Myanmar has been endowed with extensive areas of some of the most valuable timber bearing forests in the world. But in Myanmarâ€™s recent history they have been more of a curse than a blessing, attracting colonial annexation and plunder in which local rights were extinguished and local needs neglected. After Independence forest extraction funded the entrenchment of increasingly oppressive military dictatorships and â€˜cronyâ€™ allies, enabled through a corrupt ad hoc and unsustainable dictatorial mechanisms purely concerned with revenue at the cost of the forest itself. It is urgent that the situation is reviewed in order to identify the ways that it can be returned to formality and rule of law â€“ so that the forest resources can again become a blessing rather than a curse. This report presents findings of a research projec conducted for ALARM in 2015. It is one of two complementary papers by the authors, the other, entitled â€˜Legally and illegally logged out: Extent and Drivers of Deforestation & Forest Degradation in Myanmarâ€™ presents findings relating to forests and land use change.