Ethnic women in northwest Vietnam hold a treasure trove of knowledge about their forest biodiversity, including the uses of different trees and plants as medicine. But they face a number of challenges, chiefly from language barriers in sharing and disseminating their valuable knowledge to the next generation.
The herding communities of the Tibetan Plateau are facing many struggles to protect their grasslands and herding livestock that are integral not only to their livelihoods but also their culture and identity. Mkha Be explains the changes and challenges facing the herding communities through a nomadic woman’s personal story.
Folktales, legends, and traditional stories that local community members tell represent their experiences and views with the environment. They play an important role when the community utilizes and sustains natural commons such as water, fisheries, forests, minerals, and land, and are in fact themselves valuable and irreplaceable commons.
Climate change already affects Thai communities who rely on the Mekong River’s natural resources. Areeya Tivasuradej shows how the Clean Development Mechanism by supporting hydropower dams that devastate communities and ecosystems is a false solution to climate change, and calls for a new approach following Climate Justice principles.
When their calls for participation in Lower Se San II Dam planning processes fall on deaf ears, community members turn to traditional justice, calling upon their ancestral spirit Neak Ta Krahom Kor to protect them from forced relocation. Does Neak Ta Krahom Kor possess the strength to guard the community from this latest threat?
A personal reflection of the aspirations of a Shan lady, Ms. Nang Shining, who is seeking sustainable peace, justice and development in her hometown of Mong Pan, Southern Shan State, Myanmar. She discusses the impacts of recent logging and plans for the Mong Ton (Tasang) dam, and her work building new civil society organizations.
Ethnic groups such as the C’Tu and Ve are predominant in Central Vietnam’s Tay Giang and Nam Giang communes in Quang Nam province. Karine Hoang’s photo essay shows how the recently introduced forest protection and rubber contract farming policies are affecting the traditional customs and ways of life of the ethnic communities.
The herding communities in the Tibetan Plateau face many struggles to protect their grasslands and herding livestock that together form an integral part of their culture, identity and livelihoods. Mkha Be recollects her childhood experiences in rural Tibet and explains the changes and challenges facing the herding communities.
Laofang Bundidterdsakul is a Hmong indigenous human rights lawyer. He initiated the Salween Youth Research Project to restore people’s power along the Salween River who are seeking to protect the Salween River from a proposal for a hydropower cascade and take back decision-making about the use of the river.
A silk farm established by Ms. Kommaly Chanthavong in Lao PDR has helped reintroduce the traditional knowledge of silk weaving to her hometown. Tipakson Manpati describes her visit to the farm and explains how it combines social enterprise as a practical model of alternate development with promoting environmental awareness.