Rugged terrain, forest coverage, and insurgency in Myanmar

Wilfred Chow, Enze Han

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper examines whether non-monotonic patterns exist between forest coverage and conflict processes in Myanmar. Specifically, the paper finds that forest coverage and civil conflict follow an inverted U-shaped relationship: conflict decreases at extremely low and high densities of forest coverage but increases at medium and somewhat high forest densities. Following the logic of the variability of rugged terrain, we argue that this pattern reflects the dual mechanisms of refuge and tactical advantages for rebel groups, who intentionally use such terrain to maximize logistical advantage while minimizing the military advantages enjoyed by better equipped government forces.

Original languageEnglish
JournalConflict Management and Peace Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Civil conflict
  • forest coverage
  • Myanmar
  • rugged terrain
  • Southeast Asia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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