Prior to and during its transition to a multi-party democracy, Burma has experienced rapid economic transformation across multiple sectors in urban, peri-urban and rural areas. This transition created both risks for the environment and economic opportunities for Burma’s diverse population, and placed new importance on responsible governance of land and natural resources. As policies and legislation are developed, existing communal and customary rights must be incorporated. At the same time, policies must be piloted in various communities to demonstrate broad applicability before national activities are launched.
Land-based natural resources in the country, including farmland and forests that are needed for urban expansion or infrastructure projects, have been essential components of a more equitable approach to national economic development. Decisions on how land will be used, by whom, and for what purposes could have far reaching consequences for the people of Burma, 70 percent of whom live in the countryside and rely on agriculture for their livelihood.
Between 2013 and 2018, USAID worked in close collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC), multiple civil society organizations, and other groups, both public and private, to ensure the successful implementation of this project, under the Tenure and Global Climate Change Program (TGCC).