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Accepted Participant Detail:

Conservation through self-determination in the Salween Peace Park  


Saw John Bright (Karen Environmental and Social Action Network)

Short bio:

Saw John is an ethnic Karen, working as water governance program coordinator with KESAN fostering inclusive, informed, accountable and equitable community-based natural resource governance. John has been accepted for a PhD program in 2022 at Wageningen University to study the Salween Peace Park.

Additional details:

John will draw on his extensive experience working with Karen communities to establish the Salween Peace Park. Reflect on his knowledge as a Karen person, John will discuss what decolonizing conservation means in an area that is at once a biodiversity hotspot, a centre of Indigenous Karen culture, and the site of one of the longest-running armed conflicts in the world. Indigenous Karen villagers, local Karen administrators, and Karen civil society organizations are promoting a different kind of conservation -- a model that recognizes and supports local communities' environmental governance rooted in ancestral ways of knowing and being with their lands, waters, and forests. As an Indigenous-declared protected area, or ICCA, the Salween Peace Park stands in sharp contrast to the colonial 'fortress' conservation models that remain prevalent across Southeast Asia.

Roundtable R009
Decolonizing Conservation: A Global Conversation