Myanmar’s Forest Department and RECOFTC sign memorandum of understanding to boost momentum on people-centered forestry

Myanmar to establish more community forests and encourage community-based enterprises with support from RECOFTC
DG and KKL holding the MoU
David Ganz and Deputy Director General Kyaw Kyaw Lwin sign a Memorandum of Understanding between RECOFTC and Myanmar’s Forestry Department in Bangkok, 26 September 2019. © RECOFTC, 2019

Myanmar's Forest Department signed a memorandum of understanding with RECOFTC on 26 September 2019 ushering in a new phase in their partnership.

“Myanmar’s Forest Department is heavily involved in regional initiatives in community forestry and recognizes RECOFTC as a leader and foremost ally,” said Kyaw Kyaw Lwin, Deputy Director General of Myanmar’s Forest Department. 

The agreement is the second between the Forest Department and RECOFTC. The organizations signed the first agreement in 2013. Since the beginning of the partnership, Myanmar has achieved important milestones in forestry. The most notable are the formation of a Community Forest National Working Group (CFNWG) in 2014 and the establishment of a community forest database.

“This agreement is an important milestone in the history of community forest development in Myanmar,” said Maung Maung Than, Director of RECOFTC Myanmar. “The agreement establishes the framework for a productive partnership. We are grateful to all who contributed to the process of developing the agreement between our organizations.” 

The renewed partnership between RECOFTC and Myanmar’s Forest Department will continue to tackle the challenges that face the country’s forests and the communities that depend on forests.

DG and KKL signing the MoU
David Ganz and Deputy Director General Kyaw Kyaw Lwin sign a Memorandum of Understanding during the 41st Board of Trustees meeting 26 September 2019. © RECOFTC, 2019

Over the coming years, RECOFTC will help Myanmar’s Community Forest National Working Group implement its three-year strategic plan. The working group aims to establish 14,000 hectares of community forest a year. According to Kyaw Kyaw Lwin, this can only be achieved through partnerships with local communities and non-governmental organizations. 

The Working Group will also strengthen community forest enterprises. By linking enterprises to available markets, local communities can improve their livelihoods and manage forests in a sustainable way. 

 “In this new phase of partnership we look forward to collaboration between RECOFTC and the Forest Department. We want to build on the momentum that we started in 2013 and strengthen community forestry in the years to come.”