Inside myanmar’s incendiary and illegal charcoal trade

A year-long investigation into the multi-million-dollar charcoal market and how it moves from the villages of Myanmar into Chinese smelters. A trader turns off his truck’s engine at yet another checkpoint and, again, the soldiers ask him for cash. His truck is filled with charcoal from Myanmar, destined for factories in China’s mountainous southwest province […]

The wily ways of a Myanmar-China border town

One of many towns of the Myanmar-China border, Bhamo, Myanmar has long been a hub for illegal trade with China, including illegally logged charcoal currently sold. Most of the charcoal is bound overland for brisk business with China, yet Bhamo still finds itself without enough money coming in. Bhamo has a long history of diversifying […]

Burning down the house: Myanmar’s destructive charcoal trade

A nearly year-long investigation by Mongabay led to a multi-part reporting project into the illegal production and trade of charcoal in Myanmar. One route for charcoal sales from Myanmar to China documented by Mongabay could generate as much as $10 million a year in payoffs alone to Burmese government officials. The cheap energy source is […]

Myanmar eyes China’s trade plan for much-needed infrastructure, as crisis in Rakhine goes on

Minister for Construction U Win Khaing told the Asean and Asia Forum in Singapore on Thursday that his country needed to improve its infrastructure quickly to cope with the mass internal migration to its cities. The government had been in contact with various potential partners, including China and Japan, promoting Myanmar as a hub to […]

The Replanting of Mangrove Trees Along Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River is Set to Receive a Boost Next month with The Help of Drones Developed by UK firm BioCarbon Engineering.

The drones are ten times faster at planting trees than humans are, and due to this efficiency, can cut costs in half. The aim is to restore degraded mangroves, which, due to excessive wood cutting for fuel, agricultural expansion and the construction of fish and shrimp ponds, are disappearing three times faster than rainforests. Only 16 per cent […]

Ruili — China’s gateway to Myanmar

The Jiegao border area is located in Ruili, a frontier city in China’s Yunnan province. Geographically, Yunnan occupies a unique position. Shortly after day break, under the cover of heavy monsoon clouds, the Jiegao border trading area — a medium-sized 2 sq. km. complex — appears desolate. In the half-light of the early hours, long-haul […]

Keeping Myanmar’s Lights On

Myanmar is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, with projected annual growth of 7.8% in gross domestic product for the financial year to March 31 2017, according to the World Bank. Only those who have not spent time with its overwhelmingly young and enthusiastic people — or those unaware of the vast potential of […]

Chinese factory in Myanmar ransacked by hundreds of angry workers

Hundreds of workers in Myanmar attacked a Chinese garment factory in Yangon, destroying equipment and briefly detaining seven Chinese workers on Thursday, the official China News Service reported. The attack on the factory was carried out by staff angered by the sacking of a colleague, according to a local newspaper report. The seven Chinese “captives” […]

Myanmar Town Wants the Secret Out: George Orwell Slept Here

​​ KATHA (Myanmar) — In the 1990s, Mr Nyo Ko Naing noticed that the handful of foreign tourists who made it to his remote hometown were carrying their own maps and looked like they were searching for something. Someone, it turns out, by the name of George Orwell. Katha was Eric Blair’s last posting in […]

Animosity in a Burmese Hub Deepens as Chinese Get Richer

MANDALAY, Myanmar — From damp and drizzly London, the siren of British imperialism, Rudyard Kipling, wrote a poem that captured the palm trees, pagodas and temple bells of Burma during colonial rule. The romance of that verse, “Mandalay,” became a refrain for the exotic East, and of this city, in particular, once a royal capital […]