Myanmar calls to end illegal timber trade with China

YANGON – Myanmar officials have demanded that the Chinese government stop importing thousands of tonnes of illegal timber into China.

The move came after a China-Myanmar trade cooperation meeting during the 13th China-Myanmar Border Expo held in China from December 6 to 8.

“There are about twenty thousands of logs in the southern part of Kanpaikte. These logs will be sent to China. This leads to deforestation in Kachin State,” Consulate-General Aung Kyaw Oo said during a meeting with representatives from Yunnan’s provincial government.

“According to the rules and regulations of the timber enterprise, after chopping logs, we need to grow new trees. Deforestation may cause climate change. These consequences may be seriously harmful to Myanmar,” he added.

“A Shan State minister recently said that many trees had been logged in Kachin State. When the Chinese paid for that, they gave us counterfeit money. As a result, we lost our forests without any profit because we cannot spend the money we got. Nothing can be done. It is not easy to lodge a complaint to the government. This is because timber was sold illegally,” he explained.

“Illegal timber extractions usually take place in Kachin and Shan States. Payments for illegal timber through counterfeit Yuan still occur in the Namhkham border town of Shan State,” Aung Kyaw Oo continued.

An official from the Ministry of Commerce urged the Chinese government to collaborate with Myanmar to combat illegal timber trade during a meeting with Yunnan provincial government officials in Ruili.

“Illegal timber exports in Kachin and Shan States need to be prevented by both sides,” said Khin Maung Lay, director general of the Department for Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA).

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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