Environmental justice is a social movement

Kachin’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Booms in Post-Coup Free-for-All

Every September since he was a teenager, Zi Phong* has set off from his village in Kachin State’s northern Putao township with a month’s worth of rations and a single-shot tumi rifle on his back. Trekking through dense mountain forests, the Rawang hunter, now 49, sets steel traps every 6.5 to 8 kilometres (4 to 5 miles) and camps out along the way. The hunting season, which lasts until the first snowfall around December, is grueling. For shelter, Zi Phong fastens a tent out of thin plastic shee

Kachin’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Booms in Post-Coup Free-for-All

Every September since he was a teenager, Zi Phong* has set off from his village in Kachin State’s northern Putao township with a month’s worth of rations and a single-shot tumi rifle on his back. Trekking through dense mountain forests, the Rawang hunter, now 49, sets steel traps every 6.5 to 8 kilometres (4 to 5 miles) and camps out along the way. The hunting season, which lasts until the first snowfall around December, is grueling. For shelter, Zi Phong fastens a tent out of thin plastic shee

Kachin public calls on KIO to address gold mining crisis

Unwilling to accept military rule, many in Kachin are looking to the Kachin Independence Organization to fill a void in governance. As the KIO strengthens its influence, it is facing mounting pressure to regulate environmentally destructive gold mining. Bawk Nu* has spent the last 11 years dreaming of the day she could safely return to her village of Nam San Yang. She is one of more than 100,000 people who fled their homes following a resumption in fighting between the military and the armed wi

In the Wake of Coup, Gold Mining Boom Is Ravaging Myanmar

With a military junta retaking power last year, a gold rush is increasingly despoiling rivers in the Myanmar state of Kachin, polluting water with mercury, destroying riverbanks and farmland, and disrupting the traditional way of life of the region’s ethnic groups. He traveled 60 miles west, passing through verdant forests, rice paddies, and small villages of bamboo houses. Reaching Bhamo, a town on the banks of the Irrawaddy, Myanmar’s longest river, he began mining gold and earning $4 per day

Kachin tycoon draws controversy over gold mining at Myitsone

Local people call for community leaders to do more to stop one of Kachin State’s most influential businessmen and his company from digging up and destroying land near the famed river confluence. Sut Mai* started mining gold from the bank of Kachin State’s Mali River in 2013, when he was 18. He uses a shovel, generator-powered suction pipes, a sluice pan and a tray. “Local people have been mining gold for a long time, but it’s difficult and there’s not much profit,” he said. He hails from Tang

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