Accessible Alternatives

“Accessible Alternatives: Ethnic Communities’ Contribution to Social Development and Environmental Conservation in Burma” consists of case studies by the members of Burma Environmental Working Group (BEWG) and Arakan Oil Watch. The case studies describe a variety of issues related to natural resource management in different parts of Burma, but they all describe a pattern: Communities have had

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their own systems of natural resource management that supported their lives and that also ensured that the resources were not depleted. But inevitably, militarization and development projects in the area have destroyed the environment and made it impossible for the local people to continue their traditional ways of life.

In some cases, support from BEWG member organizations has helped revive the natural environment and the ways of life it supports, but in other cases, communities and people continue to struggle from the impacts of military activities and development projects. All of the case studies close with suggestions about community-based natural resource management and policy recommendations for sustainable development.

The Role of Kachin People in the Hugawng Valley Tiger Reserve Print E-mail
Reports and Publications - Accessible Alternatives
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:00
Danai River BirdThe Hugwawng Valley Tiger Reserve in Kachin State is the world’s largest tiger conservation area. The traditional livelihoods of local people have helped sustain the nature in the valley. Kachin Development Networking Group reports however, that the activities of the military and government cronies are threatening not only the sustainable livelihoods of the local people but also the very ecosystem that the Tiger Reserve is supposed to protect. KDNG promises to use environmental and social advocacy tools to directly address these problems. ျမန္မာဘာသာ.
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Cut into the Ground: The Destruction of Mangroves and its Impacts on Local Coastal Communities Print E-mail
Reports and Publications - Accessible Alternatives
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:00

Mangrove diverstigation by big business

The Network for Environmental and Economic Development - Burma (NEED) reports that in Arakan State, the destruction of mangrove forests to make way for large-scale shrimp farms and brick production is causing negative impacts on local ecosystems and traditional livelihoods. Oppression by authorities further exacerbates the situation for the communities that depend on mangrove resources for their living. The case study, which is based on field sites and interviews in 20 Arakan communities, argues that more effort should be put into protecting and restoring mangrove forests in Arakan State.  ျမန္မာဘာသာ.
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Threats to Food Security and Local Coping Strategies in Northern Karen State Print E-mail
Reports and Publications - Accessible Alternatives
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:00

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KESAN shows how the conflict in northern Karen State between the Burmese army and Karen National Union (KNU) have had serious negative impacts on the local environment, traditional agricultural practices and seed-saving methods, leading to food insecurity. KESAN is working with communities in Karen State to improve food security, maintain sustainable farming systems and knowledge, and encourage community self-reliance. ျမန္မာဘာသာ
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Drowned Out: The Tasang Dam and its Impacts on Local Shan Communities and the Environment Print E-mail
Reports and Publications - Accessible Alternatives
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:00

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Shan Sapawa Environmental Organization illustrates the traditional livelihoods and forest and water management systems in communities in southern Shan State and how they have been destroyed by militarization and state-sponsored development. The case study draws attention to the negative social and environmental impacts likely to occur as the construction of Tasang dam on the Salween River proceeds. ျမန္မာဘာသာ.
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Building up of the Narco-State and Reef Blasting: Failed State-Sponsored Development Projects and their Impacts on the Lahu People Print E-mail
Reports and Publications - Accessible Alternatives
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:00

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In 2002, the governments of Burma, China, Laos, and Thailand agreed to implement a project involving blasting of reefs in the Mekong River, evidently aimed at improving navigation. The Lahu National Development Organization reports how the blasting has caused hardships for farming and fishing communities that depend on the river. The case study also describes the complicity of the Burmese military regime in the production and trafficking of illicit drugs, and how hundreds of thousands of villagers have been forcibly relocated under the pretext of eradication programs. ျမန္မာဘာသာ.
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Traditional Oil Drillers Threatened by China’s Oil Exploration Print E-mail
Reports and Publications - Accessible Alternatives
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:07
AA-AOW-4Arakan Oil Watch documents the ecological and social impacts that Chinese oil exploration have on the livelihoods of communities Ramree Island in Arakan State, and gives a sense of what can be expected as exploration of natural gas and infrastructure construction continue there. The case study is based on a report by Arakan Oil Watch, Blocking Freedom: A Case Study of China’s Oil and Gas Investment in Burma (October 2008). ျမန္မာဘာသာ
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Kachin Herbal Medicine Initiative: Creating Opportunities for Conservation and Income Generation Print E-mail
Reports and Publications - Accessible Alternatives
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:00

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Pan Kachin Development Society (PKDS) describes an initiative in Kachin State to gather medicinal herbs and produce medicine, set up a clinic, demarcate an herbal medicine forest, and document local knowledge of herbal medicine. PKDS finds that community participation in and ownership over project activities has resulted in sustainable extraction of forest resources, increased awareness among the community about the benefits of conservation, cultural revival, income generation and poverty alleviation. ျမန္မာဘာသာ.
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Environmental Protection, Indigenous Knowledge and Livelihood in Karen State: A Focus on Community Conserved Areas Print E-mail
Reports and Publications - Accessible Alternatives
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:00

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In Karen State, villagers are undertaking a range of projects aimed at environmental protection. According to the Karen Environmental Social Action Network (KESAN), these projects utilize traditional knowledge and methods, and enable the communities to maintain their livelihoods and preserve their culture while serving local development goals. The case study makes recommendations for how international conservation organisations and local, community-based groups could work together. ျမန္မာဘာသာ.
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Gold Mining in Shwegyin Township, Pegu Division Print E-mail
Reports and Publications - Accessible Alternatives
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:00

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During the dry season, villagers in Shwegyin Township in Karen State used to pan for gold in the rivers and streams to supplement their income. EarthRights International describes how this traditional, smallscale mining method is being replaced by industrial mining technologies, which in turn is destroying the natural environment. The case study also exposes the link between militarization in Shwegyin Township and the subsequent human rights abuses and rapid increase in resource exploitation. ျမန္မာဘာသာ
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