According to a recently published study, political and economic unrests in Myanmar are contributing towards loss of intact forest in the last decade.
According to the study, the country has managed to retain its original forest cover but the intact forest areas saw increasing declination largely due to illegal logging operations. The researchers found out that more than 63 percent of Myanmar was covered with forest area and out of which, 38 percent of the forest is intact forest area. However, researchers found out that the intact forest declined more than 11 percent during the period of research. Researchers identified several hotspot in an attempt to protect the forest areas.
Talking about the declining figure, Dr. Qiongyu Huang states: “We found that forests cover 42,365,729 ha or 63% of Myanmar, making it one of the most forested countries in the region. However, severe logging, expanding plantations, and degradation pose increasing threats.
“Only 38% of the country’s forests can be considered intact with canopy cover >80%. Between 2002 and 2014, intact forests declined at a rate of 0.94% annually, totaling more than 2 million ha forest loss.”
Bhagwat T, Hess A, Horning N, Khaing T, Thein ZM, Aung KM, et al. (2017) Losing a jewel – Rapid declines in Myanmar’s intact forests from 2002-2014. PLoS ONE 12(5): e0176364.
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