Myanmar Times-Oct 8

Second Vice President U Henry Van Thio said parliament needs to enact a National Land Law that can deal with the challenges facing the country in land use management.

He said the new law should address the problem of people settling on land that is managed by the government.

“To address these challenges and implement the objectives that are included in national land use policy, and in order to come up with new policies, laws, procedures and management forms that benefit the people, there is a need to enact a National Land Law that covers current laws relating to land management,” said U Henry Van Thio at the National Land Use Policy Forum on October 2 in Nay Pyi Taw.

Among the main challenges the government faces today in relation to land use are land disputes, the inability of the government to give permission to invest in vast land areas, outdated laws and procedures, no connection and compatibility between laws that are enacted in different sectors.

In Myanmar, the National Land Use Policy related to land management was promulgated in 2016. The policy was drafted with the assistance of local and foreign experts and domestic and foreign organizations.

It was based on the directions, approved by the UN and of international standards, which should be followed to manage land rights for sufficient national food supplies, land, livestock and fishery, and forests.

“Being able to enact the National Land Use Policy, which didn’t exist before in Myanmar, meant development towards changing the land sector, but there needs to be actual implementation of the National Land Use Policy that was promulgated and approved in order to have systematic and good land management,” said U Henry Van Thio, who also chairs the National Land Use Council.

U Kyaw Thiha, chair of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Committee of the Upper House, said the government should strengthen its policies before passing the National Land Law.

U Henry Van Thio established the National Land Use Council to flesh out and implement the guidelines and principles in the National Land Use Policy and implement related laws.

At the forum, Yangon Regional Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein said that Land Use Policy will be studied to make policy in the region.

“In our region, land must be used systematically for other applications, urban projects, and agriculture, so we are now drawing a Yangon map,” he said.