YANGON, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's forest coverage has now reduced to remain only one fifth of the country's total area, calling for total stop of exporting woods to foreign countries, local media quoted the Lower House's Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Committee as reporting Wednesday.
Total forest coverage area was down to 24 percent in 2008 from 51 percent in 2005, 57 percent in 1962 and 70 percent in Konbaung dynasty, the committee's secretary U Thein Lwin told a recent national seminar workshop on energy, environment and climate change held in Nay Pyi Taw.
Annual forest depletion rate was only 0.64 percent in the period from 1975 to 1989 but it increased to 1.2 per cent between 1989 and 1998.
Such rate was bringing the county's forest depletion to the worst condition, the report quoted an analyst as saying.
The main root cause of forest depletion was due to excessive cutting down of trees, illegal logging, less replanting, changing cultivation system and increase use of firewood.
Due to both legal and illegal log exports, there produced no enough raw timber to manufacture finished products.
Responding to the data on forest depletion, finished-wood exporters at the seminar expressed their readiness to completely stop exporting wood logs.
Myanmar's export of finished wood logs amounted to 453 million U.S. dollars in the fiscal year 2008-09 while it was 641.87 million U.S. dollars in the fiscal year 2011-12.
Myanmar produced nearly 283,000 cubic meters of teak and 1.98 million cubic meters of hardwood annually. The forest products were half owned by the private sector.
Myanmar stands a major exporter of teak in the world, taking up 75 percent of the world market.
Myanmar exports teak most to India, followed by China, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia.