|Title:|| ||APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION - China’s trade in illegal timber (text, video and Burmese press release)
|Date of publication:|| ||29 November 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||This report covers several countries in Asia and Africa....."Myanmar contains some of the most significant
natural forests left in the Asia Pacific region,
host to an array of biodiversity and vital to the
livelihoods of local communities. Forests are
estimated to cover 48 per cent of the country’s
land. Yet other recent estimates put forest
cover at just 24 per cent.
These vital forests are disappearing rapidly. Myanmar has one
of the worst rates of deforestation on the planet, with 18 per
cent of its forests lost between 1990 and 2005. Myanmar’s
forest sector is rife with corruption and illegality, leading to
over-harvesting and smuggling. Natural teak from Myanmar is
especially sought after on the international market for its
unique characteristics and availability.
Since the late 1990s, neighbouring China has imported large
volumes of timber from Myanmar, the bulk of which have been
logged and traded illegally. In 1997, China imported 300,000
cubic metres of timber from Myanmar; by 2005 this had risen
to 1.6 million cubic metres....In April 2012, EIA investigators travelled to the southern
Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Yunnan to examine current
dynamics of the illicit cross-border trade in logs from Myanmar,
especially Kachin State. The investigation involved monitoring
crossing points on the Yunnan-Kachin border, surveying
wholesale timber markets to assess the origin of wood supplies,
and undercover meetings with Chinese firms trading and
processing timber from Myanmar.
The investigation revealed continuing transport of logs across
the border, despite the 2006 agreements between the two
countries to halt such trade. Chinese traders confirmed that as
long as taxes are paid at the point of import, logs are allowed in
despite a commitment from the Yunnan provincial government
to allow in only timber accompanied by documents from the
Myanmar authorities attesting to its legal origin. As the
authorities dictate that all wood exports must be handled
by the Myanmar Timber Enterprise and shipped via Rangoon,
logs moving across the land border to Yunnan cannot possibly
Field visits uncovered movement of temperate hardwood timber
species from the mountains of Kachin State into central Yunnan via several crossing points, with trade in teak and rosewood
centred around the border town of Ruili further south. The
contrast in the condition of the forests along the border was
striking; while forests in the mountainous region on the
Chinese side of the border are relatively intact, with large areas
protected in the Gaoligong Nature Reserve, across the border in
Kachin the devastation wreaked by logging is clearly visible.
Chinese wood traders confirmed that supplies were coming
from further inside Kachin, as timber within a hundred kilometres
of the border has been logged out, and told how deals are done
with insurgent groups to buy up entire mountains for logging.
One local community elder in Kachin interviewed by EIA
summed up the situation: “Myanmar is China’s supermarket
and Kachin State is their 7-11.”..."|
|Language:|| ||English; (Burmese press release)|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.42MB), 142K-Burmese press release; Adobe Flash (- 16 minutes, video)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/EIA-Appetite_for_Destruction-PR-bu.pdf (Press release, Burmese)
|Date of entry/update:|| ||29 November 2012|
|Title:|| ||An Overview of the Market Chain for China's Timber Product Imports from Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||2005|
|Description/subject:|| ||This article on China's forest trade with Myanmar builds on an earlier study by the same authors: “Navigating the Border: An Analysis of the China-Myanmar Timber Trade” [link]. The analysis in this study moves on to identify priority issues along the market chain of the timber trade from the Yunnan-Myanmar border to Guangdong Province and Shanghai on China’s eastern seaboard. Give the increased intensity of logging in northern Myanmar after the introduction of stringent limits on domestic timber production in China in 1998, the authors argue it is now downstream buyers on China’s eastern seaboard who are driving the timber business along the Yunnan Myanmar border. While the boom in the timber business has provided income generating opportunities for many, from villagers in Myanmar to Chinese migrant businessmen, forests that can be cost-effectively harvested in Myanmar along its border with Yunnan are in increasingly short supply. This entails a need to explore priority areas such as transitioning border residents away from a reliance on the timber industry, assessing and mitigating the cross-border ecological damage from logging in Kachin and Shan States, and developing a more sustainable supply of timber in Yunnan through improving state plantations and collective forest management.|
|Author/creator:|| ||Fredrich Kahrl, Horst Weyerhaeuser, Su Yufang|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Forest Trends, Center for International Forestry Research, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.05 MB)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.forest-trends.org/documents/files/doc_152.pdf
|Date of entry/update:|| ||18 August 2010|
|Title:|| ||Navigating the Border: An Analysis of the China-Myanmar Timber Trade
|Date of publication:|| ||2004|
|Description/subject:|| ||Summary: China’s trade in timber products with Myanmar grew substantially from 1997-2002, from 295,474 m3
(round wood equivalent, RWE) in 1997 to 947,765 m3 (RWE) in 2002. Despite increased volume,
timber product imports from Myanmar comprised only 2.5% of China’s total timber product imports
from 1997-2002. However, the small fraction of total imports masks two important features: i)
timber imports from Myanmar are primarily logged in slow-growing natural forests in northern
Myanmar; and ii) logging activities that support the China-Myanmar timber trade are increasingly
concentrated along the border in northern Myanmar’s Kachin State. This greater concentration of
the timber trade has begun to have substantial ecological and socio-economic impacts within China’s
The majority of China’s timber product imports from Myanmar are shipped overland through
neighboring Yunnan Province – 88% of all imports from 1997-2002 according to China’s national
customs statistics. Of these, more than 75% of timber product inflows passed through the three
prefectures in northwest Yunnan that border Kachin State. Most of these logging activities are
currently concentrated in three areas — Pianma Township (Nujiang Prefecture), Yingjiang County
(Dehong Prefecture), and Diantan Township (Baoshan Municipality). Logging that sustains the
timber industry along Yunnan’s border with Kachin State is done by Chinese companies that are
operating in Myanmar but are based along the border in China. Logging activities in Kachin State,
from actual harvesting to road building, are almost all carried out by Chinese citizens.
Although the volume of China’s timber product imports from Myanmar is small by comparison, the
scale of logging along the border is considerable, and border townships and counties have become
over-reliant on the timber trade as a primary means of fiscal revenue. As the costs of logging in
Myanmar rise, this situation is increasingly becoming economically unsustainable, and shifts in the
timber industry will have significant implications for the future of Yunnan’s border region.
Importantly, a large proportion of logging and timber processing along the border is both managed
and manned by migrant workers. Because of companies’ and workers’ low level of embeddedness in
the local economy, border village communities are particularly vulnerable to swings in the timber
trade. More broadly, timber trade has done little to promote sustained economic growth along the
China-Myanmar border as profits, by and large, have not been redirected into local economies.
In addition to socio-economic pressures, the combination of insufficient regulation in China and
political instability in northern Myanmar has exacted a high ecological price. The uncertain regulatory
and contractual environment has oriented the border logging industry toward short-term harvesting
and profits, rather than investments in longer-term timber production. Degradation in Myanmar’s
border forests will have an impact on China’s forests, as wildlife, pest and disease management,
forest fire prevention and containment, and controlling natural disasters caused by soil erosion all
become increasingly difficult. While political reform in northern Myanmar is a precondition for improved regulation and
management of Myanmar’s forests, the Chinese government has a series of economic, trade, security
and environmental policy options that it could pursue to ensure its own ecological security and
enhance the socio-economic benefits of trade. Potential avenues explored in this analysis include: i)
promoting longer-term border trade and distributing benefits from the timber trade, ii) improving
border control and industry regulation, iii) enhancing environmental security and strengthening
environmental cooperation, and iv) exploring flexibility in the logging ban...
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
LOGGING IN MYANMAR: A BACKGROUND;
BASIC TRADE; GEOGRAPHY;
AN ANALYSIS OF AGGREGATE IMPORT STATISTICS, 1997-2002;
THE LOGGING BAN IN YUNNAN;
THE TIMBER PRODUCTION CHAIN: INTRODUCTION;
THE TIMBER PRODUCTION CHAIN: EXTRACTION;
THE TIMBER PRODUCTION CHAIN: PROCESSING;
THE TIMBER PRODUCTION CHAIN: DISTRIBUTION AND EXPORT;
TIMBER TRADE TRENDS BY PREFECTURE;
BORDER AND TRADE ADMINISTRATION: CHINA;
FOREST AND TRADE ADMINISTRATION: MYANMAR;
DEVELOPMENTS WITH POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CHINA-MYANMAR
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS;
|Author/creator:|| ||Fredrich Kahrl, Horst Weyerhaeuser, Su Yufang|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Forest Trends, World Agroforestry Centre|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.28MB)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:x5pqY-71SO8J:126.96.36.199/~foresttr/publicat...|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||18 August 2010|
|Title:|| ||A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS: The uncertain future of Burma’s forests
|Date of publication:|| ||October 2003|
|Description/subject:|| ||A Briefing Document by Global Witness. October 2003...
Table of Contents... Recommendations...
Natural Resources and Conflict in Burma;
China-Burma relations and logging in Kachin State;
Thailand-Burma relations and logging in Karen State...
Part One: Background:
The Roots of Conflict;
Strategic location, topography and natural resources;
The Peoples of Burma;
Ethnic diversity and politics;
British Colonial Rule...
Independence and the Perpetuation of Conflict:
Conflict following Independence and rise of Ne Win;
Burma under the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP);
The Four Cuts counter – insurgency campaign;
The 1988 uprising and the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC); The 1990 General Election and the drafting of a new Constitution;
The Detention of Aung San Suu Kyi...
The Administration of Burma: Where Power Lies:
The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC);
The Three Generals;
Part Two: Logging in Burma:-
The importance of the timber trade;
Involvement of the Army;
Forest cover, deforestation rates and forest degradation...
The Timber Industry in Burma:
The Administration of forestry in Burma;
Forest Management in Burma, the theory;
The Reality of the SPDC-Controlled Timber Trade...
The decline of the Burma Selection System and Institutional Problems;
Import – Export Figures;
SPDC-controlled logging in Central Burma;
The Pegu Yomas;
The illegal timber trade in Rangoon;
SLORC/SPDC control over logging in ceasefire areas...
Chart of armed ethnic groups. April 2002;
How the SLORC/SPDC has used the ceasefires: business and development...
Logging and the Tatmadaw;
Logging as a driver of conflict;
Logging companies and conflict on the Thai-Burma border;
Controlling ceasefire groups through logging deals...
Forced labour logging...
Opium and Logging:
Logging and Opium in Kachin State;
Logging and Opium in Wa...
Conflict on the border:
Conflict on the border;
Thai-Burmese relations and Resource Diplomacy’;
Thais prioritise logging interests over support for ethnic insurgents;
The timber business and conflict on the Thai-Burma border;
Thai Logging in Karen National Union territory;
The end of SLORC logging concessions on the Thai border;
The Salween Scandal in Thailand;
Recent Logging on the Thai-Burma border...
The Nature of Conflict in Karen State;
The Karen National Union (KNU);
The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA);
Logging in Karen State;
Logging and Landmines in Karen State;
Charcoal Making in Nyaunglebin District...
The China-Burma Border:
Chinese-Burmese relations and Natural Resource Colonialism;
The impact of logging in China;
The impact of China’s logging ban;
The timber trade on the Chinese side of the border...
The Nature of Conflict in Kachin State;
The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO);
Jade and the KIA’s insurgent Economy;
Dabak and Mali Hydroelectric Power Projects;
The New Democratic Army (Kachin) (NDA(K));
The Kachin Defence Army (KDA);
How the ceasefires have affected insurgent groups in Kachin State; HIV/AIDS and Extractive Industries in Kachin State ;
Logging in Kachin State;
Gold Mining in Kachin State;
The N’Mai Hku (Headwaters) Project;
Road Building in Kachin State...
Logging in Wa State;
Timber Exports through Wa State;
Road building in Wa State;
Plantations in Wa State...
Appendix I: Forest Policies, Laws and Regulations;
National Policy, Laws and Regulations;
National Commission on Environmental Affairs;
International Environmental Commitments...
Appendix II: Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG):
References. [the pdf version contains the text plus maps, photos etc. The Word version contains text and tables only]|
|Language:|| ||English (Thai & Kachin summaries)|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Global Witness|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (4 files: 1.8MB, 1.4MB, 2.0MB, 2.1MB) 126 pages|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.globalwitness.org
|Date of entry/update:|| ||20 July 2010|
|Title:|| ||Burma Solid Wood Products Annual 2001
|Date of publication:|| ||16 February 2001|
|Description/subject:|| ||Report Highlights:
Burma’s official wood exports should remain at around 475,000 cubic meters. The
industry in Burma is faced with over logging due to continued unchecked illicit
trading in logs...EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Burma remains more than 50 percent forested and has sizeable stands of commercial hard woods
due to a sound policy of sustainable forest management that has been in place since British times.
While commercial extraction of teak and tropical hardwoods is controlled under Forest
Department regulations and monitoring, population growth and the resulting demand for fuel
wood and agricultural land are putting pressure on both the hardwood and other forested areas.
Illegal logging of hardwoods has and continues to be a problem in border areas, but the largest
threat to Burma’s forest resources is encroachment by villagers seeking wood for fuel and land
Accurate and reliable statistics on forest area resources, production, consumption, and trade are
somewhat difficult to obtain given the extent of illicit trade and insufficient government
resources to adequately monitor the sector. Nevertheless, post forecasts that annual production
(based on Burma’s fiscal year of April/March) of teak logs in 2000/01 will continue to be around
475,000 cubic meters. Production of other hardwood logs will be approximately 1.5 million
cubic meters. Lumber output over the same period will be about 35,000 cubic meters of teak and
240,000 cubic meters of other hardwoods.
Burma’s export trade is dominated by logs. Exports of teak logs in calendar year 2000 will likely
be similar to 1999, or about 247,000 cubic meters, while exports of other hardwood logs will
likely be between 335,000 and 400,000 cubic meters. Production of lumber and other valueadded
products for domestic use or for export is hampered by the low level of the local
The forestry sector is a good illustration of the constraints, both economic and policy, that Burma
faces. Articulate and knowledgeable bureaucrats know what their problems are and have good
ideas for resolving them. However, lack of resources, contradictory policies and programs
between Ministries, and irresistible economic incentives often prevent these ideas from being
implemented. The latter factor is a considerable problem for the forestry sector. Commercial
extraction of tropical hardwoods, both officially and outside the system, are extremely profitable
and an important earner of foreign exchange for the cash-strapped government. It is unlikely that
the existing regulations, sound as they might be, can be completely effective in curbing illicit
extraction. At the village level, the short-term economic benefits of gathering fuel wood or
clearing land for crops simply overrule the longer-term benefits of reforestation or other
environment-friendly land management techniques."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Daphne Khin Swe Swe Aye|
|Source/publisher:|| ||US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (59K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||23 September 2004|
|Title:|| ||Timber trade and wood flow study: Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||1999|
|Description/subject:|| ||Forest Resources: Natural Forests, Plantations.
Utilisation of Forest Resources:
Prices, Forest Policy,
Certification of Forest Management.
Forest Industry Production,
Pulp and Paper Industry, Production Efficiency and Waste Management.
International Wood Trade:
Demand–Supply Balance: Commercial Utilisation, Household Utilisation,
|Author/creator:|| ||Tuukka Castrén|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Regional Environmental Technical Assistance 5771 Poverty Reduction & Environmental Management in Remote Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Watersheds Project (Phase I).|
|Format/size:|| ||html, 37 pages|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||03 June 2003|