The Statement of Mon Civil Society and Land Users on the Current Government National Land Use Policy
November 11, 2014
On November 10 representatives of Mon civil society organizations and land users came together in a workshop to review and analyze the draft national land use policy of Myanmar at Paing Kate Hall, Myaingthaya in Mawlamyaing City. There were 61 participants from 30 organizations and 4 land experts participated in the workshop and made the following recommendations:
1. There are no measures in the current national land use policy that address the land problems in the country. Therefore it needs time, input and advices from the people.
2. The farmers, land users, women and representatives of civil society need to be allowed to be involved in developing a good national land use policy.
3. A good national land use policy should legally recognize and protect the ethnic customary land tenure systems, including ownership, freedom of use, management and decision-making.
4. Representatives of ethnic leaders should be involved in the national land use policy making process.
5. The national land use policy must also address peace and national reconciliation.
6. Land use should not be prioritize for business investment purposes. Instead it should prioritize social justice and sustainable development of the people based on the human rights principles.
7. To promote poverty eradication in the country, investments should prioritize, strengthen and promote the people and farmers’ existing farming practices and activities.
8. Land use policy should recognize and respect women’s distinct land use needs and rights, and women should be represented in the decision making bodies concerning land use and land use policy.
9. The government should make widespread use of media to inform the public and provide enough time for people to engage and meaningfully participate in the process of making the land use policy.
10. An independent and respected body, with effective decision making power, should be established to solve land problems in the country.
11. Concerning land problems in ethnic territories, the ethnic people should be able to decide on their own.
12. All ethnic nationalities should be represented in all National Land Use and Management Councils or Committees.
Naw Aye Aye Kyaing (Thae Eain, Poung Township) – 09255879640, 0933495473
U Pwint San (Pa-an Media Group) – 0931665422
Sayama Daw Kin Khaing Than Tway (Myanmar Writers Association Mawlamyaing) – 09255806291
Min Min New (Thalwin News Agency) – 0933335304
Nai Sawor Mon (HURFOM) — 09250333019