Myanmar Forest Industry gets International support
"Sustainable Forest Management in Myanmar is possible" is the message heard by more than 100 delegates and stakeholders from across the globe attending the first ever tripartite forest conference held in Yangon, Myanmar before its congress in Bangkok. "Sustainably managed forests that promote social justice, environmental protections and economic outcomes have the potential to reduce poverty, spur economic development, create jobs and contribute to a healthy local and global environment," stressed the general secretary of the BWI Ambet Yuson. The BWI in collaboration with the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF) and the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MOLES) Union Republic of Myanmar organised this Conference in Yangon from 28 to 29 November 2013.

More than 3,300 factory jobs are at risk following forestry practices that encouraged deforestation and forest degradation. Last year, the Government enacted the Environmental Conservation Law as its response to save jobs and promote sustainable development process.

“We welcome this Conference, which brings global experience and learning to foster cooperation with international institutions and experts and with a clear objective of promoting sustainable forest management practices in Myanmar,” was the address from the Minister of Environmental Conservation and Forestry Win Htun participating in the event.

With a view to strengthen the social dialogue process between Employers and Trade Unions, Barber Cho, the Joint General Secretary of Myanmar Timber Merchant’s Association urged the International Labour Organisation to support capacity building and training for Employers’ Organisations as a means to take forward the decent work agenda in tandem with workers’ organisations.

Maung Maung, the General Secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions of Myanmar observed: "The opening up of the country’s economy was also an opportunity to develop a Decent Work Agenda for workers in the Myanmar’s Wood and Forestry sector, and their active participation was vital to ensure the country’s sustainable forest management remained inclusive of workers’ rights."

Rama Chandra Khuntia, BWI Vice President for Asia Pacific highlighted: "the deliberations and learnings from this Conference will go a long way in ensuring that the evolving process of sustainable forest management in Myanmar is reflective of the specific national circumstances and yet is in compliance with internationally accepted standards."

The BWI is the unique Global Union Federation grouping free and democratic unions with members in the Building, Building Materials, Wood, Forestry and Allied sectors. The BWI has 334 trade unions representing around 12 million members across 131 countries around the world.

For more information, please contact Apolinar Tolentino, Regional Representative, BWI Asia Pacific
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