Community land protection in Myanmar

USAID recently published a blog post about their pilot work in Myanmar on protecting community lands - both through stronger documentation and recognition of community’s rights to lands and natural resources, and through strengthening local natural resource governance.

Read about it here:

The people of Let Maung Kway rely on shared assets for survival, yet there is no community land or resource management committee, and little coordination over resource use. Over time — and with each household making independent decisions about how community resources are used — deforestation, forest conversion for agriculture, soil degradation, and water depletion have increased.

Any thoughts from @namati_myanmar @clp_partners on how Namati or partners could support similar efforts in Myanmar?

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Not.only in Lat Maung Kwe, also in Taunggyi, Yae Pu Village have issues of land grabbing by.military and for not understanding of laws of Union of Myanmar, 72 of farmers have gone to prison for two months. Also in Naung cho township have twenty farmers gone to prison for two and half years , for those who cannot go to prison have to pay twenty lakhs of MMK to Military. I really appreciate if.only NAMATI have spread their network with hilly regions CSOs for extending their activities of justice. With hopefully. SYL

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Thank you @Jessica - Namati is looking into how it might be possible to spread the network of land paralegals further. We will be sure to share more about expansion plans when we can, and I hope that you will continue to participate in these discussions. Please continue to share stories about land justice issues in your areas and the types of efforts that you and other organizations are doing to support farmers and communities.

Continuing the discussion about community land and land rights in Myanmar, here is an interesting post from the Guardian today that links the issues of citizenship (Rohingya persecution) and land grabs - of interest to @namati_clp @namati_citizenship and @namati_myanmar I would think!

We must ask whether the sharpened persecution of the Rohingya (and other minority groups) might be partly generated by military-economic interests, rather than by mostly religious/ethnic issues. Expelling Rohingya from their land might well be good for future business. In fact, quite recently the government allocated 1,268,077 hectares (3,100,000 acres) in the Rohingya’s area of Myanmar for corporate rural development; this is quite a jump compared to the first such formal allocation which was in 2012, for just 7,000 hectares (17,000 acres). To some extent the international focus on religion has overshadowed the vast land grabs that have affected millions, including the Rohingya. … Seen from this angle, persecution of the Rohingya has at least two functions, even if unplanned. Expelling them from their land is a way of freeing up land and water. Burning their homes makes this irreversible: the Rohingya are forced to flee and leave their lands behind. Secondly, a focus on religious difference mobilises passions around religion, rather than aiming, let’s say, at creating pressure on the government to stop evictions of all smallholders, no matter their religion.

What do you think of this argument?

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A few people bring this up…but the landgrabbing is more a byproduct of the conflict rather than a cause. They’re not persecuting the rohingya in order to take land…but when you’ve got people living in camps and unable to move home makes it much easier to take their land and no one will stand up for them- this is a dynamic in all the conflicts in Myanmar, not just in Rakhine.

The article overlooks a number of important reasons why the conflict has re-emerged there (and the fact that it is long standing)…in my opinion definitely an example of correlation not equalling causation!

Caitlin J. Pierce Myanmar NAMATI: Innovations in Legal Empowerment

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Yes. Of course I will. Anytime. Feel free to contact me. I’m available. For your question on my opinion on Rho, when the government have authority to handle things with righteous actions, they handled with procedures. And I hope you know very well how Daw Aung San Su Kyi reflected on this issues. I use to work at Maung Daw, Buthitaung tiwn for six months with a CSO call Action for green earth. We offer foods, goods and other needs of human being without asking their religion. They come to us when they need foods. Give me a week. Let me share my experiences on that region with a pdf. After you read my paper, let talk about how we go on with less conflicts.

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