Ethnoecology for Peace: Karen Environmental Relations and the Salween Peace Park in Karen State, Burma

Date and Time: 
Friday, 12 May, 2017 - 09:00
Abstract Key Words: 
Applied Ethnobiology and Conservation, Protected Areas and Indigenous / Tribal parks
Author(s): 
Paul
, Andrew - Karen Environmental and Social Action Network

The Salween Peace Park is a grassroots initiative to promote peace and biocultural conservation in an area emerging from decades of armed conflict between successive Burmese military governments and the Karen movement for self-determination. My Masters research, in collaboration with the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network, is a case study of Indigenous environmental relations in a Karen community within the Salween Peace Park. My research explores the rich ceremonial and spiritual traditions of this animist community, and how these traditions promote a praxis of Indigenous conservation. I further investigate the ways in which these beliefs and practices are being taken up and reworked to create the Salween Peace Park, a 5,205-square kilometre Indigenous Community Conserved Area (ICCA) encompassing dozens of customary community territories, community forests, and wildlife sanctuaries, all dedicated to conserving biological and cultural diversity while promoting peace and national reconciliation in Burma.