YANGON, Apr. 9, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- The Myanmar Forestry Department and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) held a workshop in Nay Pyi Taw Thursday on reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), the official newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported Friday.
Papers on forest resources, forest management system and enabling conditions for REDD in Myanmar, role of forestry sector in climate mitigation through REDD and procedure and potential implication on how to link with UN-REDD program were discussed by officials from both sides respectively.
Myanmar has been cooperating with local private companies and international non-governmental organizations in implementing reforestation projects across the country as its major attempt to prevent forest depletion.
According to the National Commission for Environmental Affairs (NCEA), the rate of forest depletion in Myanmar in 2000-05 amounted to 466,000 hectares, standing as the fourth most forest depleting country in the world after Brazil, Indonesia and Sudan.
In an attempt to prevent forest from depletion and preserve natural environment, the Myanmar government has granted private companies for cultivation of teak and allotted land for them for the purpose starting from 2005.
Also, the Myanmar authorities have been drawing 30-year plan which involved the participation of private companies.
Under the plan, a private company of Kaungmyat is projected to grow 200,000 teak and 405 hectares of wood including teak and hardwood in the first five years.
Another private Htoo Foundation has also started an initial three-year project (2008-2010) of planting 8,100 hectares of teak in Myitkyina and Bhamo, northernmost Kachin state of the country and more companies such as ATSO Green, Yeedagon, NRTC and Honda will grow 48,600 hectares and 7,493 hectares in Bago division and Kachin state respectively.
Besides, foreign agencies are also helping Myanmar green the country's dry zone in the central part.
The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) introduced a project worth of 1.5 million U.S. dollars to improve rehabilitation capacity of the deforested Nyaung U region.
Another Japanese Kokusai Kogyo Corporation has also offered to provide consultant services for an afforestation project in the same dry zone under a grant aid assistance worth 61 million yens ( nearly 500,000 U.S. dollars).
Moreover, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has been providing assistance for Myanmar's forestry research work since 1987 in a bid to raise the capacity of Myanmar forestry experts.
The one-year FAO-funded technical cooperation project worth of 203,000 U.S. dollars was implemented in 2006 by Myanmar's Forestry Research Department and the FAO, covering the holding of workshops and training programs relating to adoption of forestry policy, organization of research work and administration.
In January last year, an agreement on forestry related action plan had been made between the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Myanmar Ministry of Forestry that the ICIMOD will help Myanmar conduct research on forestry and train out experts in the aspects.
The agreement also include providing technology, assistance and advice to conduct research, geographical information by computer, map drawing system, workshop and training for experts from respective departments and students from the University of Forestry and the University of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, Myanmar hosted the 12th forestry-related senior officials' meeting of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) in new capital of Nay Pyi Taw in July last year.
There are 155,340 square kilometers of reserve forests and protected public forests in Myanmar with 52,650 hectares of forest plantations, statistics show.
Myanmar, the major exporter of teak in the world, takes up 75 percent of the world market.
Myanmar is rich in forest resources with forests covering about 50 percent of its total land area.