4 years ago

Political transition and emergent forest-conservation issues in Myanmar

Robert Steinmetz, Jake Brunner, Benjamin McCarron, Jacob Phelps, Robert Oberndorf, Jack Hurd, Kyaw Min Thein, Martin Cosier, Michal Zrust, Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt, Antony Lynam, Katherine LaJeunesse Connette, Win Hlaing, Jose Don T. Alban, Salai Cung Lian Thawng, William J. McShea, Shwe Thein, Frank Momberg, Tony Whitten, Oliver Springate-Baginski, Aye Chan Maung, Felicia Lasmana, Jefferson Fox, David Dapice, Alan D. Ziegler, Tint Lwin Thaung, Thaung Naing Oo, Saw Htun, William J. Sutherland, Robert Tizard, Vicky Bowman, Daniel Aguirre, Myat Su Mon, Guy Williams, Kevin Woods, Matthew Baird, Alex Diment, Kirk Talbott, Edward L. Webb, Julia Fogerite, Graham W. Prescott, Hugh Speechly, John F. McCarthy, Cheng Ling Lim, Madhu Rao, Trevor Wilson, Grant M. Connette, Than Myint, Maung Maung Than
Political and economic transitions have had substantial impacts on forest conservation. Where transitions are underway or anticipated, historical precedent and methods for systematically assessing future trends should be used to anticipate likely threats to forest conservation and design appropriate and prescient policy measures to counteract them. Myanmar is transitioning from an authoritarian, centralized state with a highly regulated economy to a more decentralized and economically liberal democracy and is working to end a long-running civil war. With these transitions in mind, we used a horizon-scanning approach to assess the 40 emerging issues most affecting Myanmar's forests, including internal conflict, land-tenure insecurity, large-scale agricultural development, demise of state timber enterprises, shortfalls in government revenue and capacity, and opening of new deforestation frontiers with new roads, mines, and hydroelectric dams. Averting these threats will require, for example, overhauling governance models, building capacity, improving infrastructure- and energy-project planning, and reforming land-tenure and environmental-protection laws. Although challenges to conservation in Myanmar are daunting, the political transition offers an opportunity for conservationists and researchers to help shape a future that enhances Myanmar's social, economic, and environmental potential while learning and applying lessons from other countries. Our approach and results are relevant to other countries undergoing similar transitions. Temas de Transición Política y Conservación Emergente de los Bosques en Myanmar Resumen Las transiciones políticas y económicas han tenido impactos sustanciales sobre la conservación de los bosques. En los lugares donde se estén llevando a cabo las transiciones o donde se anticipen se deberían utilizar los precedentes históricos y los métodos para evaluar sistemáticamente las futuras tendencias para anticipar las amenazas probables a la conservación de los bosques y para diseñar medidas políticas apropiadas que se anticipen a las amenazas y las contrarresten. Myanmar está en una transición entre un estado autoritario centralizado con una economía altamente regulada y una democracia más descentralizada y liberal, además de estar trabajando para terminar con una guerra civil de larga duración. Con estas transiciones en mente utilizamos una estrategia de escaneo de horizonte para evaluar los 40 temas emergentes que más afectan a los bosques de Myanmar, incluyendo al conflicto interno, la inseguridad de la tenencia, el desarrollo agrícola a gran escala, la desaparición de las empresas estatales de madera, la escasez de ingresos públicos y capacidad, y la apertura de nuevas fronteras de deforestación con nuevas carreteras, minas y presas hidroeléctricas. Para evitar estas amenazas se requerirá de la revisión de los modelos de gobernanza, la capacidad de construcción, la mejora de la planeación de proyectos de energía e infraestructura, y la reforma de las leyes de tenencia y de protección ambiental, por citar algunos ejemplos. Aunque en Myanmar los retos para la conservación son abrumadores, la transición política ofrece una oportunidad para que los conservacionistas y los investigadores ayuden a formar un futuro que mejore el potencial social, económico y ambiental de Myanmar mientras se aprenden y aplican lecciones de otros países. Nuestra estrategia y sus resultados son relevantes para otros países pasando por transiciones similares.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13021

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