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Article

30 Nov 2022

Author:
Carolyn Cowan, Mongabay

Myanmar: Environmental and Indigenous rights defenders under attack amid rampant resource extraction from forests & shrinking of civic space

"Myanmar communities decry disempowerment as forest guardians since 2021 coup", 17 November 2022

Myanmar harbors some of the most extensive tracts of old-growth forest in mainland Southeast Asia.. Strides have been made in forest protection over the past decade, but violent conflict, shrinking civic space and “rampant” natural resource extraction in the wake of the February 2021 military coup have severely hampered community-level efforts to safeguard the country’s ecosystems from development... [Rights groups] questioned how the world can address the enormous challenge of climate change when environmental defenders in countries such as Myanmar are prevented from taking action... The military regime and its associates are “forcibly evicting people from their homes to make way for mining developments,” ... Those who speak up are threatened, arrested or murdered... Myanmar’s military regime has been widely criticized for relying on natural resources, such as mining, logging and oil and gas reserves, to generate foreign revenues to fuel its activities. Its forces have arrested more than 16,000 people and overseen the killing of more than 2,400 since the coup...

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