The first meeting of the National Land Use Council was held at the Ministry for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of the Council Vice President U Henry Van Thio said that the time is more important than ever to set down pragmatic and strategic decisions in administering land resources.
“The lack of statistics and accurate maps have led to dire consequences between administrators and local residents and also to the appearance of squatters,” said the Vice President.
He said multiple ministry departments and other organisations are administrating land use in Myanmar and it is important their administration to be in line with existing laws.
He said the laws and administrative framework still being used have not been updated in at least a century and so are in urgent need of reviews and amendments. He also acknowledged the meeting as the first discussion meeting of the council since the National Land Use Policy was enacted on January 2016.
Vice President U Henry Van Thio stressed the need to effectively use the country’s resources to develop the socio-economic levels of society, saying that the broad task of administering the use of land affects all aspects of the people’s daily lives from transportation and businesses to cultural and environmental conservation. When administering land resources it is important to maintain perspectives from an economic, political, legal, and social point of view, said the Vice President.
A capable system, effective policy, and a stable legal framework are also necessary. He said that for a long time Myanmar has lacked an effective land usage policy and has had weak administration for generations and as a result there have been some problems between the public, the government, and investors or businesses.
Consequently there have also been some conflicts in the industrial, mining, tourism, agricultural, forestry, and urban sectors regarding use of land such as environmental damage due to poorly planned development schemes, insufficient land for foreign investors, and unusually high land prices.
The National Land Use Council will draft short-term and long-term strategies in collaboration with experts. He said this will allow authorities to quickly solve the problems surrounding land use in Myanmar and also strengthen land use administration as well.
The Vice President then urged everyone in attendance to speak out on problems and possible solutions to the various situations surrounding land use across the country.
Afterwards the Council’s Vice Chairman, Union Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ohn Win, explained the Council’s progress and accomplishments to the attendees. This was followed by the attendees taking turns to talk about and explain the situation in the different regions and states in Myanmar.