Since 1953, Agricultural and Rural Development Corporation (ARDC) was formed and rural development activities were carried out in central dry zone of Myanmar from 1953-54 to 1963-64 (10-year period). By the year 1963, the Forest Department (FD) succeeded the responsibility of the task. Two 10-year working plans (1963-64 to 1972-73 and 1972-73 to 1981-82) were drawn up by Forest Department, for the period of total 20 years (from 1963-64 to 1981-82) and implemented the greening and development activities in central dry zone. At that time, activities were mostly concentrated in Meikhtila forest district, particularly for reforestation of watershed areas, establishment of village-owned-forests and model forests in Mount Poppa watershed area.
After constitutional reform of FD in 1982 (withdrawal of district level administration) and after 1988 disturbances, starting from 1994-95 as a first 3-year pilot project, “Special Region – Nine District Greening Project” was adopted and carried out by FD. By the year 1995-96, the project had extended from nine districts to 13 districts. “Watershed Mountain Greening Special Project” of Myingyan district was also started in 1996-97.
In July 1997, Dry Zone Greening Department (DZGD) was constituted by Ministry of Forestry (now renamed as Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation-MONREC) with the designated working area of 3 regions, 13 districts and 57 townships, covering total 21.557 million acres of central dry lands of Myanmar. The sanctioned strength of DZGD is a total 3231, including 137 officers and 3094 staffs. The headquarters of the department was inaugurated on 18th September 1997 at Patheingyi Township, Mandalay region.
In 2000-2001 fiscal year, it was restructured with working area of 12 districts, 54 townships covering 20.17 million acres excluding 3 townships (Gantgaw, Hteelin, Saw) of Gantgaw district in Magway Region. By organizing Yin Mar Bin, Sarlin Gyi, Pale and Kani townships collectively as Yin Mar Bin district under the Notification No. 200/21-79/number(1) 9358, dated 19-6-2013 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and annexing Kyaukpadaung township into Nyaung U district under the Notification No. (41/2014), dated 15-1-2014, the Dry Zone Greening Department was thus re-organized with 13 districts, 54 townships and has now been implementing its activities. Moreover, Tatkone Township under Yamethin district, Mandalay Region was again annexed into Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory. Thus, the Dry Zone Greening Department has recently reconstituted with 13 districts, 53 townships covering (19.53) million acres (7903510.60 ha) and is implementing its activities.