Forestry bill in Myanmar threatens 15-year sentence

Authorities inspect company allegedly mining goal in a protected forest area.
PHOTO: Eleven Myanmar/Asia News Network

The government is planning to enact a new forestry law threatening five to 15 years in prison plus a fine of Ks1.5 million (S$1,530) to Ks3 million for extracting, moving or possessing timber unlawfully.

Section 17 of the Forestry Bill, which is being publicised in the state-run newspapers, states that wood may only be extracted after obtaining a permit for a specific amount.

However, it can only be for domestic, agricultural or fishing use, not on a commercial scale.

The bill says that a forestry officer can pass fines of Ks100,000 to Ks500,000 for less than one tonne of teak and confiscate the timber.

Offences involving the felling or possession of teak on government land can bring imprisonment for up to five years.

It replaces the 1992 Forestry Law.

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