Developing the National Land Use Policy in Myanmar: The Importance of Inclusive Public Consultations and Close Donor Coordination

Published in: Annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference

Recent rapid changes in Myanmar lead to legitimate concerns being raised relating to the land tenure and property rights of smallholder farmers and communities throughout the country. The simple fact that the overall legal and governance frameworks relating to land use management and tenure security in the country are poorly harmonized and largely antiquated added to these concerns. In Response to this the Government of Myanmar committed in 2012 to the development of a National Land Use Policy in order to strengthen land tenure security of vulnerable communities and improve the land governance frameworks in the country. This paper provides an overview of the process utilized by the Government to develop the National Land Use Policy, with emphasis on the inclusive multi-stakeholder consultative process that was transparent and ultimately respected by the parties involved. The paper will also emphasize how important donor coordination was in ensuring success of this unprecedented effort. Finally, the paper will illustrate how this policy development process has helped inform similar processes in the country.

Key Words: consultation, land, Myanmar, policy, tenure