ABSTRACT ORIGIN UNKNOWN: This report provides a recent update on land policies in the ethnic regions of Burma following the 2010 national elections and the beginning of the ceasefire with the Karen National Union in 2012. The authors argue that, while military conflict and associated abuses have declined, the Burmese government’s commitment to foreign investment and export-led economic growth is making traditional land tenure even less secure than before. The authors point out the importance of confronting the myths supporting land expropriation for industrial enterprises, and they also provide a rationale for supporting subsistence agriculture and indigenous land rights. Finally, while some scholars may advocate for the development of a private property land titling process to safeguard Karen people’s land rights, the authors of this report suggest that such action could make land tenure even less secure by reinforcing the idea that land rights are contingent on a piece of paper. Rather, the authors advocate for recognition of communal land rights under Karen customary law.
Authors and Publishers
The Transnational Institute (TNI) is an international research and advocacy institute committed to building a just, democratic and sustainable world. For more than 40 years, TNI has served as a unique nexus between social movements, engaged scholars and policy makers.
The Transnational Institute (TNI) is an international research and advocacy institute committed to building a just, democratic and sustainable world.
Founded in 1974 as a network of ‘activist scholars’, TNI continues to be a unique nexus between social movements, engaged scholars and policy makers.
The Mekong Land Research Forum seeks to bring research and policy a bit closer together. It does this in part by making the research more accessible and in part by helping to distill the key messages and points of debate so that information overload does not overwhelm policy makers and other advocates for progressive policy reform.