National land use policy

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  • Vice President U Henry Van Thio’s speech at the National Land Use Policy Forum held recently gave a detailed depiction of how the nation handles its land resources. Land resource is without question the most fundamental natural resource for any sphere of society. Yet, it has limited availability and cannot be multiplied. Coupled with this fact, we can see how the significance of proper land resource management grows exponentially in relation to the booming world population.
    In his capacity as the Chairman of the National Land Use Council, the Vice President based his presentation and discussion on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization-(FAO)’s projection of how land resource will become more restricted as the global population continues increasing at a rapid pace.
    There is an estimate that by 2020, the burgeoning international population and soil erosion across the globe will mean that only 0.18 hectares of arable land will be available (to feed) for each global citizen.
    This number is a 50 per cent drop from those in 1960, and it is predicted to drop by half again in 2050, provided current conditions persist. Hence, we can glean from these facts the Vice President illustrated that land use policies are crucial for Myanmar and the rest of the world.
    If we comb through the country’s history we shall find that there has never been a National Land Use Policy in Myanmar until 2016.
    As a result, there have been some problems between the public, the government, and investors or businesses. The lack of statistics and accurate maps have led to dire consequences between administrators and local residents and also resulted in the appearance of squatters.
    Finding a sustainable method for managing the nation’s land resources is a national requirement that emerged in conjunction with the public’s involvement to draft the National Land Use Policy, which was enacted in January 2016.
    The enactment of this policy, which has never existed in the chronicles of Myanmar, is a true breakthrough in the country’s reform of its land sector. For the objectives, guidelines and basic principles of the National Land Use Policy to be truly effective, the relevant authorities, organizations and individuals need to fully understand its contents, so that they may also fully implement it.
    It is our wish, therefore, to urge everyone to have a complete comprehension of the policy, as a national obligation.
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