USAID’s Land Tenure Project (LTP) hosted a guest lecture series with over 500 participants, including university students, to discuss land-related issues in Burma. LTP presented on topics such as land governance, policy and law, and political aspects of legal change. Lectures included discussions with students on international efforts by the donor community to strengthen the policy framework. Participants included undergraduate and graduate students, PhD candidates, and Law Department lecturers from the University of Yangon, Mandalay University, and Yezin Agricultural University.
A lecturer from the University of Mandalay Law Department noted, “We are now teaching land laws and administration to second-year students as compulsory subjects. Our lectures mainly focus on theory. Now, LTP land governance lecture series…is very supportive for our students to know the practical situation of land administration in country. This is a good initiative for us and we are now discussing with government representatives…who joined the lecture series as observers to hold knowledge sharing on land tenure workshop like this.”
Land-related issues will continue to be an important topic in Burma for years to come; new, well-informed leaders are needed to help address these issues. Bringing first-hand field experience and expert legal knowledge to students and teachers can help foster interest, raise awareness, and share lessons learned and solutions for land issues. Additionally, the lectures provide a dialogue between stakeholders and academics, and introduce USAID support for a strengthened land law framework to a broad, active audience. Notably, authorities from Government of Burma departments that have jurisdiction over land issues also joined the lectures and participated actively in dialogue.