Asia’s Shrinking Forests
Salopek’s journey through Myanmar continues through the Chin Hills of the country’s north and into the Sagaing region.
Along the way, he has observed how the shrinking forests are changing the region. In eastern India, a farmer described the changes: "The jungle has shrunk a lot since I was a boy. Massively. Now there are humans all over. The bears are all gone. The tigers, all gone." Myanmar has the same problem.
Teak wood is highly valued and was once common throughout Myanmar, but now the forests have almost disappeared entirely. Salopek filmed a short video from an “elephant retirement farm” on the Chindwin River. Here, domesticated lumberjack elephants are looked after following their “retirement” from the logging trade.
Salopek has also uploaded videos showing life on the road: a travelling cart using smoke to ward off insects, a remote monastery in the Chin Hills and a couple working the muddy banks of the Chindwin river in search of gold flakes.