KESAN works on land and natural resource issues in collaboration with the Karen National Union’s (KNU) Karen Agriculture Department (KAD) and Karen Forestry Department (KFD). This work informs, encourages and empowers local community members and officials in securing rights to their lands, in managing and developing their land and natural resources, and in developing and implementing the KNU’s land, agriculture and forest policies.
Under this program, KESAN provides trainings on land & forest policies, community forestry, sustainable natural resource management principles, land demarcation with GPS and GIS mapping, and data management. These trainings and capacity building are crucial for the demarcation and titling of land and forest in Karen State.
Threats to land tenure security have intensified since the 2012 ceasefire, along with a mushrooming of investment in land-based industries such as logging, mining, and plantation agriculture. The need to document and register the lands of Karen communities to assist them in defending their lands against confiscation and destruction is felt more than ever.