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Posts Tagged ‘National Land Use Policy’ (6 found)

Our Customary Lands

Our landIn January 2016 the government adopted a National Land Use Policy, which included the recognition of customary land management practices. While this is a welcome fi rst step in the necessary integration of Burma’s customary land management systems with the national-level system, there is an urgent need for constitutional reform and devolution of land management powers prior to any such integration […]

July 5, 2016  •  By Ethnic Community Development Forum  •  Tags: , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Land Policies and Laws Must Reflect Rights and Interests of Vulnerable Communities

land use policy 16 nov 2014 jpaing irrawaddyAmid the various serious issues currently dominating the headlines about Burma – including the upcoming elections, the escalation in fighting between the Burma Army and ethnic armies, the recent crackdown on workers’ protests, this year’s student marches, and ongoing religious tensions – it is important that people do not lose sight of the land issue. Like other developing South-East Asian countries, Burma is grappling with the sticky and complex problems of land ownership, rights and use. As is often the case, it is the poor and marginalized communities who are most vulnerable to exploitation and human rights abuses, particularly small-scale farmers in Burma’s beleaguered ethnic regions.

This month Human Rights Foundation of Monland-Burma (HURFOM) released a report titled “Yearning to be Heard: Mon Farmers’ Continued Struggle for Acknowledgement and Protection of their Rights” – a follow-up to their 2013 reportDisputed Territory: Mon Farmers’ Fight Against Unjust Land Acquisition and Barriers to Their Progress.” It argues that “continuing barriers to progress lie primarily in the country’s broken land management system, the failures of recent land laws to secure the protection of farmers’ land rights, the failure of government bodies and authorities to perform their responsibilities unbiased from military influence, and the total impunity of the military due to the independent structure of the courts-martial.” A salient example of such impunity, mentioned in the report, is the confiscation of more than 2,000 acres of rubber plantation in Thanbyuzayat Township, Mon State, over the past year. Regrettably, such land rights abuses betray the paltry extent to which the Burma Government is able to influence the Burma Army and rein in its illegal activities […]

February 23, 2015  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Coordination Committee for Civil Society Organizations Forum

The Coordination Committee for Civil Society Organizations Forum held a press conference at M3 Food Court in Rangoon regarding issues around Burma’s reform process. These include crises brought upon by newly enacted legislation and laws proposed during the present government’s reign, the absence of rule of law, and the repression suffered by human rights activists. These issues were also raised at a meeting on 13th January 2015 between Coordination Committee member organizations and the American human rights delegation led by US Assistant Secretary of State, Tom Malinowski […]

January 14, 2015  •  By Coordination Committee for Civil Society Organizations Forum  •  Tags: , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Statement of Ethnic Community Development Forum and the Customary Land Protection Committee Concerning Myanmar’s National Land Use Policy (Draft)

On November 1 and 2, 2014 representatives of more than 30 organizations of civil society and farmers networks came together in a workshop to review and analyze the draft national land use policy of Myanmar. […]

November 6, 2014  •  By 31 Civil Society Organizations  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

New National Land Use Policy Must Reflect the Concerns of those Affected

31 Oct 2014 Photo By IrrawaddyThe Burma Government released its draft land use policy document and opened it up for consultations with the public. Despite this positive sign, the time for consultations is inadequate with no proper mechanism or space created for the meaningful participation of affected communities in order for their concerns to be reflected in the draft. The draft document itself has been heavily criticized for serving to further empower investors over small scale farmers.

Since the beginning of the reform process in 2011, land grabbing, a practice that the previous military regime engaged in regularly, has hit new heights as a flurry of investors seek opportunities in previously untapped markets and the Burma Government liberalizes the economy. A prime example of this is the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Project, a joint Thailand–Burma Government initiative that is seeking private investment to create one of the largest industrial zones in Asia. A report released by Dawei Development Association on 21 October 2014 highlights how 20-36 villages will be negatively affected. Concerns iterated by the local communities show that they have “lost farmlands and natural resources that are vital to their livelihoods, without prior information.” Furthermore “there was no meaningful consultation, and a deeply flawed compensation process.”

Land grabbing is often done with protection from the military, or by the military itself, for factories, infrastructure projects, mono-crop plantations, or military bases, and as with the Dawei SEZ case, usually without adequate or indeed, any compensation. It is a nationwide problem, both in ethnic areas, as documented by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland and Karen Human Rights Group, while in central Burma and delta areas, land grabbing is common place. Given that around 70% of the population of Burma is engaged in agriculture, and it is agricultural lands that are most often confiscated, it is one of the most pressing issues for Burma today […]

November 4, 2014  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤