Central dry zone of Myanmar has very harsh climatic condition and only dry forests are naturally found. In the past, the population was low and the demand and utilization of forest products was also low. As trade develops and cottage industry prospers with the steady increase in population, the demand for forest products has increased steadily.
Due to unsystematic extraction of timber and other forest products, forests have been deteriorating. Accordingly, the impacts on the environment are damages like soil degradation, impairment of water retention capacity of forest soils, the loss of biodiversity and climatic damage. The other indirect impacts deal with socio-economic problems such as the loss of income due to decline in agricultural land productivity.
To ameliorate this situation, it had been necessary to rehabilitate the degraded or damaged forests as quickly as possible.
As the rehabilitation of forests was particularly required in the region, the “Agricultural and Rural Development Corporation” (ARDC) together with experts from the Forest Department started afforestation projects in Dry Zone since 1953-54. The ARDC carried out reforestation works in the Dry Zone till 30th September 1963.
Thereafter, since 1st October 1963, the Forest Department took over the responsibility of reforestation works. In 1994, Special Region Nine District Greening Project for the area in the Dry Zone of Central Myanmar was adopted in order to be more successful and effective in implementing greening activities. Meiktila, Mingyan, Yamethin, Sagaing, Monywa, Pakokku, Magway, Thayet and Minbu Districts of Mandalay, Magway and Sagaing Regions were the target areas.
In July 1997, Dry Zone Greening Department (DZGD) was constituted under Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry including 3 regions, 13 districts and 57 townships, covering 21.557 million acres of dry land forests.
The constitution of Dry Zone Greening Department was amended in fiscal year 2000-2001. According to new amendment working area of Dry Zone Greening Department includes 3 regions, 12 districts and 54 townships (excluding Gangaw District), covering 20.17 million acres of dry land forests.