The Kheshorter: Indigenous Karen’s Community Forest (English subtitle)
The Kheshorter: Indigenous Karen’s Community Forest (English subtitle)

Aug 10, 2017

“Our actions for forest and wildlife conservation and protection also have positive impacts on the world, which is affected by the circumstances of climate change and global warming.” To mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN) and the Kawthoolei Forestry Department (KFD) of the Karen National Union (KNU) releases a new documentary film about the Kheshorter Forest, an exceptional example of Indigenous forest conservation in Karen State, Burma. The Kheshorter Forest is a pristine ecological, social and spiritual sanctuary for Indigenous Karen communities that has existed for many generations. The forest is located in western Mutraw (Papun) District and eastern Klerlweehtoo (Nyaunglaybin) District of Kawthoolei in Burma. The Kheshorter forest is under the collective governance, protection, and management of 15 villages and covers a total area of 14,606 acres. Much of this is primary mountainous forest and is home to numerous rare and endangered species, including tigers and Hoolock Gibbons. This area also holds immense mythical and historical significance for the local Karen Indigenous people. The 26 - minute documentary explores Indigenous Karen people’s knowledge, wisdom, and practices of sustainable conservation of their forest and natural resources that they have depended on for their cultural identity, health, livelihoods, and overall well-being for generations.
Do not Abandon us (English Subtitle)
Do not Abandon us (English Subtitle)

Aug 07, 2017

"I'm willing to return to my homeland only if there is genuine peace." Burmese subtitle: https://youtu.be/zSw2SBIy30g?list=PLBqhvgQI-bcyQ0bpjDpUoho4Vdlhj1hw7 To commemorate the World Refugee Day on 20th June 2017, standing together with refugees, the Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN) would like to share the voices and concerns of Karen Refugees along the Thai -Burma border. The video "Don't abandon us" tells the story of refugees who are facing cuts in humanitarian aid while being encouraged to return before their homeland is secure. The video documentary was filmed in two Karen Refugee camps, Mae La Oon and Mae Ra Ma Luang.
Displaced Karen demand Myanmar Army leave their ancestral lands
Displaced Karen demand Myanmar Army leave their ancestral lands

Aug 07, 2017

"Refugee and IDP return should be a part of the peace agreement." English subtitle: https://vimeo.com/219462773 On the day of the 2nd Panglong Union Peace Conference is taking place in Nay Pyi Taw, the displaced Karen people organized a public demonstration demanding the removal of the Burma Army camp from their ancestral lands, in order to facilitate their safe return and rehabilitation of their livelihoods. Similarly as part of this demonstration, Karen IDPs in the Hpla Koh area of Mutraw District- displaced for over four decades- have already organized the same public demonstration on May 15th with the same demands. The ongoing peace process and its mechanisms do not provide better security for the IDPs nor prevent the expansion of the Burma Army camps. Mutraw District/5th Brigade alone has seen the number of Burma Army camps increase from 65 to 81 since 2012. This increase in Burmese troops means that thousands of refugees or IDPs remain afraid to return to their homelands because they dare not live in areas that are under the Burma Army’s control.   The IDPs from Ee Tu Hta and Hpla Koh have demanded the following demands for fundamental changes that are needed for a safe, voluntary and dignified return. (1) Burma Army camps must be withdrawn completely from our villages, farms, orchards and the roads to our homes. Specifically, there can be no return until the 17 Burma Army camps shown on the attached map are withdrawn. (2) Land mines must be removed from our villages, farms, orchards and roads. (3) An end to human rights violations, such as sexual abuse, forced labor, extortion, killing, and the destruction or confiscation of farms and orchards. (4) The end of civil war in all ethnic areas of Burma (5) A code of conduct that is properly monitored for government and ethnic military to uphold (6) Refugee and IDP return should be a part of the peace agreement with a comprehensive and clear plan for the reintegration of IDPs and refugees, with IDP return as the first priority, which includes genuine participation of the affected populations. (၂၄ ေမလ ၂ဝ၁၇) ယေန႕တြင္ ဒုတိယအႀကိမ္ေျမာက္ပင္လံုညီလာခံကို ေနျပည္ေတာ္၌ က်င္းပေနစဥ္ ကရင္စစ္ေဘးဒုကၡသည္မ်ားသည္ ၎တို႕ယခင္ေနရပ္ဌာေနသို႕ လံုၿခံဳစိတ္ခ် စြာျပန္သြာၿပီး ဘဝတဖန္ျပန္လည္စတင္ႏိုင္ရန္အတြက္ အတူတကြစုစည္းကာ ျမန္မာ စစ္တပ္၏စစ္စခန္းမ်ားအား ၎တို႕၏ဘိုးဘြားပိုင္နယ္ေျမေဒသမ်ားထဲမွထြက္ခြာေပးရန္ လုပ္ရွားမႈတစ္ခုျပဳလုပ္ကာ ေတာင္...
The Salween Peace Park : A Place for All Living Things to share Peacefully
The Salween Peace Park : A Place for All Living Things to share Peacefully

Aug 07, 2017

"A vision for an indigenous Karen landscape of human-nature harmony in southeast Myanmar/Burma" Burmese subtitle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo8ITaWqLVg&t=1s On today, 3 March 2017, to celebrate World Wildlife Day, the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN) is pleased to release a short video introducing the Salween Peace Park, an indigenous-managed reserve established to preserve Karen cultural heritage and the wildlife and nature of the Salween River basin. In the mountainous, war-torn Mutraw District of Karen State, indigenous Karen communities are working to build a new future for themselves. Local communities, KESAN and the Karen National Union lead this innovative undertaking to demonstrate how indigenous Karen people can sustainably manage their lands and forests, as well as protect endangered species like the tiger and pangolin. Throughout the 5,400 Square Kilometer Peace Park, there are already three wildlife sanctuaries and over twenty community forests - proof that alternative, community-based sustainable development and conservation initiatives can coexist. The Salween Peace Park is a grassroots, people-centered alternative to plans for destructive mega-dams and mining in the Salween River basin, and represents indigenous self-determination and community protection of natural and cultural heritage in action.
From Battlefields to Refuge: Introducing The Salween Peace Park
From Battlefields to Refuge: Introducing The Salween Peace Park

Aug 07, 2017

"Indigenous self-determination and community protection of natural and cultural heritage in action" The Salween Peace Park initiative is a collective effort involving over 300 representatives from 23 village tracts in the 3 townships of Mutraw District; the Mutraw District's Forestry Department; and one of Myanmar's leading environmental organizations, the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN). Since May 2016, the proposed 5,205 km² Salween Peace Park has undergone a lengthy and inclusive review process by indigenous Karen communities. The initiative was subject to its first public referendum in May 2016. A second public referendum was held in Day Bu Noh village in the Mutraw (Hpapun) District between December 26th to 28th, 2016. The review and comment period is ongoing and expected to be complete by the end of 2017. The Salween Peace Park development process continues to work towards international recognition--cooperating with Thailand's adjacent Salween National Park and Salween National Wildlife Sanctuary. Once formally established, the initiative will engage the Myanmar national government in discussions as to how to best protect the reserve and maximize its public benefit