This Primer promotes a deeper understanding and appreciation of Myanmar's customary tenure systems, which are under threat from the government's new land policies. It looks at the nature and origin of traditional land and resource use customs and the functions these fulfill in Myanmar's rural communities.
Shifting cultivation is a form of agro-forestry in which the cultivation of annual agricultural crops is combined with fallowing long enough for trees to grow before the plot is cultivated again. Why is shifting cultivation so controversial, and why do different stakeholders hold such divergent views - for some a valuable and honourable tradition but for others virtually a criminal activity?
Jun Borras, Jennifer Franco, S. Ryan Isakson, Les Levidow, Pietje Vervest, Gustavo de L. T. Oliveira, Mindi Schneider, Ben McKay, Sérgio Sauer, Ben Richardson, Roman Herre, Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Juan Liu, Tania Salerno, Yunan Xu, Markus Kröger
14 May 2018
What is a flex crop, and what does this mean for food, land, climate, and people?
Jun Borras, Jennifer Franco, Clara Mi Young Park, Mads Barbesgaard, Yukari Sekine, Ye Lin Myint, Thant Zin
02 March 2018
Dominant approaches to climate change mitigation are putting new pressures on small farmers and village dwellers, justifying dispossession by powerful actors who cast villagers' traditional ways of life as ecologically destructive or economically inefficient. In order to address the twin challenges of agrarian justice and climate justice, it is critical to understand the way new conflicts and initiatives intersect with old conflicts and the way they are compounded by undemocratic settings, and inequality and division along fault-lines of gender, ethnicity, class, and generation.
Global pressure on land and natural resources is mounting, with mainstream narratives about climate change often intensifying pressure to replace so-called "inefficient" users of land, including small farmers and pastoralists with market-based dynamics and actors. This dynamic makes the pursuit of socially just land policy ever more important and urgent, while at the same time creating new challenges. The fundamental connections and tensions between agrarian and climate justice must be reckoned with, and movements on both sides must deepen their understanding.
Ruth Hall, Zoe Brent, Jennifer Franco, Moenieba Isaacs, Tsegaye Shegro
05 October 2017
This Guide is drawn from experience in the action research project “Bottom-up accountability initiatives and large-scale land acquisitions in Africa”. The project aimed to bring the international soft law instrument, the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of the Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests (the Tenure Guidelines or TGs), to rural communities and, together with them, to use the Guidelines to strengthen their tenure of land, fisheries and forests.
Access to and control over land and associated natural resources have long been key determinants shaping rural lives worldwide. Relationships to land, forests, water and aquatic resources influence whether rural working people are able to build decent and dignified livelihoods, avoid or escape hunger, participate in decision-making, avoid or escape political exclusion and marginalization, and sustain collective identities and social reproduction processes.
What is the role of land in establishing lasting future peace in Myanmar? The country is at a crossroads, and facing rapid land polarization. However, the inauguration of a new government chosen by a landslide in historic elections offers an unprecedented opportunity to change course in a positive direction. An approach that prioritizes poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups especially ethnic nationalities, women, and youth, could lay a foundation for peace.
Jennifer Franco, Hannah Twomey, Khu Khu Ju, Pietje Vervest, Tom Kramer
28 January 2016
“Land is like our vein; it is vital for our living. After our land was confiscated, we don’t know what to do for our livelihood,” says a farmer from Kachin State in Myanmar. Today many inhabitants of rural communities in Myanmar live under threat of losing their lands in a battle for resources spurred by ethnic conflict, exploitative land laws, and powerful economic actors. The existence of a legal right to the land does not translate into that right being respected in practice, and people across the country are now working to protect their right to the land.
Democratic land control is inseparable from human rights. Demands for democratic land control need to be understood in the context of broadly distinct political conditions that in turn each require distinct political intervention, namely, respect/protect, promote, and/or restore democratic land control.
Jennifer Franco, Pietje Vervest, Tom Kramer, Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Hannah Twomey
16 February 2015
Myanmar's National Land Use Policy promises to make profound changes to the current economic, social, and political-institutional landscape. This is an important and bold step, but its impact will depend on how it addresses the often “messy” details of actual land based social relations.
Jennifer Franco, Satoko Kishimoto, Sylvia Kay, Timothé Feodoroff, Gloria Pracucci
20 October 2014
Water grabbing refers to situations where powerful actors take control of valuable water resources for their own benefit, depriving local communities whose livelihoods often depend on these resources and ecosystems.
The jury is still out on Free Pior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Will it ‘help’ or ‘hurt’ the cause of agrarian justice? The dilemmas and challenges of using FPIC are already surfacing and warrant closer attention – precisely because of what is at stake: what development, for whom and what purposes, how and where, and with what implications?
TNI's Agrarian Justice team reiterates the hazardous consequences of current ocean governance and policy frameworks, which have been repeatedly raised by social movements representing fisher people at the Global Oceans Action Summit.