Midcourse Manoeuvres: Community Strategies and Remedies for Natural Resource Conflicts in Myanmar

Since its creation in the 1960s and particularly in the last decade, Southeast Asia has been going through an economic boom and has been attracting significant foreign investments. Myanmar, despite its land titling and registration tangles, is no exception. Investors are eying its land resources. Investors all across the globe are vying for a piece of the “Golden Land” and the country is reciprocating to their interest with equal fervour. Currently in Myanmar, foreign investments are being encouraged, private businesses are being pushed, and attractive tax and duty rebates are being offered for the same. “Building of a modern industrialised nation through the agricultural development and all round development of other sectors of the economy” is one of its national economic objectives (Aung & Kudo, 2012). This objective means that the course of development to be followed by the country is going to be highly land intensive. This research tries to understand how land use change has occurred throughout Myanmar and what its consequences on communities have been. The first section provides an overview of land governance in Myanmar. The second section maps the extent of land use change driven by different sectors and the underlying issues in each sector of land use. The third section focuses on the impacts caused by land use change on farmers’ and communities’ lives. The fourth section explores the strategies employed by the people affected by these land transformations. The fifth section discusses the remedies sought and obtained by those affected by the land transformations. In the last section, a brief overview of the study has been provided with concluding remarks. The overview report can be accessed here, along with the individual reports on India and Indonesia.