Forest Department of Myanmar has called for private investment in plantation forestry by granting forest land concession right since 2006-07. On the other hand, rural peoples of the country, representing about 70% of total population, rely on forest resources and forest land for their livelihood. This paper explores the socio-economic impacts of private forest plantations on rural communities in Pyu Township, Taungoo district, Bago Region, Myanmar. According to our results private forest plantations have the potential to positively impact on local people’s wealth and well-being, if enough emphasis is paid attention to minimize the negative impacts. The household survey data of 213 observations from two villages were analyzed using binary and multinomial logistic regression analyses. The study reveals that forest plantations make threat the basis of traditional rural livelihoods by reducing the availability of natural resources. However, investments gave also supported the diversification of livelihood strategies in the communities by providing formal employment and by increasing business and trading activities. As a rapid growth of populations and traditional agricultural practices have led to the overexploitation of natural resources, non-natural resource-based livelihood strategies increase the resilience of a household. Most respondents give the facts on plantations to have either no overall impact or a positive impact on the well-being of their household. According to our results, socio-economic household characteristics only marginally point out respondents’ perceptions of the impacts of forest plantations but perceptions differ significantly between individual villages.
Forest Department, socio-economic impacts, Private investment, Private Forest Plantations, Land concession right, Logistic regression analyses, Myanmar
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