Indigenous activists clash with UN over proposed park

When farmer May Cho Win learned that a conservation project proposed by the U.N. Development Program in Myanmar would include the land she’s worked for over a decade, the 28-year-old wondered how she and her husband would be able to support their three children.

“Without our land we can’t live,” she told The Associated Press, speaking by phone from her single-room bamboo home. “If they come and do this project, we will have nothing to do — we’ll be like dead people.”

The $21 million “Ridge to Reef” project — funded by the Global Environment Facility with support from the Smithsonian Institute, the Myanmar government and other partners — would conserve nearly 5,500 square miles (14,000 square kilometers) of land, coastline and marine areas in southern Myanmar’s Tanintharyi Region.

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