Analysis of the India-Myanmar timber trade




Abstract. Maria-Sube E, Woodgate G. 2019. Analysis of the India-Myanmar Timber Trade. Asian J For 3: 1-9. Myanmar’s forest cover declined by 1.8% annually between 2000 and 2015: the result of on-going civil wars and institutional weaknesses. As Myanmar transitioned from military dictatorship, round log exports were banned in 2014. Until 2014, India was the most important importer of timber from Myanmar in terms of value, and the second most important in terms of volume, after China. This article assesses the value and volume of timber traded between Myanmar and India from 2010 until 2015. In addition to trade flows, the timber species and main actors involved in the timber trade are identified and the governance environment of trade is assessed. The paper goes on to investigate the impact of recent regulatory changes enacted by the Government of India and the prospects for the future of the India-Myanmar trade. The analysis showed that (i) from an economic perspective the timber trade between the two countries, once active, is currently stalled. (ii) From a governance perspective, illegality occurs to a limited extent at the international border but probably happens to a greater extent at timber auctions in Myanmar. Finally (iii), from a social and environmental point of view, as infrastructure expands it will be crucial to include forest management and timber trade governance in discussions regarding border relations between the two countries.