How does political instability in the Mekong affect deforestation?

Myanmar’s rainforests, home to the endangered Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), critically endangered Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) and endangered lar gibbon (Hylobates lar), are some of the most biodiverse in the world. But the relative flatness of the terrain, and the valuable timber species found here, also make them particularly vulnerable to deforestation.

Between 2001 and 2020, Myanmar lost tree cover roughly the size of Switzerland, according to data from Global Forest Watch. Logging of teak and other hardwoods helped drive this degradation, with the forestry sector providing critical funding for the country’s military rulers.

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Sheryl Lee Tian Tong