Land disputes are harming development

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  • Land use management is a herculean task, as it is sine qua non for providing the people with daily basic needs including food safety, water resources, stability and tranquility in civil and social environment, and conservation of cultural heritage, not just for the current population but also for future generations.
    However, a lack of cooperation and coordination between the government departments and institutions connected with land has caused land disputes. The number of land confiscations and complaints about land grabbing have also increased in our country.
    The ways to solve the issues are complex, causing hindrances to land use management and resulting in a lack of development.
    We urgently need to adopt more pragmatic and strategic decisions in administering the land and natural resources of our country to bring about sustainability and to reduce the impacts of climate change.
    The lack of statistics and accurate maps have led to dire consequences between administrators and local residents, and also to the appearance of squatters.
    It is questionable whether the 100-year-old land resources management law of our country is in conformity with the situation of the current era. We need to review it considering the points of view of the people in order for the law to be fair.
    Multiple ministry departments and other organizations are administrating land use in Myanmar, and it is important their administration be in line with existing laws.
    When administering land resources, it is important to maintain perspectives from an economic, political, legal, and social point of view.
    The National Land Use Council will draft short-term and long-term strategies in collaboration with experts. This will allow authorities to quickly solve the problems surrounding land use in Myanmar and also strengthen land use administration.
    First, we should find the causes of the problems and possible solutions to the various situations surrounding land use across the country.
    When we draw up and implement town plans and investment projects, we need to lay down accurate policy, rules and regulations and cooperation and coordination between Union Ministries concerned, regional governments and institutions to reduce the land disputes. Only then, can we boost local and foreign investment.
    With systematic reforms in land use sector, we can achieve our goal.
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