Karen Indigenous People declare the Salween Peace Park
Kayin (Myanmar)December 2018
Karen Indigenous Communities, the Salween Peace Park Committee and the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network officially launched Salween Peace Park in Mutraw District, Kayin State, Myanmar, the December 2018. The event included a commemoration service of indigenous leader and environmental activist Saw O Moo, a fierce supporter of the peace park initiative who was assassinated by members of the Myanmar army last year.
Salween Peace Park is the result of decades of grassroots efforts, such as the establishment of community forests, the application of conservation areas for fish, and the demarcation of traditional indigenous territories (Kaw). The initiative for this park was promoted by local communities, Karen civil society groups and Mutraw district leaders with a desire to offer an alternative to militarized development, and the decision to oppose to the construction of new hydroelectric dams and new mines in the Salween River basin.
The Salween Pay Park initiative aims to bring peace, freedom and security to the land of the Karen Indians of Mutraw. The Park comprises an extensive region of 5,485 km2 of the Salween River Basin, with more than 340 villages, 139 Kaw delimited, 27 community forests, four forest reserves and three wildlife sanctuaries.