Decades of war and unsustainable extraction have left Burma’s waterways, lands, and forests cut down, dug up, ooded, and polluted. The resource-rich ethnic states are living under the scourge of an environmental disaster that threatens the very foundation of their—and the country’s—future. Hundreds of thousands remain homeless due to ongo- ing armed con ict, and fundamental calls for self-determination have gone unheeded in a lack of political dialogue.
While Burma’s ethnic states are blessed with a wealth of natural resources and biodiversity, they have been cursed by the unsustainable extraction and sale of those resources, which has fuelled armed con ict. Instituting a system of devolved federal management of natural resources can play a key role in resolving con ict and building a lasting peace in Burma.
Despite some cease res on paper, Burma remains in a state of con ict. Ongoing offensives in Kachin and Shan states alone have left hundreds of thousands homeless. Fundamental calls for self-determination have gone unheeded in a lack of political dialogue to end decades of ghting.