November 16, 2021

This paper makes a significant contribution to understanding the logic of deforestation in Northern Myanmar and connects global trends and regional political economy with local environmental changes. Methodologically, through a combination of remote sensing GIS analysis, for which we use a newly available Myanmar Forest Change dataset produced by TerraPulse and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, as well as on-the-ground field research observations and interviews with farmers, this paper examines how the expansion of maize plantations in the northern part of Myanmar has implications for deforestation in the region. It argues that a combination of global commodity price shock around 2011–2012 plus easy market access to China generated strong incentives for local farmers to increase the cultivation of maize. The paper contributes to how we understand the environmental impacts of Chinese demands for agricultural products in Southeast Asia.

Enze Han 1,* and Qiongyu Huang 2Citation: Han, E.; Huang, Q. Global Commodity Markets, Chinese Demand for Maize, and Deforestation in Northern Myanmar. Land 2021, 10, 1232.
1 Department of Politics and Public Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
2 Conservation GIS Laboratory, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Fort Royal, VA 22630, USA;
[email protected]

Dr. Enze HAN 韓恩澤 CWP China HKU

Dr. Enze HAN is Associate Professor at the Department of Politics and Public Administration.  His research interests include ethnic politics in China, China's relations with Southeast Asia, especially with Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand, and the politics of state formation in the borderland area between China, Myanmar and Thailand. Dr. Han received a Ph.D in Political Science from the George Washington University in the United States in 2010. Afterwards he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the China and the World Program at Princeton University. During 2015-2016, he was a Friends Founders' Circle Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, USA. In 2017, he was a fellow at the East Asia Institute in Seoul, South Korea. His research has been supported by the Leverhulme Research Fellowship, and British Council/Newton Fund. Prior to Hong Kong, Dr. HAN was Senior Lecturer in the International Security of East Asia at SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom.

Photo Credit: Pixabay Bun_Studio