Unregulated gold mining, agro-industrial farming and hydropower development in Kachin State is affecting thousands of villagers, who are suffering from environmental destruction and a loss of farmland, a Kachin rights group warned.
The People’s Foundation for Development, a NGO based in the Kachin state capital Myitkyina, launched a report in Rangoon on Monday that documented ten cases in which local villagers lost their land and livelihoods to large-scale investment projects and rampant gold mining.
The group said that in recent years about 3,500 people had been forcibly evicted to make way for the suspended Myistone hydropower dam and for for the Yuzana Corporation’s massive cassava and sugarcane plantations in the remote Hukaung (also Hukawng) Valley.
Since 2006, Yuzana, with the cooperation of local authorities, has been granted 81,000 hectares (200,000 acres) of land in the region. Much of it was reportedly confiscated from hundreds of Kachin families, while the firm allegedly also cleared large parts of a tiger reserve in the valley...
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