Recognition of Customary Tenure in the Mekong Region: a Dialogue

13 February 2017 to 24 February 2017
Natalia Scurrah
Terry Parnell

From 13-24 February 2017, the Mekong Region Land Governance (MRLG) project and the Land Portal will co-facilitate an online dialogue on the Recognition of Customary Tenure in the Mekong Region.



Palm Oil Projects Destroy Local Livelihoods: Report


Date: 12 January 2017

Source: The Irrawaddy

More than 1.8 million acres of palm oil plantations in Burma’s southern Tenasserim Division do more harm than good for local Karen villagers, causing land conflict, damaging livelihoods, destroying biodiversity, and polluting the environment, according to a new report.

Protesters Call for Resignation of Arakan State’s Regional House Speaker

RANGOON – Around 100 Sittwe residents called for the resignation of the Arakan State parliament speaker in a Tuesday protest over unresolved cases of land confiscation, rally participants told The Irrawaddy.

The land grabs in question date as far back as the early 1990s, when Burma was governed by a military junta. Seizures of land were reportedly carried out to develop an industrial ward in the area.

Land Rights Matter! Anchors to Reduce Land Grabbing, Dispossession and Displacement

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“It is paradoxical but hardly surprising that the right to food has been endorsed more often and with greater unanimity and urgency than most other human rights, while at the same time being violated more comprehensively and systematically than probably any other.”

Richard Cohen, in Causes of Hunger, 1994

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September 2016

“The Farmer Becomes the Criminal”

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In Burma, where 70 percent of people earn a living through agriculture, securing land is often equivalent to securing a livelihood. But instead of creating conditions for sustainable development, recent Burmese governments have enacted abusive laws, enforced poorly conceived policies, and encouraged corrupt land administration officials that have promoted the displacement of small-scale farmers and rural villagers.

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November 2016

Amid peace and prosperity, Myanmar farmers fall prey to land seizures

By: Alisa Tang
Date: November 3rd 2016
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Land conflicts in Myanmar have escalated in recent years, with military and armed groups driving people from their land, and new laws failing to protect farmers, a rights watchdog said on Thursday.

Convergence under pressure

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All four countries in continental South-East Asia featured in this paper (Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam) are experiencing land conflicts that could potentially destabilise their governments.1 Thailand is in a similar situation in many respects, as it has faced mounting tensions over land tenure since the 1990s (Hall et al., 2011). These conflicts are escalating, sometimes violent, and are attracting more and more attention from the media. They have mobilized numerous local and international NGOs, and often triggered the development of an increasingly visible national civil society.

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December 2015

Myanmar: The Next Great Land Tenure Reform?

By: Roy Prosterman (Landesa)
Date: September 20th 2016
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Could the newly democratic nation become Asia's sixth development success story?

Since World War II, there have been five great Asian development success stories founded upon land tenure reforms that allocated land ownership, or equivalent long-term land rights, into the hands of small farmers. Will Burma be the sixth?

In Getting Rich, Myanmar Must Not Forget Its Poor

By: Hanna Hindstrom
Date: September 2nd 2016
Source: the Diplomat

Economic development must not come at the expense of those less fortunate.

When U Mya Hlaing came home three years ago he found an eviction notice plastered to his front door. It accused him of being a squatter on his own farmland and told him to pack his bags within two weeks or face thirty days in prison. His village would be destroyed to make way for a multi-billion dollar industrial project.

Upcoming peace conference an opportunity to transform Myanmar – UN rights expert

Date: August 29th 2016
Source: UN Press Release

29 August 2016 – Speaking ahead of a major peace conference in Myanmar, a United Nations independent expert has urged its participants to prioritise human rights issues in their discussions over the coming days, and to do more to ensure the process is fully inclusive.