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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN MYANMAR

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

Under the Guidance of the National Health Committee, the Ministry of Health has formed a Central Food and Nutrition Committee (CFNC) with personnel from various ministries concerned. Under the CFNC, one supervisory committee and 6 working groups were formed to oversee and implement activities relating to improving household food and nutrition security of Myanmar people.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

With a view to guaranteeing the availability of generic quality, safe and hygienic food, the Government of Myanmar has enacted the National Food Law since March 1997. Both of imported and exported food items are required by the law to be checked to see if they are up to the prescribed and required standard. The manufacture of controlled food has to be done in accordance with the current food manufacturing practices. Food on the market is also tested by FDA at random.
The Government is in the process of preparing The Union of Myanmar Environmental Protection Law, and will be enacted in the very near future.
Myanmar national legislation strictly restricts the transfer of productive available land to other uses. However, agriculturally unproductive lands are allowed for use in other productive activities.
Aiming to utilize irrigation water effectively and efficiently, the government enacted water tax and embankment law, which has been in force since 1982. If unlawful manners were observed, the Water Utilization Association formed at grass root level will take action according to rules and regulations.
Keeping in line with the forest principles adopted at UNCED 1992 and in compliance with other international forestry obligations, Myanma Forest Policy was adopted in 1995, and the policy statement issued in February 1996. The policy statement has formalized the commitment and intent of the government to ensure sustainable development of forest resources while conserving wildlife and wild plants, and enhancing the ways of living of indigenous people. The old Forest Act of 1902 had been replaced by the new forest law, which was enacted in November 1992. To enable to implement the Forest Act of 1992, Forest Rules were reformulated and prescribed in December 1995. Likewise, the new Protection of Wildlife and Wild Plants and Conservation of Natural Areas Law, replacing the old Burma Wildlife Protection Act 1936 was enacted by the government in June 1994.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans

The Forest Policy (1995) has identified six imperatives, which the government must give the highest priority, in order to achieve broader national goals and objectives. These are:

Measures adopted for promoting crop diversification at the farm level are as follows:

The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation is making great efforts to enhance the development of agriculture sector to ensure food security within the country and the step up export volume so as to generate foreign exchange, which is needed for further investment to develop the overall economy of the nation. Accordingly crop production has been intensified with the following three main objectives.

  1. To gain surplus in paddy
  2. To be self-sufficient in edible oil and
  3. To escalate the production and export of pulses and industrial crops.

In order to meet the above objectives, two different approaching methods have been designed for implementation. The first approach is cropping area expansion and the second approach is to increase per unit area yield by mobilizing all available resources in combination with double cropping, multiple cropping and mixed cropping on productive lands.
Crop production is further intensified with the help of mechanized farming. With a view to accelerate the process mechanized farming model villages are being establish in all states and divisions.

The government's policy objectives to boost agricultural production included development of land resources for agricultural expansion, provision of adequate irrigation water for agricultural purposes, support for agricultural mechanization accelerated transfer of improved new technologies and development and utilization of high yielding quality seeds. The major activities currently initiated by the government are as follows.
a. Launching High Technology Rice Production Township
At present, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation has been implementing (61) high technology rice production township throughout the country by integrating agricultural technologies couple with intensive use of inputs in order to promote per unit area yield of rice, enabling to increase national rice production level.
b. High Technology Demonstration Plot
Apart from rice, high technology demonstration plots on groundnut, sesame, sunflower, maize and pulses were also performed in several places of the country aiming at to disseminate high production technologies to the local farmers.
c. Bio-fertilizer Production and Utilization
To partially fulfill total fertilizer requirement of the country and relieve the farmers from high cost of chemical fertilizers, the production and utilization of bio-fertilizers are being encouraged and campaigned. The bio-fertilizers presently in use are Effective Micro-organism (EM), biocompozer orqanic liquid fertilizers and rhizobium.
d. Integrated Pest Management
Pertaining to plant protection, integrated pest management concept has been introduced for rice cotton, oiiseed crops and pulses and studies are under way for other major crops. In the meantime, Myanmar is under preparation to participate in ASEAN IPM Knowledge Network to more knowledge, skill and information among ASEAN member's countries.
e. Model Mechanized Farming Villages
Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation launched an Integrated Rural Development Pilot Programme (IRDPP) since 1991-92 starting from one village each in three main agricultural divisions. It is a programme of new approach, programme support being mainly technical advice, training and education for improving farmers' skill, supply of information, linkage support to concerned agencies, no subsidy or no-spoon feeding type but free competition in all aspects.
This IRDPP programme was launched for three successive years. Later on a project named Model Mechanized Farming Village (MMFV) is being implemented in selected twenty-three townships putting together of former three IRDPP townships to the project. These selected MMFV will become the ideal for expansion of the utilization of farm machineries, which will create the job opportunity in rural area and increase the utilization of land potential that will become increased crop production.
f. Post Harvest Technology
To reduce waste and losses of agricultural products and to produce according to the international standards, post harvest technology on purification, grading, quality control, packaging and storing are being practiced. In order to complete quality rice in international market up grading of existing rice mill has been encouraged by the government. To reduce from dangers at the time of storage for perishable fruit and vegetables, cold storage facilities and carrying for longer storage of fruits and vegetables have been implemented leading to establish agro-based industrial development.
Myanmar remains totally pledged to the achievement of food security for all. Accordingly policies are laid down to formulate the short-term and long-term plans, aiming at eradicating poverty, improving physical and financial access to enable sustainable food security, to reinforce the productive capacity of the farmers, including vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and to combat environmental threat to food security.

With a view to improve agriculture sector and to uplift the national economy, an agriculture policy was established in 1992, which declares:

The objectives of the policy are:

In the process of implementing the SARD policy, Myanmar has five strategic approaches and they are (a) development of new agricultural land, (b) provision and adoption of agricultural machineries, (c) provision of irrigation water, (d) development and adoption of modern agro-technology, and finally (e) development and utilization of modern crop varieties.

As committed in the World Declaration of Nutrition, the Union of Myanmar has drawn up a National Plan of Action on Food and Nutrition (NPAFN) based on the principles and strategies enumerated in the plan of action of the International Conference on nutrition. The NPFAN, was drafted by the multisectoral working group with the coordination of the National Nutrition Centre (NNC) of the Department of Health and with the technical assistance of FAO and the support of FAO, UNICEF, UNDP and WHO. The working group consisted of person from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, the Ministry of Livestock Breeding and Fisheries and the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Department, who worked under the supervision of the Director Generals of the Department of Health, the Department of Agricultural Planning. Improving Household Food and Nutrition Security is one of the priority areas of activities in the NPFAN

To pursue for poverty eradication, among both urban and rural poor and sustainable food security aiming to enhance the agriculture development of the country, the government have laid down agriculture policies as follows.

The priority is also given in the specific programmes enhancing to eradicate rural poverty by the government agencies and non-government agencies mainly focus on vulnerable and disadvantaged groups of the entire country. The programmes aim at pursuing poverty eradication, sustainable food security within household and income generation at least to fulfill the minimal requirement of the individual household. The specific programme and projects are:

Decision-Making: Major Group Involvement

Regular survey on socio-economic condition, the adoption of recommended agro-technology and farmgate prices of agricultural produces are conducted throughout the country so that the opinions of the key major groups in this sector be reflected in national decision making related to sustainable agriculture. Occasional meeting of regional authorities of township and divisional / state levels with the key major groups are also important occasion to acquire information on the actual condition of these communities.
Agricultural Extension Division of the Myanma Agriculture Service, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation is actively working on providing the production-support services to the rural poor in a number of ways. Firstly, the dissemination of proven agro-technologies through conducting demonstration plot, training and visit method, farmers meeting at agriculture education camps. Pricing of farms products, and inputs except rice are no longer under the control of government and prices fluctuate with market demand. Both public and private sectors are participating in agriculture credit scheme.
The government has initiated several activities to increase non-farm employment opportunities in the rural areas. The construction of bridges, roads, new dams and reservoirs in the rural areas also creates employments for the rural people. Furthermore, the establishment of industrial zones also offers employments to the rural people.

Programmes and Projects

Proper management and use of available resources such as land, water, farm labor, agro-chemicals and technology are imperative in agriculture development activity. In developing agriculture sector, water remains crucial in enhancing crop productivity. Therefore a number of new irrigation projects, including pump irrigation, ground water irrigation is being undertaken and thus irrigated areas have increased significantly.

Myanmar is highly favored for implementing the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Programme in many crops, as pests and diseases incidence are low, the volume of pesticide use are still minimal and beneficial insects and natural enemies of plant pest are abundant. Therefore IPM is the main strategic approach in the area of plant protection to sustain agriculture development.
At present, IPM concept is being practiced on rice, pulses and beans, peanuts sesame, cotton. To successfully implement IPM programme, training for the trainers for agricultural extension worker are occasionally conducted. These agricultural extension workers regularly meet farmers during the growing season to differentiate pest and their natural enemies, and to demonstrate how to conduct pest scouting to decide whether or not to apply pesticides.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) System has been gradually established and in practice for important crops like rice, cotton, oilseed crops and pulses. Systematic use of pesticides is well demonstrated to the farmers by using scouting techniques, setting economic threshold levels and making decision for appropriate spraying.
Attempts have been also made for the production and use of organic pesticides, extracted from the neem plants which grow all over the country. A pilot neem pesticide plant was also established in 1988-89.

By the year 2000 Myanmar plans to open up new land of about 1.6 million ha. In addition water management will be improved for 0.5 million ha of the irrigated land and new irrigation projects will be implemented to irrigate 2 more million ha .of cropland. In the meantime, technology development will be carried out to increase the yield of rice, corn and pulses up to 4 ton/ha, 2.25 ton/ha and 1.0 ton/ha respectively.
Water resources are being managed according to the laws and regulations of the state. In addition to that the "Myanmar Agenda 21" laid down the following policies, so that Sustainable Fresh Water Resources Management, could be accomplished. They were:

The availability of adequate water for agriculture is a critical factor and remains crucial in enhancing per unit area yield increase. Accordingly the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation has taken the following five important measures to raise the availability of irrigation water.

At national level food production is sufficient for domestic consumption, however food security situation in some inter-country regions remains considerable. So as to enhance food production in those areas; which are fragile, vulnerable and already severely deteriorated; various projects related to the environmentally sustainable food security and community development were being implemented since 1994-95, in coordination with UNDP under HDI programmes. The main objectives, being to improve living condition of rural community, to establish income generating activities of rural community, to reduce environmental degradation and improve resource management and finally to promote sustainable agricultural development for food security.
At the same time, appropriate foundation for overall national economic development was provided by the state, especially infrastructure development, such as roads and bridges, establishment of irrigation network to promote crop production. In this programme private sector is also encouraged to participate in the developmental activities.

In Myanmar, problem soils occupy an area of about 0.96 million ha representing about 7.81% of total cultivable land stock of 12.31 million ha. Again, out of the problem soils area, about 18.75% (0.66 million ha) is occupied by the saline and alkaline soils, most of which are currently under utilization. The remaining problem soils area of about 0.3 million ha are occupied by acid sulphate soils, degraded soils, peat soils and swampy soils. Among them saline soils and alkaline soils are the most predominant problem soils of the country.
Farmers in the problem soil areas grow rice varieties which are moderately tolerant and soil salinity or adjust the sowing time when the crop can stand the salinity level, or wash out the soil with rains or irrigation water. Farmers are aware that gypsum can improve the situation. Research wing of Myanma Agriculture Service continues working on the problem to ameliorate the soil at low cost by using crop residue, and other measures.
In delta this problem is somehow managed by constructing polders with the assistance of Lower Burma Paddy Land Development Project to protect saltwater intrusion into the field and by washing out the salt from the affected soil with rainwater. The problem in dry zone is expected to gradually improve as its greening programme results its effects. Furthermore, pump irrigation projects are also very helpful in preventing salinity problems.
The government is also attempting to improve water infiltration in the catchment area by planting trees. Water quality also depends on using agro-chemicals. But at present Myanmar is not suffering serious effects or water quality since agro-chemical utilization is quite low if from compare to other countries.

Fuel wood consumption is one of the main causes of deforestation, and excessive cutting of trees for fire-wood before they are fully grown, leads to the loss of growth potential of the forest stands. Therefore, Forest Department had launched fuel-wood substitution programme to reduce pressure on the utilization of wood for fuel. The dry zone Greening Department since its creation in 1997 had distributed some 100,000 efficient cooking stoves, 9.2 million numbers (7.4 million kg) of briquettes and, the use of 45000 metric tons of agricultural residue by villagers in the dry zone was recorded over the same period. About 600000 improved cooking stoves are scheduled to be distributed during the period from 2001 to 2010, and some 108 million of briquettes are also planned to be distributed over the same period.

Apart from that the government has also made continuous efforts to sustain forest productivity in cooperation with FAO, aiming at not only to improve environment and food security, but also to efficiently utilize rural energy through establishment of community wood lots. The following three projects are being implemented to fulfill the above-mentioned objectives.

Genetic diversity is the foundation for all crops improvement programme. Various crop species such as rice, sesame, pulses and citrus have wide genetic diversities in Myanmar. Conservation of these genetic resources is of considerable importance for the present and future use in crop improvement programmes. The Seed Bank was established in the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) in 1987 and could have functioned properly only in 1997. The main objectives of the Seed Bank are:

Status

Distribution of chemicals was formally monopolized by the government. But with the present market oriented economic system, private sector is permitted to participate in this activity. As an incentive, importation of agricultural related materials, such as machineries, agro-chemicals, plants, seeds are exempted from duties.
The value of net output of agriculture sector at 1985-86 constant price for 1997-98 (provisional) recorded at kyat 26442.8 million, contributing 36 percent of total GDP and registering a growth rate of 2.9 percent over the previous year's level.
Blessed with favourable climatic condition, abundant land and water resources and freedom from natural calamity, Myanmar has been able to produce enough food for the entire nation. Successive governments of Myanmar have also been taking due responsibilities and keen interest in producing food for all the citizen. However, it is still the fact that food insecurity exists in some households in some part of country, especially in the dry zone, border areas and remote areas, due to unfavourable weather conditions, remoteness, lack of access to information on appropriate technology. So as to address food security issue, the present government, accordingly has taken necessary measures to increase food production in the rice deficit areas as well as in major agriculture areas of the country. Cropping area expansion and per unit area yield increase of crop are the basic strategic approach adopted to step up crop production.

The use of pesticides had started in Myanmar only in the 60's and the amount of their use is relatively very low. Since then the import and distribution is solely done by the concerned agency of the Government. Although Myanmar has a total crop sown area of about 9 million hectares, the annual import of pesticides remained low at about 800 metric tons, but in some few years, it rose up to 1000 mt to 1900 mt, as pests and diseases outbreaks have been low. However, it is expected that pesticides utilization will definitely increase in the future, as Myanmar gets more and more into producing high quality agriculture produces and crop intensification.

Myanmar has two distinct seasons, one is the wet season, which lasts for six months from mid-May to mid-October, and the rest is dry season. During the wet season annual rainfall received by each region is quite different.
In general, there is shortage of soil moisture in the dry zone even in the wet season, while excess moisture prevails in lower Myanmar. At the end of the wet (monsoon) season it is totally dry and most of the crops planted in the season had to rely on residual soil moisture, except those of irrigated tracts.
In order to provide supplementary irrigation for monsoon crops and full irrigation for winter season sown crops, dams, weirs, reservoirs were constructed and pump stations were established so that enough food will be produced for the growing population.

Statistics showed that Myanmar has about 876 million acre feet of water resources of that only about 2.87 % (25 million acre feet) have been utilized up to 1993. Plans are made to increase water use up to 28.85 and 31.47 million acre feet in by the year AD 2000 and 2005 respectively.
Fresh water is being used in a number of ways in Myanmar, for many purposes, such as, agriculture; livestock breeding; fresh water fish / prawn farming; household use; hydropower generation; reforestation and greening of the dry zone and water shed area; transportation and industrial use.
From the year 1988 to 1999 101 numbers of reservoirs and dams are newly constructed with the effective area acreage of 0.6 million ha. Construction of 23 reservoirs and dams are underway which will be effectively irrigable for 0.79 million ha. At the same time, 218 pump irrigation scheme has been launched to irrigate about 64000 hectares. Yearly increment of irrigation area could be observed as follows:  

Year

Irrigation Area

(000) ha.

Percent

1991-92

779.01

9.3

1992-93

785.44

9.0

1993-94

844.08

9.6

1994-95

898.76

10.0

1995-96

987.27

10.7

1996-97

1075.35

11.6

1997-98

1037.96

12.2

1998-99

1142.20

 Annual crop sown area brought under irrigation and the area of most common problems soil in Myanmar since UNCED could be observed as follow:

Sr. No.

Year

Net Sown Area

(000 ha)

Irrigated Area

(000 ha)

Irrigated Area

Percent

1

1991-92

8338

998

12.0

2

1992-93

8714

1110

12.7

3

1993-94

8738

1336

15.3

4

1994-95

8951

1555

17.4

5

1995-96

9167

1757

19.2

6

1996-97

9277

1556

16.8

7

1997-98

9278

1592

17.2

8

1998-99

9280

1724

18.0

<Problem Soils Area in Myanmar>

No.

Soil Type

Area (000 ha)

1.

2.

3.

Saline soil

Alkaline soil

Localized problem soils (acid sulphate soil, degraded soils, peaty soils, swampy soils)

607.25

52.63

300.04

Total

959.52

The collection of genetic resources under short-term and long-term storage at the Seed Bank since February 1990 to April 1998 is as follow.

No.

Crop

Total # of Collections

No of Accession Stored

Short-Term

Long-Term

1

Rice

5450

3787

3695

2

Wild rice

118

-

92

3

Wheat

1573

1250

1250

4

Maize

298

32

31

5

Sorghum

294

140

25

6

Millet

80

14

-

7

Groundnut

637

-

-

8

Sesame

105

5

-

9

Sunflower

1

1

-

10

Soy bean

2

2

2

11

Pigeon pea

112

4

4

12

Cow pea

92

72

72

13

Mung bean 111

68

64

14

Black gram

91

57

57

15

Chick pea

288

194

160

16

Butter bean

12

2

2

17

Jute

67

-

-

18

Cotton

(long staple)

Cotton

(short stpale)

15

-

-

 

Following table shows the utilization of major agricultural inputs such as fertilizer, quality seeds and pesticides in Myanmar.

<Utilization of Agricultural Inputs>

No

Particular

Unit

1994-95

1995-96

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

(Prov)

1

Fertilizers

(000mt)

316.2

370.3

321.8

235.2

243.1

Urea

"

241.3

236.2

200.6

191.8

221.9

Triple Super

Phosphate

"

71.0

100.0

63.8

30.9

11.2

Potash

"

3.9

17.5

28.9

7.7

10.0

Compound

"

-

16.6

28.5

4.8

-

2

Quality seeds

"

Rice

(000mt)

11.81

11.83

12.08

12.08

12.04

Wheat

(mt)

124.24

129.14

130.16

130.94

128.98

Maize

"

477.54

484.95

494.18

492.18

495.45

Sorghum

"

36.75

38.21

38.44

39.73

40.26

Pulses

"

1624.89

252.92

388.19

1293.33

428.22

Groundnut

"

104.73

32.85

70.29

13.66

52.71

Sesame

"

30.76

124.68

109.32

45.50

23.58

Sunflower

"

206.66

194.31

196.43

6.20

751.88

Tea

(000seedling)

85

85

90

125

125

Fruit tree

"

81

81

108

122

127

Vegetable seeds

Lb

1000

1000

600

700

780

3

Pesticides
Powder

(000 lbs)

151

192

209

177

277

Liquid

(gal)

119

167

100

114

172

File-Rural-dev.doc
Date- 18-1-99

Challenges

The main challenges to sustainable agriculture and rural development in Myanmar, could be (a) shortage of competent human resources in research and development activities, (b) lack of financial and or physical access of the farmers to the available inputs, (c) development and transfer of appropriate and sustainable agro-technology which are environmentally friendly, and (d) lack of marketing system that guarantee a fair share of benefit for all parties involved in the system.

There is widespread land degradation as population increase demands frequent land uses which are not suited to the agro-ecological conditions and due to incorrect land husbandry practices. A proper land use policy is the key to control land degradation due to improper land use and to ensure a sustainable use of land according to their productive capabilities and constraints. Up to now such a policy is lacking.
To prevent land degradation, reliable and up-to-date information on the potential and constraints of the various agro-ecological zones and the production potential of each of them based upon systematic and quantitative land suitability and productivity assessments are required. A general national soil maps was made in the sixties, but since then only little progress was made towards the creation of a national soil / land data base, due to financial and technical reasons. Young staff members urgently need training, as experienced soil scientists are getting retired at present.
Myanmar needs technical and financial assistance in this particular field.

Capacity-Building, Education, Training and Awareness-Raising

To increase awareness and participation of private sector in promoting sustainable agriculture practices, the government has initiated a number of activities, through farmers' meeting, pamphlets, radio broadcast, television, field days etc.
Myanma Agriculture Service occasionally provides local trainings on efficient and effective utilization of irrigation water to the farmers and staff.

Information

The National Nutrition Centre occasionally conducts countrywide surveys to access nutritional status, household and individual food consumption pattern for all different age groups. Finding from these surveys are of great help in implementing food and nutritional programme for improving household food and nutrition security.

Technology

In addressing sustainable agriculture issues, research and development activities are being undertaken for integrated pest management, land degradation and rehabilitation, integrated plant nutrition management and plant genetic diversity. Recommendations derived from the findings were transferred to rural communities for adoption, sometimes with the assistance of public sector. All these activities are well taken care of in a National Environmental Action Plan.

Although Myanmar is an agriculture country, with the vast land and aquatic based resources, the level of agro-chemicals use in the sector is considerably low. For a total crop sown area of about 12.3 million hectares, only 235 thousand metric tons of fertilizers had been used in 1997-98. In order to partially fulfill the basic plant nutrient required for normal growth, farmers are encouraged to apply farmyard manures and other biomass available in their surroundings. So as to improve the availability of organic based plant nutrients, a campaign on the use of effective microorganism (EM) technology is in great momentum throughout the country. By the year AD 2001-2002 EM technology will be applied to 0.40 million ha of monsoon rice. Biocompozer, which contains bagasses from sugar mill as the main components and some added major and macro elements, is being produced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, at some of sugar mills. Since the technology is acceptable to the farmers, projection is made to produce biocompozers in all the sugar mills in the coming sugarcane harvest season. Pulses and beans are growing well in almost all parts of country, as main crops or second crops. Its sole in enriching the soil with nitrogen element through symbiosis process is well appreciated by the farmers.
However Myanmar lacks a policy guideline for sustainable plant nutrition management to increase food production. Therefore, technical assistance is urgently needed in this particular area, to enhance our initiative for the benefit of all.

Moisture conservation is being promoted through the introduction of slopping agriculture land technology, construction of contour bund and contour strip, application of farmyard manure and compost, ploughing under the stubble, summer tillage and growing green manure plants such as legume, sesbania, sumhemp, ploughing them under water harvesting technology is now being introduced in the dry zone and some water shed areas under FAO's technical assistance programme. Wherever there area small streams and creeks, farmers are encouraged and provided with technical as well as financial assistance to block water flow to get irrigation water.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Formally foreign trade was completely under the control of the state. Under the present market oriented economic system, private sector is allowed to export most of the agriculture products except rice. The reasons are to ensure food security and stabilize food price within the country. The Myanma Agriculture Produce Trading of the Ministry of Commerce is permitted to export the surplus of rice. . Rice trade within the country is allowed to private sector. As an exceptional case, the Myanma Agriculture Service of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation is allowed to export quality rice, like Basmati and local quality rice which are normally tender and aromatic.

There is no longer any restriction on prices of agriculture commodities, as an incentive for the producers. However, if an unreasonable price increase was observed for the basic food items, the state intervention was a normal practice to stabilize and to keep the price at reasonable level for poorer sectors of the populace. All the agriculture subsidies have been abolished to strengthen the participation of private sector in developing agriculture sector. Myanmar is one of the founding members of WTO and abiding by the rules of WTO.

With the technical assistance of FAO / IPPC (International Plant Protection Commission) pest risk analysis could have been carried out. At the same time pest free zones were identified for protection. In addition Myanmar is closely working with FAO, WHO, WTO, IPPC and Office International des Epizootices with a view to produce and export high quality farm produces of international market as prescribed in WTO Sanitary 7 Phytosanitary Agreement. Besides Myanmar is under preparation to participate in ASEAN IPM Knowledge Network to share and exchange knowledge, skill and information among ASEAN member countries.

Seed Bank of Myanmar has developed linkages with the International Agriculture Research Centres around the world and with the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR / IPGRI) since its first establishment and fully operational in 1990.

Seed Bank has also collaborated with ICRISAT in 1992 on joint characterization, multiplication and evaluation of 900 groundnut accessions originating in Myanmar and from other similar environments.

Since genetic erosion of wild species is faster than that of cultivated species, collection and conservation of wild rice species was initiated with the assistance from IRRI in 1992. Altogether 116 wild rice species were collected so far and their duplicates were sent to IRRI for effective screening for resistance to pests and diseases.

 

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This information was provided by the government of Myanmar to the 8th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1999.

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ATMOSPHERE

No information is available.

 

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BIODIVERSITY

No information is available.

 

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

No information is available.

 

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ENERGY

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

As major post-UNCED achievements related to sustainable forest management, Myanmar has reformulated and adopted new policy and legislative measures:

Forest Department issued "Community Forestry Instructions" in 1995 to promote community participation in forestry.

In order to arrest the process of desert-like formation, a new institution namely "Dry Zone Greening Department" was set up in 1997 and environmental rehabilitation measures are being undertaken.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Polices, and Plans

Myanmar Forest Policy, 1995 has identified six imperatives in its text for SFM.
One of the six imperatives is to satisfy the basic needs of people for timber, firewood, food, shelter and recreation. Moreover, Myanmar's effort to protect and conserve forestlands and resources will result in environmental balance, which, in turn will support the improvement of food production and social setting.
Forestry sector of Myanmar is now in the process of developing NFPs for the whole country and for the Central Dry Zone greening within the context of the national sustainable development strategy.
In NFP, the existing 50% coverage of forests over the total land area of the country are to be maintained, of which 40% would be designated as PFE and the rest, 10% would be assigned as conversion forests for possible needs for agriculture and other uses for the State.

Decision-Making: Major Group Involvement

Forest Conservation Committees at all levels of civil administration were formed so that any land use change in forest lands had to be planned with the involvement and participation of personnel from related sectors.
In Myanmar, all forestlands are State-owned. However, community forests are managed, owned and utilized by the communities concerned.
Customary and traditional right of indigenous people and local communities with regards to forestland are much respected. However, all lands are, in Myanmar, owned by the State and therefore land use rights are granted on specified conditions.
Myanmar has one forest-related NGO, namely Forest Resource Environment Development and Conservation Association (FREDA), which is participating forest certification scheme for Myanmar.

Programmes and Projects

Myanmar has developed "Issues and Opinions Paper" as an initial step of the IPF exercise.
The IPE proposals for action contain 5 program elements, all of which are assessed to be in line with Myanmar's endeavors to achieve- progress towards SFM. Therefore the relevance of IPF's proposals with Myanmar's forestry activities is quite strong.
Major points in implementing the IPE's proposal for actions include, among others, two NFP exercises are being undertaken: for forest sector of the whole country, and also for environmental conservation and restoration in Center Dry Zone of Myanmar.

Status

Recent developments in Myanmar forestry regarding SFM include, among others, the followings:

Shifting cultivation and rigorous use of tree and other forest resource and unplanned management of forestlands are seen to be attributable to poverty. Much of deforestation stems from social disadvantages, mainly caused by poverty and shifting cultivation is the striking example in Myanmar.

Challenges

Major challenges facing SFM are limitation of resources, primarily funding.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Myanmar participates in the C&I for SFM initiative of ITTO.
Myanmar intends to use C&I as a tool for policy monitoring and reporting.
ITTO's C&I as well as ASEAN's Regional C&I would be the most useful ones to access progress towards SFM at the international level.

 

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This information was provided by the government of Myanmar to the 8th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1999.

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FRESHWATER

No information is available.

 

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

In order to manage lands under forest cover in an integrated approach forest management plans for 62 civil districts covering the whole country were recently reformulated and updated based on sustainable forest management principles. With emphasis on environmental conservation and improvement of soil fertility status, a new institution entitled " Dry Zone Greening Department " was recently set up to implement the major tasks of protection, reforestation, water resources development and fuel wood substitution in the desert-like dry zone of Central Myanmar.
A major breakthrough in Myanmar Forestry was also made in 1995 by issuing Community Forestry Instructions to promote and encourage people participation and decentralization in forest management in addition to policy, legislative and institutional updating and reforms in the 1990s.
In 1993, Forest Conservation and Management Committees at all administrative levels were formed to implement integrated forestland management to prevent and check land degradation, deforestation as well as to strengthen multi-sectoral planning, decision-making and participation.

The government’s endeavors for the promotion of the best possible land use and sustainable management of land resources since UNCED include:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies, and Plans

In Myanmar, forestry (about 51% of the total Land area) and agriculture (about 27% ) are the two main sectors with regards to the management of land and land-based resources. The State, with view of enhancing sustainable agriculture, is reclaiming cultivable wasteland and fallow land into agriculture farmlands, while measures are being undertaken to increase per unit yield.
Regarding vast areas of cultivable wasteland, it is possible to undertaken land reclamation without sharing with forestlands. However, there exists agricultural encroachment into forestland. Some 151,420 ha of permanent agriculture are found to have cultivated in forestlands. In Myanmar, intrusion of permanent agriculture into forestlands is not a significant issue.
While agricultural land use is still manageable outside forest lands, Forest Department is in the process of increasing the existing permanent forest estate from the present status of about 18% to 40% as stipulated in Myanmar Forest Policy, 1995. Followings are the brief contents of the Myanmar Forest Policy, 1995:

Myanmar is increasing its PFE according to the Myanmar Forest Policy, 1995.
In Myanmar, all lands are owned by the State. But Community Forestry Instructions, 1995 could grant the use of forestland to the community for an initial period of 30 years, which is extendable upon conditions.

Decision-Making: Major Group Involvement

In planning, formulating and implementing forest management plan at forest management unit level, all the township and district-level forest officials are being involved. The township in-charge of Forest Department is the local-level responsible official, having decision-making and implementing authority delegated by the Forest Department, but within the context and prescriptions of the management plan.
In forest sector, local communities are encouraged and assisted to apply for forestlands for the exercise of community forestry either for natural forest management or plantation establishment. The land use right of forestland for community forestry is initially granted for a period of 30 years, which is extendable.

Programmes and Projects

Conservation of biological diversity, mangrove, ecosystems and fragile mountain ecosystem:

Poverty reduction activities and current land management policies:

Status

Total land area of Myanmar is 676,577 km2, of which about 51% is covered by forests and about 13% under net area sown, 14% under cultivable wasteland and fallow land.

Implications of human settlement expansion on: farmland, landscape, forestland, wetlands, and biological diversity in coastal areas

These implications that would be experienced in any expansion of human settlement are well given due consideration for minimizing the unintended consequences.

Challenges

Challenges facing integrated land management still remain and they include, among others, inadequate inputs, low level of inter-and intra-agencies related with the utilization of land resources, the need for urgent economic returns and absence of comprehensive land use policy respected by all parties.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

Myanmar government provides very good and sufficient access to information on land resources, regardless of the sectoral responsibility. At the local level, information dissemination is used to be at the meetings through reports or at the request or personal curiosity of the official who wants to understand.
Information on land management and sustainable use of land is made available to potential users by:

Evaluation systems for land and land resources by the year 2000:

Types and methods of land inventories used in Myanmar:

Myanmar has drafted criteria and indicators for both national and field levels for SFM.

Research and Technologies

Being the resource manager for more than half of the country's total land area Forest Department has been producing land use and forest cover maps using RS/GIS/GPS technologies to assess forest resources. Production of these maps has covered about 350,000 km2 by the end of 1998.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information was provided by the government of Myanmar to the 8th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1999.

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MOUNTAINS

No information is available.

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

No information is available.

 

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

No information is available.

 

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

No information is available.

 

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| Economic Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |

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