Rural communities in Myanmar have deep social, economic and cultural ties with their land and related resources. However, the ever-growing corporate interests in extractive industries and mega infrastructure projects has led to the adoption of measures, such as land confiscations, that result in the displacement of villagers whose lives are further threatened by conflict in many regions of the country. TNI works closely in this field with local movements to promote policies that prioritise the human rights of rural communities to access land, water, forests, and fisheries.
Climate change mitigation/adaptation and land grabbing are not necessarily isolated or separate phenomena. In many parts of the world such initiatives are hitting the ground in the same spaces and at the same time, often alongside environmental conservation programs as well. When they overlap and intersect, the results can be socially and politically explosive. In the transitional settings of Cambodia and Myanmar, old conflicts are being enflamed and new conflicts are being ignited, while customary ways of life and production systems are being branded as destructive or inefficient (or both) and ordinary villagers are being squeezed out.
Using collaborative action research the MOSAIC project is working to strengthen understanding of these dynamics and build capacity for more effective state policies and grassroots action and interaction, for socially and environmentally just outcomes in the case study areas and beyond.