and transparent forest products trade and is implemented jointly by PEFC International and the Myanmar Forest Certification Committee (MFCC).

“The Forest Department recognises the value of this project towards strengthening the MFCC,” said Dr Kyaw.

The primary focus of the project, supported by Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, is to strengthen and operationalise the national forest certification system in Myanmar.

“We very much look forward to this opportunity to partner with PEFC,” said U Shwe Kyaw, MFCC Chairman.

“MFCC wishes to become a PEFC member as soon as possible and we will continue to work on forest certification system to achieve international recognition through PEFC. In the short-term we will also promote PEFC’s Chain of Custody certification and due diligence system as a solution to bolster traceability of wood flows.”

A knowledge platform and series of pilot projects will be coordinated through the project. By bringing together many partners to develop and test verification tools and approaches, the project strives to build technical capacity and illustrate best practice within a complex environment.

Pilot projects will support the roll-out, testing and improvement of supply chain verification. They will also promote sustainable forest management practices in the context of natural forests, community forests and existing and future plantations.

“Partnerships are a really important aspect of this project,” concluded Sarah Price, Head of Projects and Development at PEFC International. “So our focus during the project launch this week was to meet with a wide-range of stakeholders, share perspectives and identify opportunities for collaboration.”

“By increasing cooperation amongst the many committed actors working within the country’s forest sector the project will deliver tangible, small-scale impact in the short-term. While in the longer-term it will inform the ongoing reform process.”