Combating Illegal Wildlife Trafficking and Illegal Logging in Myanmar

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Combating Illegal Wildlife Trafficking and Illegal Logging in Myanmar “Officers killed in the line of duty”: A District Forest Officer and three Forest Rangers were killed on 27 December 2014, during the operation against illegal logging of rose wood in the southern Shan State of Myanmar. The Officials were supposed to be shot down by armed insurgent group on the way back from Wumsalaung Village of Linkhay District, where a total of 1,002 logs(about 288.86 cubic meters) of rose wood(Pterocarpus macrocarpus) were confiscated. One Township Officer and one Ranger were escaped from the attack.

10 December,2014: Forest Department Officials of Myanmar confiscated ten deer antlers together with a suspect at Naungcho Township, Kyaukmae District of Shan State. The seized antlers are kept at the Forest Department Township of Shan State and the defendant was being charged in accordance with section 37(a) of the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law (1994) and shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or with fine of Kyats 50,000 or both. 24 November,2014: 572.37 kilogram of orchids were confiscated at the toll gate near the Naungcho Township, Shan State of Myanmar by Mobile Inspection Team. The offender is being investigated and the green orchids have been taken to the Orchid Nursery in Pyin Oo Lwin Township of Mandalay Region for the purpose of planting. 31 October, 2014: Eight bear hands and legs and two bear bile were confiscated from a car running on the Mandalay Lashio High-way Road of Patheingyi Township, Mandalay Region of Myanmar by the officials from Forest Department and Custom Department. The two defendants were being charged in accordance with section 37(a) of the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law (1994) and shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or with fine of Kyats 50,000 or both. The confiscated bear products were destroyed with fire.

4 October,2014: Officials from Military Force and Forest Department confiscated 12 people who killed the wild Asian elephants with hand-made fire guns and were trying to take the ivory and drying the elephant skin in the reserved forest of Naputaw Township, Ayeyawady Region of Myanmar. The defendants were being charged in accordance with section 37(a) of the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law (1994) and shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or with fine of Kyats 50,000 or both. The four ivory are kept at the Forest Department Head Quarter Office and the 91.63 kilogram of elephant skin were destroyed with fire. 4 October,2014: Custom Department Officials of the Yangon International Airport found 0.5 kilogram of pangolin scale carried by one Chinese who is working at the Plastic Industry in Yangon Region of Myanmar. The defendant was being charged in accordance with section 37(a) of the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law (1994) and shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or with fine of Kyats 50,000 or both.

15 September,2014: A total of 264 snakes were confiscated by Forest Department Officials on a car at Mandalay-Pyin Oo Lwin Road, Mandalay Region of Myanmar. The survivors of 212 racer snakes were released at the Shwe U Daung Wildlife Sanctuary, 48 vipers were released at the Minsone Taung Wildlife Sanctuary and the four dead were destroyed by fire. The defendants are being investigated.

25 September, 2014: A suspect was seized with 14.7 kilogram of pangolin scale, 2003.7 kilogram of orchids and 26.13 kilogram of animal bones that were suspected to be tiger bones by Officials from Myanmar Police Force and Forest Department from a car at Kalay-Gangaw Road of Sagaing Region, Myanmar. The defendant was being charged in accordance with section 36(a), (b) and 37(c) of the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law (1994) and shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or with fine of Kyats 50,000 or both. 8 September,2014: Two people were seized together with 49 tortoises and 17 pangolins by the officials from Myanmar Police Force, General Administration Department and Village Administration and Forest Department at the Tarchilate Township of Shan State. The defendants were being charged in accordance with section 37(a) of the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law (1994) and shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or with fine of Kyats 50,000 or both. 37 tortoises and 8 pangolins that are still alive were released at the Pasar Protected Areas and the deads were destroyed.

17 August,2014: Three people were seized with 194 snakes from a car at the Yangon- Mandalay highway road near Nay Pyi Taw Council Area by Myanmar Police Force. The alive 55 racer snakes were released into their natural habitat and the other 10 vipers and 129 cobras were transferred to the No (1), Pharmaceutical Industry in Yangon for medicinal purposes. The defendants were being charged in accordance with section 35 (a) of the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law (1994) and shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine of Kyats 10,000 or both. 28 July,2014: Five plastic boxes containing 28.2 kilogram of fresh elephant meat and one pangolin were found at Yangon Mandalay Highway road near Tatkon Township, Nay Pyi Taw Council Area by Myanmar Police Force. The living pangolin was released to the reserved forest near Tatkon Township and the elephant meats were destroyed by digging into the ground. The defendants are still investigated.

1 October to 30 November, 2014: Forest Department of Myanmar is seriously paying attention to combat illegal wildlife trade as well as illegal timber trade that leads to the deforestation, forest degradation and loss of royalties. The combating towards those trades is the collaborative action between Forest Department, Myanmar Police Force and local administration. Within October and November 2014, a total of 7,409.18 cubic meters of illegal timber were seized from 2,774 cases across the country. The suspects involved in those illegal timber trades were taken actions against the laws, particularly with Forest Law (1992).

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