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Myanmar MP demands environmental protection

Nyein Zaw Lin & Myo Min Htet

MP Dr. submits a proposal to the Lower House on May 19.
A Lower House MP submitted a proposal urging the government to urgently implement environmental protection projects in Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and Pyin Oo Lwin and to extend other forest conservation projects.

In his proposal, Dr Aung Khin, representing Pyin Oo Lwin, said, due to rapid deforestation, the country faced its severest weather conditions in 2015 and 2016. The country’s efforts to conserve the natural environment was at the lowest stage. The country ranked 164th out of 178 countries in the 2014 Environmental Performance Index, which suggested that more needed to be done for the conservation of natural resources, the MP said.

The country faces the third highest global deforestation rate and the highest in Asean. It was obvious that policies and laws on environmental conservation were weak, the MP added. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, forest covered 60 per cent of the country in 1990, 52 per cent in 2000, 49 per cent in 2005, 47 per cent in 2010 and 43 per cent in 2015. The deforestation rate between 1990 and 2010 increased from 0.55 per cent to 1.73 per cent between 2010 and 2015.

“We are experiencing higher temperatures and more natural disasters. According to the forestry policy laid down in 1995, 25 per cent of the total revenue generated by the forestry sector shall be spent on woodland conservation. But it was only enforced until 2011. Space available for parks and gardens in cities has declined. It is the right time to implement the forest policy fully,” he added.