YANGON, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar authorities seized over 4,434 tons of illegal timbers across the country so far in present fiscal year 2019-2020 which started in October, according to the Information Ministry on Tuesday.
During the period, 563 offenders were charged in connection with the cases, along with the seizure of 357 vehicles and machinery, Union Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ohn Win said on Monday.
From 2016 to November 2019 during the tenure of incumbent government, over 165,511 tons of illegal timbers were confiscated, along with 11,045 vehicles and machinery, and 23,610 involved offenders.
The minister encouraged to resume timber production in Sagaing region in line with plans from 2019 to 2020, as the region is a home of the best forest area of the country. He called for plantation of saplings as the Forest Department under the ministry distributed nearly 13 million saplings before this monsoon.
The tree planting and logging are vital for the country as 83 percent of the population is relying on the forest, he added.
The Forest Department is cracking down on illegal logging and trading of forest products as well as to implement tree-planting projects.