Investigating Community Knowledge Of Rural Land Resources In The Yway Gone Village Tract, Southern Shan State, Myanmar

Published in: Annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference

In Myanmar, seventy percent (70%) of the population lives in rural areas and relies on agriculture for their livelihoods. It is essential for these citizens, particularly the most vulnerable (i.e. women and ethnic minorities), that use and tenure rights are recognized, thereby supporting more equitable economic growth for all. The agricultural sector of Myanmar has long suffered due to poor national level policies, weak land use planning, and a lack of enforcement of land-related laws and regulations, a situation exacerbated by the absence of formal tenure security for many individuals and communities. The new era of political transparency beginning in 2011, which ultimately led to the new, democratically elected administration in 2016, has heralded an era of rapid political and economic transition, something that is clearly evident in the formulation of policies that impact rural populations as well as foreign investment. A National Land Use Policy (NLUP) now exists that will form the basis for the future development of a new National Land Law. This paper explores the degree to which a rural community in Myanmar understands existing land resource management practices with a view to documenting what future actions would be necessary to safeguard presently informal tenure arrangements.