NGO: lifting sanctions on Myanmar must lead to forestry reform

26 April 2012

Following historic elections, many foreign powers have relaxed or lifted sanctions against Myanmar, also known as Burma. But the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) warns that the end of sanctions presents Myanmar and the world with a choice: further plundering of the country's forests for outside markets or large-scale forestry reform.

"After half a century of corruption and rule by the military and their business associates, Burma simply has no credible infrastructure through which we can verify the legality and sustainability of its timber exports," explains EIA Head of Forests Faith Doherty in a press release. "What this historic moment does represent, however, is a unique opportunity to establish a role for civil society in Burma. It must be part of any reform that creates the very infrastructure needed to ensure the invaluable resources of the country’s forests are not squandered for the financial gain of a few."