Illegal logging mars Magwe’s deep forests

The scene is lined with turquoise mountains, surrounded by white cloud. Wherever you look you can see green-tinted hills and mist. This is the western fringe of Magwe Region in central Myanmar, on the border with Rakhine State, where valuable forests cover the Yoma mountains. Vast trees, so wide that four people must join hands to reach around them, line the route to Htaw Zar village in Ngape township. “You can still find large trees and bamboo here because they have not arrived yet,” a local resident said, referring to the loggers who have felled a path through the region. Residents and officials say that illegal logging is rife in the Yoma mountain ranges that span from Rakhine through Magwe to Bago. Forest near the western Yoma road has suffered the most damage, said Kyaw Ko Ko Shein from the Ngape Youth Network. Local organisations that value the environment have lobbied the government to ban logging for more than three years, but have met with little success, he said.

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