Status of Natural Resources Depletion during the military regimes (Forestry & Environment sector)

Despite being endowed with various abundant natural resources, Myanmar remains one of the least developed and poorest countries in the world. Myanmar military being responsible for protection of the country and its people staged an illegal coup by abducting the democratically elected leaders on 1st February, 2021. This report is intended to inform the public of their crucial role in protecting the natural resources of the country since the coup may lead to the tremendous losses of natural resources found in the country. This report reveals the depletion of natural resources, and misconduct of the authority in managing resources during the military administration periods by assessing them in various ways.

This report assesses the status of natural resources such as forest/timber, land, minerals and other resources which are managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, during four different administration periods namely, former military dictatorship regime, transitional democracy period, quasi-democracy period (i.e., a political situation where the military retains certain authority in both legislative and executive branch according to the 2008 constitution) and coup period.

However, this part of the assessment only presents inappropriate policy and adequate implementation related to the management of forest/timber and land resources, and its implication on the people along together with the specific cases. It also discusses how immediate actions can be done during this coup period by drawing lessons learnt from the previous impacts during the former military regimes, and what measures can be taken by the public to contribute to the sustainable management of the natural resources.