Ethnic armed groups in Myanmar’s border states have been in conflict with the central government for more than half a century.Civil society groups, ethnic political groups and ethnic armed groups already blame the Salween dams for either exacerbating existing conflict or prompting new military incursions.The UNHCR estimates that as of December 2015, Myanmar already has some 400,000 internally displaced persons, entire communities who have had to flee from war, natural disasters or development projects. Many fear the dams could create thousands more. Leh Paw, an ethnic Karen woman taking refuge in Htee Htay Khee village speaks with Mongabay in November. Photo by Demelza Stokes. “I just get poorer and poorer,” Leh Paw, a Karen woman recently displaced due to conflict in Myanmar’s Karen (Kayin) state, told Mongabay in November. This is the third time in 30-year-old Leh Paw’s life that she has been forced to leave her village due to conflict, “You see me now, I live in poverty. I just get poorer and poorer, until I have nothing. Because of the conflict I have had to flee, again and again. And when we flee we have to give up everything, our property, paddy fields, buffalos, crops. We have nothing left.” Leh Paw is from Po Chi Ler village in the Myaing Gyi Ngu area of Hlaingbwe township, Karen state. She fled from her home earlier this year due to ongoing violent clashes between the Tatmadaw, its allied Border Guard Force (BGF), and a splinter group of the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA). Along with her husband and two children, Leh Paw is among over 300 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are still taking refuge in Htee Thay Khee village on the bank of the west bank of the Moei River in eastern Myanmar, at the border with Thailand. Htee Thay Khee’s IDPs are the latest in hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority people who have been displaced through Myanmar’s decades of conflict. In 2014 there were approximately 110,000 IDPs in southeast Myanmar, displaced due to war, natural disasters or large-scale development projects, according to a survey by The Border Consortium (a group of non-governmental organizations). To the north, 300,000 people are thought to have been displaced from Shan state alone during Myanmar army (Tatmadaw) offensives in the 1990s. Hlaingbwe in Karen (Kayin) State lies north of the Salween Delta, between Yangon and the Thai border. Inset shows conflicts from the 1990s until early 2016. Map courtesy of Map for Environment, inset courtesy of CenterLeftRight and Aoetearoa/Wikimedia Commons. This is the second article in a five-part series exploring Myanmar’s Salween landscape amid galvanizing plans to develop hydropower projects along its course. Part I outlines plans being made by businesses and governments in China, Thailand and Myanmar to harness the Salween’s vast hydroelectric potential. Part III uncovers some of the Salween’s ethnic and ecological biodiversity at stake, focusing on the Kun Heng “thousand islands,” a unique riverine ecology facing submersion under the Mong Ton dam reservoir in Shan State. Part IV meets actors involved in creating the ‘Salween Peace Park,” combining wildlife conservation and peace-building in Karen State, where the world’s longest running civil war has raged since 1949. Part V focuses on downstream Salween communities’ livelihoods and ongoing changes facing the broader Salween landscape due to Myanmar’s rapid economic development.