Kachin Environmental Organization

Email:
keo21vision@yahoo.com
Alumni: 
Yaw Na
Website:
none

 KEO's mission is to protect the natural resources, forest and the environment from further degradation in Kachin State, and conserve them for the benefit of Kachin people today as well as for future generations in Burma. KEO's goals in achieving their mission are:

- To raise the level of awareness of local people on the need for environmental protection and to empower them to participate in the government´s decision-making process on the extraction of natural resources, with due regard for sustainability.
- To raise awareness amongst Kachin people and other Kachin organizations of the connection between the abuse of the environment and the abuse of human rights in Burma.
- To raise the living standards of the indigenous people and those who are affected adversely by the extraction of natural resources by the military regime and foreign commercial interests
- To support Kachin people in the preservation of Kachin culture

 

Since its foundation, KEO has conducted various training sessions on environmental issues with members of the Kachin community and different Kachin organizations. KEO was also involved in the founding of the Burma River Network (BRN), an organization which advocates for the protection of rivers in Burma.

In addition to its own programs, KEO partners with a number of Burmese and other ethnic organizations to expand its reach within Burma. KEO is committed to developing the capacity of both organizations and individuals among ethnic minorities to work together more effectively toward reconciliation and democratization.

 

 

Kachin State is rich with natural resources such as jade and gold, different wildlife species,and beautiful forests; unfortunately, today Kachin State and all of Burma are under thecontrol of the military regime. Large scale logging, jade mining, gold mining and hydro-power projects throughout Kachin State are being financed by the military regime and foreign business investors from neighboring countries. Currently, these projects benefit only themilitary regime, while the Kachin people suffer the negative consequences.

Natural resource investment in Kachin State has a tremendous impact on the environment,leading to local climate change and the waste of natural resources. It also severely impactsthe Kachin people’s livelihood, both socially and economically. Mining, timber, and damprojects often lead to increased militarization, and households are forced to relocate fromproject sites without compensation. There have also been reports of sexual violencecommitted by Burmese military troops against women in ethnic areas. As the regime bringsmore soldiers into investment areas, these soldiers sometimes rape local Kachin women and often use forced labor to complete the project sites. In addition, with the influx of soldiers,foreign businessmen and migrant workers into investment areas, there have been increases indrug addiction, trafficking and prostitution, particularly among Kachin women and teenagers.

Although the number of investment projects has increased dramatically in recent years, nosafety or environmental precautions have been put in place to protect the Kachin people, norhave they received any financial benefits. Under the regime government, natural resourceinvestment has become increasingly corrupt and is being used to support and strengthen themilitary regime, prolonging its existence in the country and preventing democratic change.

 

Help Out!

To donate or volunteer with this organization, please contact them directly at keo21vision@yahoo.com