Tyrants, Tycoons and Tigers: Yuzana Company Ravages Burmas Hugawng Valley

A bitter land struggle is unfolding in northern Burma’s remote Hugawng Valley. Farmers that have been living for generations in the valley are defying one of the country’s most powerful tycoons as his company establishes massive mono-crop plantations in what happens to be the world’s largest tiger reserve. The Hukawng Valley Tiger Reserve in Kachin State was declared by the Myanmar Government in 2001 with the support of the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society. In 2004 the reserve’s designation was expanded to include the entire valley of 21,890 square kilometers (8,452 square miles), making it the largest tiger reserve in the world. Today a 200,000 acre mono-crop plantation project is making a mockery of the reserve’s protected status. Fleets of tractors, backhoes, and bulldozers rip up forests, raze bamboo groves and flatten existing small farms. Signboards that mark animal corridors and “no hunting zones” stand out starkly against a now barren landscape; they are all that is left of conservation efforts. Local villagers tending small scale farms in the valley since before it was declared a reserve have seen their crops destroyed and their lands confiscated. Conflicts between Yuzana Company employees, local authorities, and local residents have flared up and turned violent several times over the past few years, culminating with an attack on residents of Ban Kawk village in 2010. As of February 2010, 163 families had been forced into a relocation site where there is little water and few finished homes. The Kachin Development Networking Group stands firmly with these communities and therefore calls on Yuzana to stop their project implementation to avoid any further citizens’ rights abuses and calls on all Kachin communities and leaders to work together with Hugawng villagers in their brave struggle.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Reports, journal articles, and research papers (including theses and dissertations)
Language of document
  • English
Topics Agriculture and fishing
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Myanmar
Copyright To be determined
Version / Edition 1.1
License unspecified
Author (corporate) KDNG
Co-author (coorporate) Kachin Development Networking Group
Publication date 2010
Keywords Forest Destruction,Agribusiness,Yuzana,Private Sector
Date uploaded June 13, 2018, 14:35 (UTC)
Date modified April 11, 2021, 16:30 (UTC)