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Natural resources in the Shan State of Myanmar provide the base for livelihoods among rural populations, providing food, shelter, and medicine to regions where markets, clinics, and schools are scarce. Local wisdom talks about the three governments in the Shan State: The central Myanmar government, the Burmese military, and the local ethnic armed organizations (EAOs). These fragmented sovereignties directly impact not only local communities’ access to natural resources, but also the research methods used to understand this. Using two villages from along the Thanlwin River in the Shan State and the collaborative methods from this research project as case studies, this chapter unpacks rights-based, disciplinary and structural, and relational mechanisms of access to enforce control over natural resources; at times, to the advantage or disadvantage of local communities and the research process. By understanding the mechanisms of access behind fragmented sovereignties it becomes possible to better design research and to analyze the feasibility and impacts of policy implementations on the lives of local people.
Discrepancy between reservoir and impact lies in the difference between pro-dam and anti-dam information notices.
In January 2016, the National Land Law Policy was accepted by the previous government of Myanmar. For the scope of this chapter, it has yet to be seen how this will be implemented.
For example, the Mong Ton dam is based on agreements signed by the Myanmar Parliament with the Chinese Three Gorge’s Corporation, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and the Burmese Ministry of Electric Power, with the Australian Snowy Mountain Engineering Company (SMEC) consulting on the construction of the dams (Salween Watch 2013).
This temporal forest access is also a result of the perceived threat women face as a result of military presence. See also, Hnin Wut Yee ( 2016).
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- Powers of Access: Impacts on Resource Users and Researchers in Myanmar’s Shan State
K. B. Roberts