world in which we are living is richly endowed with vast quan-tities of

majestic green forests, an endless array of mountain ranges and great masses

of clear blue life-supporting water. Our world of such serene beauty has

also provided mankind with invaluable natural resources for millions of

years.Since primordial time, these natural resources have satis-fied all

the needs of human beings. However, due to an ever increasing population

and millions of years of using, and abusing our bountiful supply of resources,

we are now faced with the unescapable fact that our natural resources and

heritage have gradually been eroding. Forest resources con-stitute an integral

part of the main natural resources which we are losing at an alarming rate.


world’s population was 1.6 billion at the beginning of the twen-tieth mentury

in 1900 when the world still had 6 billion ha of forest land. At the end

of the Century in 1999 the population had unmreased to 6 billion wheile

the area of forested land was reduced to 3.2 million ha. The major cause

of the reduced forested area had obviously been fthe increase in population

and the consequent extension and development of infrastruc- ture, expansion

of agricultural and farm lands and wood energy, without appropriate forest

policies or with policies that were misguided or ill-prepared.


such, people in some countries, for the sake of structural devel-opment,

had lost their forests and the opportunity to enjoy nature’s beauty for

their health and recreation.Tomake up for this loss and restore their weary

minds many people had resorted to travelling to places which could offer

them nature’s beauty and serenity. That was the birth of ecotourism. More

people are now enjoying ecotourism and the ecotourist trade has flour-ished

year by year. It has even become a means of foreign exchange earn-ings with

which to improve the international balance of trade for some countries.

Canada, for instance, is earning about 800 million US Dollars from its ecotourism

industries based on its wildlife, fisheries and recrea-tional natural assets.



since time immemorial, has always been deeply commit-ted to forest and biodiversity

conservation and, as a consequence still pos-sesses vast and varied natural

forest rich in biodiversity. The forest flora is diverse, varying from sub-alpines

on the snow-capped mountains in the north, through dry and moist deciduous

to tropical monsoon forests in the south with mangrove along the coastal

areas and coral reefs offshore.Myanmar is also home of teak which is recognized

as one of the most val-ued and sought-after tropical timbers of the world

and it is asserted that extensive and beautiful natural teak stands can

be seen only in Myanmar today. There are more than 7,000 recorded plant

species of which 1071 are endemic, about 100 apecies of bamboos, 30 species

of rattan and 800 spe-cies of orchids. The diverse forest ecosystems in

Myanmar are home to about 1,000 bird species nearly 300 mammal species and

about 360 known species of reptiles. Myanmar is, therefore, often cited

as the last frontier of global biodiversity in Asia.


Forest Department under the Ministry of Forestry has established wildlife

sanctuaries, national parks and protected areas system (PAS) for the perpetual

existence and development of Myanmar’s biodiversity and ecosystems. The

out-dated “Wildlife protection Act of 1936” has been re-placed with the

new “Protection of Wildlife, Wild plants and Natural Areas Law, 1994” formulated

on modern biodiversity concepts.


natural forests in Myanmar provide substantial opportunities for ecotourism

development which is expemted to contribute handsomely to the national FE

earnings and reduce logging to conserve the natural forest re-sources. Adhering

to the guidelimes laid down by the State, the Ministry of Forestry has forced

a committee to promote forest-based ecotourism, and successfully established

basic infrastructure and formed tour and formed tour and travel serv-ices

in a short spell in collaboration with the private enterprises.


booklet has been published to provide information on 15 sta-tions of outstanding

national parks, sanctuaries, and ecotourism sites with illustrative colour

photographs. It is expected to help promote the ecotourism industry through

advertising as it would also be a useful guide for nature lovers who be

visiting our nature sites of attraction.


Kyaw Tint


Forest Department

Ministry of Forestry

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