Myanmar Land area

Burma Rural Area

The reform of land policy and law in Myanmar remains incomplete. Myanmar's ethnic states are rich in natural resources, but are among the country's least developed areas. Now who owns / uses the land? Does a compensation program already exist in this area? Any known or likely land claims in the area?


Burma is in the middle of a period of rapid economical and societal transformation with drastic repercussions for land ownership. Among the Burmese army regime that governed Myanmar since 1962, the state was the principal owner, either directly or (after 1988) through progressive-societies. During the ongoing land market reforms, small farmers are demanding their land laws back, while at the same tide external investments are inundating the land and all existing land use regulations are coming under growing scrutiny.

Myanmar's constitution (2008) provides for privately held ownership of land, whereby the state is the "final holder of all land and reserves " and "monitors the promotion and use of state reserves by commercial forces". More than 30 land regimes, some of which date from the nineteenth c. era of colonisation in Britain.

At least 20 public authorities are participating in land matters, with a system of different complexity at both EU and province nomenclature. In areas with ethnical minorities, for example, the Karen NPU has its own land use policies and registry procedures,7 although this is not recognised by the NG.

Below is the graph showing the overall area of various Statistical Information Service of Myanmar category. Title procedure is only valid for areas that have been designated as "arable land": Forest land is not eligable and is still owned in the usual way. Most of the areas of taungyas or pastures are not recorded or charted.

On the highlands, land reclassification is hampered by the story of the domestic clash between the federal administration and populations of gunmen, which has resulted in many refugees being driven out time and again. The highlands therefore have less safe land transport than the droughts.

The Myanmar Information Management Unit. While the law provides for notifications, complaints and redress proceedings, these proceedings are not respected in many cases of land transfers. This means that municipalities are expelled and even accused of entering unauthorized land that they have used for generation after generation. Small farmers, especially those who live in areas of conflicting interests, are confronted with unsafe land due to the impact of centralised land use management plans, bad interministerial co-ordination and interventions by land transfers to property owners.

Myanmar's transition has led to an increase in land conflict related to past and recent land purchases by the army, the federal administration and its commercial associates. By November 2015, a parliamentarian commission established in 2012 had been receiving some 17,000 land dispute appeals. The increasing prominence of land matters mirrors the new freedom of policy and the easing of press coverage, as well as the continued existence of rooted economic and policy interests, especially in the highlands and at the borders.

Myanmar's emerging civic community has been encouraging some smallholder peasants to bring land issues to justice. We also have a rising interest and assistance for the judicial training of growers and the development of grass-roots movements. Those same powers of transformation that accelerate land transfer and dispute also contribute to societal outcomes.

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