Myanmar gives commitment to legal timber system

Myanmar log yard (c) EIA

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Myanmar’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) has reaffirmed its commitment to reforming the country’s timber production and exports to ensure illegal timber does not enter trade streams.

In a statement released yesterday, MONREC underlined its interest in a Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) in Myanmar, through a multi-stakeholder approach to address illegal logging and its associated trade as well as better forest governance.

Recent decisions in Sweden and Denmark have set a clear precedent that anyone placing Burmese teak on the EU market risks being found in breach of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR).

MONREC’s statement acknowledges that the MTE’s practice of using contractors for some of its timber extraction activities has proven to be “complex”, and particularly that the full documentation needed to demonstrate the chain of custody of timber back to specific forest areas has not been possible.

The statement made clear: “In this regard, MONREC is committed to streamlining our systems, including simplification of current hammer-marking, so that our exporters can clearly demonstrate to their customers that all our timber product exports comply with our laws.”