This guidebook provides conceptual, legal and practical tools and resources to help civil society organizations guide communities through the process of documenting customary tenure at the local level. It also provides suggestions for how to build on the momentum generated by the documentation process to develop strategies and actions to defend, strengthen and promote customary rights at community, regional and national level. The guidebook was developed out of practical experience and conversations with local groups in Myanmar that have been documenting customary tenure.
Documenting customary tenure is important for many reasons: it can empower communities to better articulate and assert their land rights against competing interests; it can build evidence to help advocate for customary tenure recognition at various levels, and it can generate reflection and learning necessary for communities to address key issues concerning land and natural resources management in their communities. This guidebook provides a flexible approach that allows tailoring the documentation process to fit the goals of the community and the local situation.