Teak Yield Regulation in the Natural Forests of the Tharrawaddy Forest Division, Myanmar : 138 Years of the Girth Limit Selection System
Journal of Forest Planning
Attempts te introduce scientific management techniques to forestry in Myanmar began in 1856 with the appointment of Dr. Dietfich BRANDis, a German botanist, to manage the Pegu] hill forests of the then Burma. One of Brandis's main management objectives was to ensure a permanent and sustainecl yield of teak logs from the area's natural forests. He adopted a girth limit selection system in the Tharrawaddy forests of Pegu, and set the minimum exploitable girth limit at 6 feet. Since then the
... yielcl has fluctuated widely between 1,588 and 9, 250 trees per year, because of changes in the estimates of forest growth rates. Until 1927, the actual rate of harvesting by girdling2 was based on estimates of annual yield. However, unstable social and political conditions prevented regular girdling and silvicultural treatment between I928 and the early 1960s. As social conditions improved from the 1960s, girdling was able to be conducted in some years. This analysis of the status of the Tharrawaddy forest division's teak stocks uses data from 1912-13, 1982-86 ancl 1994, It shows that there was poor teak regeneration in low girth classes but an increase in the number of trees in higher girth-classes between 1912 and 1982, and a drastic drop in the growing stock of all girth classes between 1982 ancl 1994. The poor regeneration was caused by a lack of adequate silvicultural operations during the 40 to 50 years prior to the 198es, while illegal logging is the primary cause of the dec!ine in growing stock. Strong action needs to be taken to expand the area of new plantings, to prevent excessive logging, and to increase public participation in forest management. Clear and firm policies to achieve these objectives should becorne fundamental components of all of Myanmar's future forest management plans.