PLANS are under way to extend the forest reserve area up to 9.6 million acres over 15 years as of this year, Deputy Director General U Kyaw Kyaw Lwin of the Forest Department told media in a workshop in Yangon yesterday.
Forests account for 23.83 acres of the whole area of the country, with the deputy director general saying that the country’s 30-year plan aims to increase the forestry acreage to 30%. The plan was first put into action in 2001.
According to U Kyaw Kyaw Lwin, 80% of the country’s population depend on forests for fuel. The latest national census shows that the country has a population of over 51 million people.
The Food and Agriculture Orgainsation (FAO) ranked the country as the third worst for deforestation following last year’s survey which revealed that the country was left with 42.92% forest coverage.
Activists described excessive timber extraction for commercial purpose as the main cause of widespread deforestation.