Land Acquisition Law and Practice in Myanmar | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
April 2015
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

Executive Summary:
"Land acquisition issues and resultant land disputes of various types are some
of the most controversial, contentious and vexing issues at play in the evolving
political and economic landscape of today's Myanmar. Few issues are discussed
more fervently and frequently than issues relating to the critical question of land;
who owns it, who controls it, who may seek to acquire it, disputes over it, and who is
to be potentially removed from it. Innumerable recent reports indicate three
overarching trends concerning the scale of land acquisition in Myanmar: (1)
Large tracts of land were compulsorily acquired and conceded during the past
several decades of military rule that spanned 1962-2011; (2) Additional large
tracts of land have been alienated since the present government took power in
2011; and (3) Yet further large tracts of land are currently threatened with
confiscation in coming years.2
2. As the political reform process begins to slow in the run-up to the planned 2015
national elections, and as the economy continues to liberalize within a legal and
regulatory environment which remains disproportionately skewed in favor of State
and business interests, it is clear that law is incapable in its present form of
adequately protecting the full spectrum of land-related rights of ordinary
citizens and communities. In addition, land registration and record keeping
remains extremely poor.3 This is particularly so given the fact that farmers
threatened with displacement have only what are effectively user-rights.4 These
circumstances in turn lays the groundwork for potential land disputes which can have
significantly negative impacts on business activities. The land sphere is increasingly
seen as one of the most visible sectors of society where a collusion of economic and
political elites linked to the government, military and the corporate sector find a
continuing source of power and control. Arguably, given their largely inequitable,
top-down and non-transparent nature, these developments place deeper and longerterm
democratic reforms at considerable risk, and rather than constituting a boost to
overall economic performance in the country, in fact, may undermine economic,
political and social progress in this regard. At the individual company level, the
legal and political basis for land relations in Myanmar can pose the very real
prospect of land disputes that may undermine investment opportunities...".....This entry also has a link to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards - not in the DS study.

Authors and Publishers


Displacement Solutions (DS) works with climate displaced persons, communities, governments and the UN to find rights-based land solutions to climate displacement. DS also works to empower displaced people and refugees to exercise their right to return and have restored to them their original homes, lands and properties through reliance on the right to restitution. DS works together with and on behalf of people who have been displaced not only by conflict, forced eviction or other human rights abuses, but also natural disaster, climate change or other circumstances beyond their control.

Data provider

Share this page