IN THE past 15 months, 1,425 cases of illegal logging have been registered by officials in Magway Region, with forest authorities confiscating over 2,600 tons of illegal timber and 345 trucks, according to data from authorities.
The Magway Region Forestry Department has reported almost 1,150 cases of illegal smuggling of teak and hardwood during the last fiscal year, 2017-2018, confiscating 1,950 tons of illegally-transported timbers and 286 vehicles. From April through June this year, 276 illegal logging cases have been registered in the region, with authorities seizing 656 tons of illegal timber and 59 vehicles.
The forestry authorities said they are making significant efforts to uncover more cases of unlawful smuggling of wood and other forest-based products through projects that focus on community-based reporting systems. U Myint Thein Khine, Director of the regional Forest Department, said that members of the Forest Department are trying to uncover illegal logging cases on a daily basis, without fear for their safety, although there is a need for more staff members. Public involvement plays a very important role in uncovering illegal logging cases, and thanks to the community, the department has apprehended offenders with illegal timbers.
He went on to say that the department not only combats the illegal trade of forest products, but also carries out tree-planting projects to protect the dry zone from natural disasters. It annually grows 900,000 plants, and over the past 15 months, it developed 17,384 acres of forest plantations.