The Karen People have lived in our forest home for 2,758 years according to our calendar. Our lands and waters play many important roles in everyday life and in our future prosperity. They are core to the subsistence practices of our communities.
Karen territories boast fertile soil, where the ‘Ku’ shifting cultivation system is used to grow vegetables and other foods rotationally, allowing nature to recover. The rivers of our Karen territories, including the Salween, provide a means of reliable transport and trade, as well as a rich source of fish. Our people forage for wild foods like bamboo shoots, banana fruits and flowers, honey, mushrooms, and edible ferns in verdant forests.
We peacefully coexist with rare and endangered animals like the Sun Bear. Our communities gather forest materials to build and maintain homes, to make various tools and create art.
Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN)