Blood Timber

Australian imports of timber from Myanmar increased post-coup, totaling AUD 2.5 million in 2021-2022.

Illegal logging and trade has surged since the coup in Myanmar, causing extensive forest destruction and funneling cash to the junta

Timber Trade, Junta Funding, and Forest Devastation in Myanmar

Frequently asked Questions.

What's the situation in Myanmar since the 2021 coup?

The February 2021 coup triggered a humanitarian crisis and regional instability in Southeast Asia. Over 1.9 million people are internally displaced due to military violence, and over 1.3 million are refugees from Myanmar.

Where does the Myanmar military source arms from?

While having a strong arms production capability, Myanmar’s military relies on foreign revenue to purchase weapons and materials. These purchases include Russian and Chinese-made jets, aviation fuel, spare parts, and raw materials from various countries.

What's the scale of the junta's arms import and spending?

Since the coup, the junta has imported over USD 1 billion in arms and raw materials for weapon production. Notably, military spending is set to increase by 51%, reaching USD 2.7 billion for 2023-2024.

How does the junta benefit from state-owned enterprises?

All state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are under junta control. Natural resource-focused SOEs, like oil, gas, timber, mining, and gems, channel billions of dollars to the junta annually.

How is timber involved in this scenario?

The junta-controlled Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE) oversees timber harvesting. Myanmar exported $242 million worth of timber from October 2021 to June 2023. However, MTE has been sanctioned by multiple countries due to its support of the junta.

How does Australia contribute to this issue?

Direct imports of timber and wood products from Myanmar to Australia increased post-coup, from AUD 2.2 million in 2020-2021 to AUD 2.5 million in 2021-2022. Additionally, Australia imported pearls, gems, and arms from Myanmar.

Is the timber trade in Myanmar problematic?

Myanmar is a significant teak producer, but illegal logging and trade pose a major issue, contributing to forest destruction. Over 85% of timber exports from Myanmar are estimated to be illegal.

How does illegal timber find its way to Australia?

Australia has no sanctions on timber imports or MTE

Australian importers must do their due diligence to they are not importing products that contain illegally logged timber

However the Environmental Investigation Agency asserts that supply chain traceability is close to impossible, making it difficult for imports of Burmese teak to meet Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Act (ILPA) requirements

Burmese teak is also smuggled to other countries like China and India before entering the Australian market.


Our Responsibility

Australian imports of timber from Myanmar have surged post-coup, totaling AUD 2.5 million in 2021-2022.

Importing timber from Myanmar directly supports the junta through enterprises like MTE, which involves a high risk of illegal timber and conflict timber.

  • Australia should sanction timber and wood product imports from Myanmar.
  • Australia should sanction Myanmar Timber Enterprise and related state-owned enterprises, Myanma Gems Enterprise, Myanma Pearls Enterprise, Myanma Mining Enterprises 1, and 2, and Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise.
  • Any Burmese teak entering Australia from China and India and other countries should be thoroughly assessed for illegal origin.

Take Action!


AU resident or citizen?
Sign the petition for sanctions on the APH website!
Stand Up for Democracy in Myanmar Sanction Junta’s Revenue Sources
Short Link:


Australia still imports timber and wood products from Myanmar!
This directly benefits the junta through state-owned enterprise Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE) and are associated with illegal logging!


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