Jonathan Liljeblad, Intersections of Ecocide, Indigenous Struggle, & Pro-Democracy Conflict: Implications of Post-Coup Myanmar for Ecocide Discourses.
The paper argues that Myanmar’s current political conflict reflects an intersection of ecocide, indigenous struggle, and pro-democracy conflict. The paper observes that in the wake of the February 2021 Myanmar military coup, pro-democracy unrest encompassed a resumption of the military’s historical conflicts against various indigenous minorities along with the military’s escalation of natural resource extraction. The paper asserts that the military’s actions against indigenous peoples and the environment are related, in that Myanmar’s natural resources are predominately located within indigenous territories and the military has historically engaged extractive industries to consume those natural resources. As a result, the environment exists as a tension point between indigenous aspirations for self-determination and military operations for domination, making environmental destruction an integral component of Myanmar’s current political crisis. The paper frames Myanmar as a demonstration of how ecocide, indigenous peoples, and pro-democracy struggles can be associated together, and draws implications for the manifestation of such an association in conflict zones elsewhere.