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Environmental Challenges Confronting Northern Chin State

Edith Mirante Contributor

TEDIM and FALAM TOWNSHIPS, Chin State — Chin State is considered one of Burma’s least-developed and most impoverished areas, but it is also a region of great natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Project Maje, an independent Burma information project, has conducted research in Tedim and Falam townships and written a report titled Unsheltered Heights: Northern Chin State’s Environmental Issues.

As seen in this photo essay, issues facing the region include mining, deforestation, energy needs and watershed protection.

The deadly floods brought by Cyclone Komen in 2015 caused hundreds of people in Chin State to lose their homes in landslides and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation reported that over 190,000 acres were flooded on the plains of neighboring Sagaing Division.

With climate change, more flood-causing conditions are expected. Protecting northern Chin State’s vital watershed is now more urgent than ever.

Northern Chin State is at a crossroads. Its people may be led toward resource extraction and terrible “natural” disasters or it may instead choose a more cautious and well-informed path to sustainability and self-sufficiency.

The full report can be read here.

Edith Mirante is founder of Project Maje, which distributes information on Burma’s human rights and environmental issues, and author of “The Wind in the Bamboo.”