A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS: The uncertain future of Burma’s forests | Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data

Resource information

Date of publication: 
September 2003
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

A Briefing Document by Global Witness. October 2003...

Table of Contents... Recommendations...
Natural Resources and Conflict in Burma;
SLORC/SPDC-controlled logging;
China-Burma relations and logging in Kachin State;
Thailand-Burma relations and logging in Karen State...

Part One: Background:
The Roots of Conflict;
Strategic location, topography and natural resources;
The Peoples of Burma;
Ethnic diversity and politics;
British Colonial Rule...
Independence and the Perpetuation of Conflict:
Conflict following Independence and rise of Ne Win;
Burma under the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP);
The Four Cuts counter – insurgency campaign;
The 1988 uprising and the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC); The 1990 General Election and the drafting of a new Constitution;
Recent Developments:
The Detention of Aung San Suu Kyi...
The Administration of Burma: Where Power Lies:
The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC);
The Cabinet;
The Three Generals;
The Tatmadaw;
Regional Commanders...

Part Two: Logging in Burma:-
The Economy:
The importance of the timber trade;
Involvement of the Army;
Burma’s Forests;
Forest cover, deforestation rates and forest degradation...
The Timber Industry in Burma:
The Administration of forestry in Burma;
Forest Management in Burma, the theory;
The Reality of the SPDC-Controlled Timber Trade...
Law enforcement:
The decline of the Burma Selection System and Institutional Problems;
Import – Export Figures;
SPDC-controlled logging in Central Burma;
The Pegu Yomas;
The illegal timber trade in Rangoon;
SLORC/SPDC control over logging in ceasefire areas...
Chart of armed ethnic groups. April 2002;
Ceasefire groups;
How the SLORC/SPDC has used the ceasefires: business and development...
Conflict Timber:
Logging and the Tatmadaw;
Logging as a driver of conflict;
Logging companies and conflict on the Thai-Burma border;
Controlling ceasefire groups through logging deals...
Forced Labour:
Forced labour logging...
Opium and Logging:
Logging and Opium in Kachin State;
Logging and Opium in Wa...
Conflict on the border:
Conflict on the border;
Thai-Burmese relations and ‘Resource Diplomacy’;
Thais prioritise logging interests over support for ethnic insurgents;
The timber business and conflict on the Thai-Burma border;
Thai Logging in Karen National Union territory;
The end of SLORC logging concessions on the Thai border;
The Salween Scandal in Thailand;
Recent Logging on the Thai-Burma border...
Karen State:
The Nature of Conflict in Karen State;
The Karen National Union (KNU);
The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA);
Logging in Karen State;
Logging and Landmines in Karen State;
Charcoal Making in Nyaunglebin District...
The China-Burma Border:
Chinese-Burmese Relations;
Chinese-Burmese relations and Natural Resource Colonialism;
The impact of logging in China;
The impact of China’s logging ban;
The timber trade on the Chinese side of the border...
Kachin State:
The Nature of Conflict in Kachin State;
The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO);
Jade and the KIA’s insurgent Economy;
Dabak and Mali Hydroelectric Power Projects;
The New Democratic Army (Kachin) (NDA(K));
The Kachin Defence Army (KDA);
How the ceasefires have affected insurgent groups in Kachin State; HIV/AIDS and Extractive Industries in Kachin State ;
Logging in Kachin State;
Gold Mining in Kachin State;
The N’Mai Hku (Headwaters) Project;
Road Building in Kachin State...
Wa State:
Logging in Wa State;
Timber Exports through Wa State;
Road building in Wa State;
Plantations in Wa State...
Appendix I: Forest Policies, Laws and Regulations;
National Policy, Laws and Regulations;
National Commission on Environmental Affairs;
Environmental policy;
Forest Policy;
Community Forestry;
International Environmental Commitments...
Appendix II: Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG):
Ministerial Declaration...
References. [the pdf version contains the text plus maps, photos etc. The Word version contains text and tables only]

Authors and Publishers


Global Witness exposes the hidden links between demand for natural resources, corruption, armed conflict and environmental destruction


Many of the world’s worst environmental and human rights abuses are driven by the exploitation of natural resources and corruption in the global political and economic system.  Global Witness is campaigning to end this. We carry out hard-hitting investigations, expose these abuses, and campaign for change.  We are independent, not-for-profit, and work with partners around the world in our fight for justice.

Data provider

Share this page