Kachin State is facing social problems and environmental destruction because of the unsystematic exploitation of natural resources, according to the Kachin Development Networking Group.
The group released a policy discussion report on resources development based on people’s testimony and a decade of community research documenting the impact of large-scale projects.
Social and environmental problems are being blamed on large, centralised development projects and unsystematic exploitation of natural resources by governments during the last 20 years, where little attention has been given to Kachin interests.
The report said residents did not benefit from so-called mega projects. For example, 90 per cent of electricity generated the Malikha dam was due to be sent to China while farmers were forced off their land, it said.
The report stated that the Constitution needed to be changed to resolve conflicts by permitting Kachin State to legally administer and tax natural resources and stop further large projects being decided by central government.