Status of Bamboo Management in Mixed Deciduous Forest at Yedashe Township, Bago Region, Myanmar
Ladawan Puangchit, May Thu Aung, and Nittaya Mianmit
Sustainable management of bamboo is urgently needed in Myanmar as timber yield is decreasing annually due to forest degradation and deforestation. Bamboo is the most important non-timber forest product in Myanmar that can be used in place of timber. This study assessed the status of bamboo management in mixed deciduous forest at Yedashe Township, Bago Region, Myanmar, to provide recommendations for a sustainable bamboo management. The bjectives of this study were to analyze (1) the socio-economic characteristics of the local people, (2) the number of bamboo (culms) harvested and the bamboo harvesting method used by the local people residing around the mixed deciduous forest located in Yedashe Township, and (3) tree species composition and the potential of mixed deciduous forest in supplying bamboo. Community meetings and a questionnaire survey, using convenience sampling, were used to perform a social survey and an inventory was constructed to quantify the bamboo production, species composition, and diversity of mixed deciduous forest. The local people mainly depended on bamboo production for their livelihood. Forest income provided 96.61% of the total annual household income. In total, 53 species belonging to 45 genera and 25 families were identified in the mixed deciduous forest. Within the three-bamboo species found, there were 536 clumps per hectare, equivalent to 7,000 culms per hectare. The local people did not follow the 9 rules for systematic bamboo harvesting, except for the rule stating that harvesting should preferably be done each year. The average annual rate of bamboo harvesting per household was 24,589.30 (± 17,986.41) culms. The culms harvested were aged one or two years; and the area and season for bamboo harvesting were not specific. The number of bamboo culms harvested (2,742,255 culms) for income generation annually by the local people was higher than the annual sustainable potential of the forest (458,400 culms). The current bamboo management is unsustainable based on the existing bamboo harvesting method. Training the local Journal of Tropical Forest Research 3 (1) : 20-35 (2019) 21 people to adopt a systematic bamboo harvesting method should be undertaken so that the bamboo resources can be managed sustainably.