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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2017, Article ID 2105012, 18 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/2105012
Research Article

Interaction between Rural People’s Basic Needs and Forest Products: A Case Study of the Katha District of Myanmar

United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), 5-53-70 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Zar Chi Hlaing; moc.liamg@80gnialhihcraz

Received 27 June 2017; Accepted 6 September 2017; Published 30 October 2017

Academic Editor: Kihachiro Kikuzawa

Copyright © 2017 Zar Chi Hlaing et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The understanding of interaction between rural people and forest products is one of the challenges faced while balancing forest product utilization with forest conservation in Myanmar. This study aims to contribute an effort to such challenges by analyzing the interaction of rural households with forest products in Myanmar. Data were collected using face-to-face questionnaire interviews with 218 households and conducting a rapid tree inventory across 132 circular random plots in selected rural communities around four townships of the Katha District. The empirical results indicate that the 95% of rural households were entirely dependent on forest products. The survey documented 13 main forest products and 54 tree species, which were primarily used for household consumption. Low-income households compared with medium- and high-income households with low educational level () and a small agricultural land area () were found to be more forest-dependent households. Illegal logging, mining, fuel-wood collection, slash-and-burn agriculture, and the establishment of forest plantations were reported as the main causes of forest products depletion. Findings from this study, although at a microlevel, can be used by the Myanmar Forestry Department as baseline information to improve community-based forest management activities.