VL.png The World-Wide Web Virtual Library
[WWW VL database || WWW VL search]
donations.gif asia-wwwvl.gif

Online Burma/Myanmar Library

Full-Text Search | Database Search | What's New | Alphabetical List of Subjects | Main Library | Reading Room | Burma Press Summary

Home > Main Library > Agriculture and fisheries > Shifting ("swidden", "jhum", "taungya") cultivation - Burma/Myanmar

Order links by: Reverse Date Title

Shifting ("swidden", "jhum", "taungya") cultivation - Burma/Myanmar

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Farming Systems (MYLAFF folder)
Description/subject: Agroecology & Sustainable Agriculture - 5 files... Conservation Agriculture (DMC/SCV) - 2 files ... Fisheries - 2 files... Irrigation Management - 1 file... Organic Farming - 1 file... Pest Management - 0 files... Shifting Cultivation - 23 files ... Small Holder Plantations - 8 files... System of Rice Intensification (SRI).....To access some files, users may have to take out a (free) subscription to MYLAFF at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/mylaff
Language: English
Source/publisher: MYLAFF
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/mylaff
Date of entry/update: 15 June 2016


Title: Myanmar Land, Agribusiness, and Forestry Forum (MYLAFF)
Description/subject: "MYLAFF - a forum for sharing information about land, rural livelihoods, forests, fisheries, agribusiness investment and natural resource management in Myanmar... The main URL given here is the public entry to MYLAFF. For access to more documents, users have to sign up to MYLAFF... *Members of the forum include government officials, staff of donor agencies and NGOs, project experts, academics and business people... *We aim to support rural development in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar through providing stakeholders and decision-makers with a space for communication and better access to information and analysis... *Our online document repository is at www.mylaff.org, where you can find a wide variety of documents in both English and Myanmar language, alongside others...Under Farming Systems, MYLAFF has a section on shifting cultivation... *More information is available in the FAQ, which is available here: http://www.mylaff.org/static/MyLAFF_FAQ.pdf..."
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: MYLAFF
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.mylaff.org
http://www.mylaff.org/static/MyLAFF_FAQ_long.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 March 2015


Individual Documents

Title: Playing with fire
Date of publication: 15 July 2016
Description/subject: Burning lands and fragile livelihoods in the hills of Myanmar’s southern Chin State.... "Everywhere you look in Myanmar’s isolated southern Chin State in March, the landscape is burning. The crisp morning air quickly turns acrid and smoke fills the valleys, obscuring the impressive peaks of the Arakan Mountains that extend northwest over the border into India. At night, thin lines of orange flame extend off into the horizon, like fiery necklaces draped over the slopes below. Fire is an essential part of the agro-ecological landscape in Chin state. The Chin people, known for the traditional facial tattoos that adorn older Chin women, are predominantly shifting cultivators. Leading up to the rainy season, farmers set fire to the forest to clear and prepare a new patch of land for planting crops of mostly millet, maize and upland rice varieties. After harvest, the land is left to regenerate for five to 10 years, as farmers move on to a new patch of land to repeat the process. Agriculture here is extremely low input. The lack of flat land makes the use of draught animals difficult, and households lack access to fertilisers and irrigation. In fact, in most cases the only input is the labour of the farming household. While shifting cultivation is deeply integrated into the daily experiences of Chin households, farmers here face increasing economic and ecological challenges in improving the livelihoods and food security of their households — particularly in the context of ongoing reforms in the wider Myanmar economy. The hilly terrain, poor soils and lack of irrigation mean that agriculture is often a precarious pursuit, and limited to grain crops of low nutritional value..."
Author/creator: Mark Vicol
Language: English
Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 15 July 2016


Title: Jhum in Nagaland
Date of publication: 20 June 2016
Description/subject: Practice of Jhum ...Jhum Governance...Jhum and Livelihood ...Jhum and Environment ...The presentation examines shifting cultivation and its importance to the livelihoods of the Naga in Sagaing Region.
Author/creator: Athong Makury
Language: English
Source/publisher: RRtIP
Format/size: pdf (891K)
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2016


Title: Shifting Cultivation
Date of publication: 17 June 2016
Description/subject: What is shifting cultivation? swidden, Shwe Pyaung Taungya, rotational agroforestry, long fallow forest cultivation, low input sustainable agro- forestry... * Oldest farming system in the world * cultivating a series of plots sequentially; after cultivating a field it is left to fallow for several years, typically long enough for pioneer tree growth. * In South East Asia predominantly practiced by politically marginalised upland ethnic minority peoples * Agricultural system combines private and common tenure systems * High diversity in cropping Often misunderstood * Criticised since colonial times – largely misunderstood by scientific foresters wanting to exploit timber resources * Scientific consensus since 1950’s that S.C can be a perpetually sustainable cultivation system
Author/creator: Glenn Hunt
Language: English
Source/publisher: Land Core Group
Format/size: pdf (1.5MB)
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2016


Title: Understanding How the Legal Framework in Myanmar Currently Supports Recognition of Shifting Cultivation Tenure Arrangements
Date of publication: 17 June 2016
Description/subject: Land Core Group Shifting Cultivation Meeting Yangon, Myanmar 17 June 2016 .....Legal Framework = Tools in a Toolbox...Where to start? Constitution...What tools exist in various laws?...Association Registration Law...Farmland Law (Strengths)...Farmland Law (Weaknesses)...Forest Law and CFI (Strengths)...Forest Land and CFI (Weaknesses) ...Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land (VFV) Law ...Need for a new tool...
Author/creator: Robert Burton Oberndorf, JD
Language: English
Source/publisher: USAID Land Tenure Project
Format/size: pdf (81K)
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2016


Title: Customary tenure in Nan-Pan village, Southern Shan State, Myanmar
Date of publication: March 2016
Description/subject: Key findings: "There is no landlessness in the village and the shifting cultivation land is divided equitably for farming. However, there is the concern that part of their shifting cultivation area has been classified as reserved forests by MOECAF. So this land could possibly be granted by government to businesses. The villagers did not apply for titles during the latest land registration process. The community does not wish for private land registration even on terraces because villagers believe that if someone gets private ownership for a terrace or tea garden, then other people may also ask for it and the whole community may lose all the other lands which are not put under private ownership (i.e. shifting cultivation land). The villagers wish to keep all the land under communal ownership, as even owners of private terraces feel their rights are secure within the community and do not need SLRD land titles for this. They would like to have such registration soon, as gold has recently been found nearby and the villagers fear losing their lands unless protected legally."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Farmers and Land Workers Union (FLU)
Format/size: pdf (300K)
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2016


Title: Institutional Models for a Future Recognition and Registration of Customary (Communal) Tenure in Myanmar
Date of publication: March 2016
Description/subject: Paper prepared for presentation at the 2016 WORLD BANK CONFERENCE ON LAND AND POVERTY, The World Bank - Washington DC, March 14-18, 2016 The paper is based on the study on customary tenure for LCG in Chin and Shan States 2013-2015 in brief periods. The relevance of the topic was grounded in a wish to 1) identify statutory means to protect the livelihood of ethnic upland communities in Myanmar from losing, in particular, their shifting cultivation fallow land to agribusiness concessions; 2) based on results from fieldwork, to guide the Government towards recognizing customary (communal) tenure in the drafting of the National Land Use Policy (NLUP) with the ultimate aim of recommending procedures for customary (communal) land registration in a future new Land Law and associated Rules 3); to define how to recognize boundaries of shifting cultivation parcels in a customary system of fair but variable annual local land sharing. "... In Myanmar land issues are of paramount importance after years of land grabbing by the military and business cronies. A rapid anthropological study 2013-14 in Chin and Shan State for the Land Core Group was carried out to inform the post 2011 government. The study recorded the internal rules of customary communal tenure and identified possible statutory means of protecting untitled land, including fallows, against alienation. The Land Core Group guided the Government Committee during 2014-15 to recognize customary tenure in drafting of the National Land Use Policy, not yet endorsed. The study recommended conversion of the community into a legal entity/organization registering all its agricultural land, while keeping separate and intact its customary internal rules. The study construed a reading of existing regulatory framework in support. The study proved, though, that precise mapping of large tracts of shifting cultivation land is difficult due to annual diversity of fuzzy boundaries... Key Words: land rights, communal tenure, mapping, land registration, indigenous peoples..."
Author/creator: Kirsten Ewers Andersen
Language: English
Source/publisher: The World Bank
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB)
Date of entry/update: 11 April 2016


Title: Study of Upland Customary Communal Tenure in Chin and Shan States - Outline of a Pilot Approach towards Cadastral Registration of Customary Communal Land Tenure in Myanmar
Date of publication: 19 February 2016
Description/subject: Outline of a Pilot Approach towards Cadastral Registration of Customary Communal Land Tenure in Myanmar....."...The objectives of the study were to identify legal ways using the Farmland Law 2012 and Association Law 2014 to protect through land registration the untitled agricultural uplands, including the fallows of upland shifting cultivation that are possessed by ethnic nationalities that manage their lands under customary communal tenure. The risk of possible alienation of the fallows through agribusiness concessions posed by the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law, 2012 (VFV) spurred the study. Customary communal rights in Myanmar are enforceable by customary law in areas, where no outside interference takes place. In the future it may be given a legal backing in statutory law, if the intentions of the draft Land Use Policy of mid 2015 are operationalised ensuring equity in access to land and protection of upland cultures and livelihood. Customary land management of rotating fallow agriculture or shifting cultivation constitutes land management at the landscape level. It secures preservation of cultural identity and in most places it establishes access rights of all resident villagers to shares of the land and leaves no one landless. Rotational fallow management is an institutionalized resource management technology at a species, ecosystem, and landscape level, ensuring ecological security and food security and providing a social safety net. Fallows are important for wildlife and biodiversity, for production of non timber forest products, for watershed hydrology, and for carbon sequestration. Communal tenure can provide security of tenure as well as the institutional mechanisms for future sustainable land use planning and climate change mitigation initiatives. The study has focused on cultivated and fallow land in the uplands. It did not include a study of customary communal tenure of forests and grazing lands. A customary land registration of these ecosystems so far would need to be pursued under different laws. The study has covered only the customary communal tenure of rotating fallow agriculture in Chin State and the more permanent land combined with shifting cultivation use in Northern Shan State. A major limitation of the study has been the fieldwork’s short duration..."
Author/creator: Kirsten Ewers Andersen
Language: English
Source/publisher: Land Core Group
Format/size: pdf (2.82MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 February 2016


Title: Analysis of Customary Communal Tenure in the Myanmar Uplands (Powerpoint presentation)
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: "Customary communal tenure is characteristic of many local shifting cultivation upland communities in S.E. Asia. These communities have strong ancestral relationships to their land, which has never been held under individual rights, but considered common property of the village. Communal tenure has been the norm and land has never been a commodity..."
Author/creator: Kirsten Ewers Andersen
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chiangmai University Conference: "Burma/Myanmar in Transition"
Format/size: pptx
Date of entry/update: 06 August 2015


Title: Analysis of Customary Communal Tenure of Upland Ethnic Groups, Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Customary Tenure and Land Alienation in Myanmar: "Customary communal tenure is characteristic of many local upland communities in S.E. Asia. These communities have strong ancestral relationships to their land, which has never been held under individual rights, but considered common property of the village. Communal tenure has been the norm and land has never been a commodity. This is an age-old characteristic of many societies globally. Prior to the publication in 1861 of Ancient Law by the English jurist Henry Sumner Maine, the accepted view among Western jurists in the nineteenth century had been that the origin of the concept of property was the occupation of land by a single proprietor and his family. However, Maine insisted that for India, for example, “it is more than likely that joint ownership, and not separate ownership, is the really archaic institution, and that the forms of property that will afford us instruction will be those that are associated with the rights of families and of groups of kindred.”1 The international recognition of this had earlier emerged in developed countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada and it became manifest in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. The Declaration specifies individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, land and natural resources, employment, health, education and other issues. It was voted for in the UN by 144 countries, including Myanmar. In Myanmar customary tenure arrangements date back centuries. They are linked to the characteristics of the landscape and its resources, to the kinship systems, to population density and to the actual history of the area and settlement. In general the ethnic upland villagers’ identity is clearly linked to the land constituting a dense network of particular places, each having different cultural and material value and containing a mosaic of resources. There is an inner connection between history, identity and land..."
Author/creator: Kirsten Ewers Andersen (Member of the Land Core Group, Myanmar)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges. 24-26th July 2015. Center for ASEAN Studies (CAS), Chiang Mai University, the Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD)
Format/size: pdf (687K)
Date of entry/update: 25 June 2016


Title: Myanmar: Land Tenure Issues and the Impact on Rural Development
Date of publication: May 2015
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "Myanmar’s agricultural sector has for long suffered due to multiplicity of laws and regulations, deficient and degraded infrastructure, poor policies and planning, a chronic lack of credit, and an absence of tenure security for cultivators. These woes negate Myanmar’s bountiful natural endowments and immense agricultural potential, pushing its rural populace towards dire poverty. This review hopes to contribute to the ongoing debate on land issues in Myanmar. It focuses on land tenure issues vis-à-vis rural development and farming communities since reforms in this sector could have a significant impact on farmer innovation and investment in agriculture and livelihood sustainability. Its premise is that land and property rights cannot be understood solely as an administrative or procedural issue, but should be considered part of broader historical, economic, social, and cultural dimensions. Discussions were conducted with various stakeholders; the government’s inter-ministerial committee mandated to develop the National Action Plan for Agriculture (NAPA) served as the national counterpart. Existing literature was also reviewed. Limitations of the review included: • maintaining inclusiveness without losing focus of critical aspects such as food security; • the lack of a detailed discussion on the administration and management of forest land which is outside its purview; and an evolving regulatory environment with work currently underway on the new draft of the National Land-Use Policy (NLUP) and Land-Use Certificates (LUCs) for farmlands (Phase One work)..."
Author/creator: Shivakumar Srinivas and U Saw Hlaing
Language: English
Source/publisher: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB-reduced version; 7.5MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/FAO-2015-05-Myanmar-land_tenure&rural_development-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 02 September 2015


Title: National Land Use Policy [Myanmar] - 6th Draft (Burmese ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: May 2015
Description/subject: Objectives... Basic Principles... Land Use Administration... Formation of the National Land Use Council... Determination of Land Types and Land Classifications... Land Information Management... Planning and Changing Land Use... Planning and Drawing Land Use Map... Zoning and Changing Land Use... Changing Land Use by Individual Application... Grants and Leases of Land at the Disposal of Government Procedures related to Land Acquisition, Relocation, Compensation... Part-VI Land Dispute Resolution and Appeal... Land Disputes Resolution... Appeal... Assessment and Collection of Land Tax, Land Transfer Fee and Stamp Duties... Land Use Rights of the Ethnic Nationalities... Equal Rights of Men and Women... Harmonization of Laws and Enacting New Law... Monitoring and Evaluation... Research and Development...Miscellaneous .
Language: Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Format/size: pdf (488K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fdmoecaf.gov.mm/sites/default/files/Documents/myanmar%20version%20%286th%20draft%29.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 July 2015


Title: National Land Use Policy [Myanmar] - 6th Draft (English)
Date of publication: May 2015
Description/subject: Objectives... Basic Principles... Land Use Administration... Formation of the National Land Use Council... Determination of Land Types and Land Classifications... Land Information Management... Planning and Changing Land Use... Planning and Drawing Land Use Map... Zoning and Changing Land Use... Changing Land Use by Individual Application... Grants and Leases of Land at the Disposal of Government Procedures related to Land Acquisition, Relocation, Compensation... Part-VI Land Dispute Resolution and Appeal... Land Disputes Resolution... Appeal... Assessment and Collection of Land Tax, Land Transfer Fee and Stamp Duties... Land Use Rights of the Ethnic Nationalities... Equal Rights of Men and Women... Harmonization of Laws and Enacting New Law... Monitoring and Evaluation... Research and Development... Miscellaneous .
Language: English
Source/publisher: Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Format/size: pdf (278K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fdmoecaf.gov.mm/sites/default/files/Documents/English%20Version%286th%20draft%29.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 July 2015


Title: Guns, Cronies and Crops - How military, political and business cronies have conspired to grab land in Myanmar (English, Burmese မန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: 26 March 2015
Description/subject: "As Myanmar’s junta prepared to step down from government, the military set about seizing public assets and natural resources to ensure its economic control in a new era of democratic rule. Guns, Cronies and Crops details the collusion at the heart of operations carried out by Myanmar’s armed forces in northeastern Shan State. Large swathes of land were taken from farming communities in the mid-2000s and handed to companies and political associates to develop rubber plantations. Our investigation reveals those involved, including Myanmar’s current Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, U Myint Hlaing, the country’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, and Sein Wut Hmon, a rubber company which collaborated with the former military junta to gain control of land. These revelations come as Myanmar’s government finalises the drafting of a national land policy, the country’s first. The report documents the toxic legacy of these land grabs on an already marginalised ethnic-minority population, for whom little has changed since the country’s much-lauded transition to civil democracy in 2011. Villagers told Global Witness that they had received no compensation and are struggling to earn a living and feed their families without land to grow food..."
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Global Witness
Format/size: html, pdf (5.4MB-reduced version; 7.4MB-original,
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/GW-2015-03-26-gunscroniescrops-en-red.pdf
http://www.globalwitness.org/gunscroniescrops/docs/exec_summary.pdf
http://www.globalwitness.org/gunscroniescrops/docs/burmese/exec_summary_and_recommendations.pdf
http://www.globalwitness.org/gunscroniescrops/#video
https://www.globalwitness.org/campaigns/land-deals/guns-cronies-and-crops/
Date of entry/update: 27 March 2015


Title: Customary land tenure and rotation fallow farming system must be recognized and protected legally
Date of publication: 15 February 2015
Description/subject: "Land is a critical issue for Myanmar. Existing land laws are widely recognized as being inadequate to protect security of tenure for farmers, especially those using customary land tenure systems not currently recognized by the law. The Government of Myanma r initiated a land use policy drafting process in 2013 and in October 2014 initiated a process of public consultation on a finalized draft policy, with a view to finalizing a new National Land Use Policy for Myanmar. An important aspect of the draft policy pertains to the recognition of customary land tenure practices and the formal recognition of communal tenure arrangements. This provision of the draft is most welcome and deeply appreciated by many in Myanmar society as a significant step forward. Althoug h the basic recognition of customary practices is a most welcome step forward, the provision could benefit from further elaboration in order to guide the formulation of the Land Law and ensure that the policy effectively anticipates and addresses the under lying issues at stake..."
Author/creator: U Shwe Thein
Language: English
Source/publisher: Land Core Group
Format/size: pdf (117K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/15th_feb_lcg_presser_english_0.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2015


Title: From conflicting to complementing: The formalisation of customary land management systems governing swidden cultivation in Myanmar
Date of publication: 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "Swiddening is a traditional and widespread agricultural system in mountainous regions of Southeast Asia. It is prevalent in Myanmar’s hilly border region. However, economic, political, demographic, social and technological drivers in this region are causing this form of land use to undergo significant transition. This transition is affecting the customary land use rights of swidden farmers. Throughout Myanmar’s tumultuous history, customary land management systems and the state land management system have been poorly integrated. This has led to customary land use rights receiving little formal recognition and left customary right-holders vulnerable to exploitation. Recent political and economic developments within Myanmar have prompted changes to the state land management system. The Myanmar government introduced the Farmland Law 2012 and the Vacant Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law 2012 which significantly altered how agricultural land is managed. However, these laws also contain minimal interaction with customary land management systems. In relation to swidden cultivation, the legislation is unclear how land under customary tenure is identified, how communally-held land is recognised and what swidden practices are legally permitted. The draft National Land Use Policy released in late 2014 reveals progress in addressing these issues. However, greater clarity is needed with regard to how the policy is implemented. Many lessons may also be derived from the experiences of surrounding Southeast Asian countries, such as the Philippines and Cambodia, in the way customary land use rights are incorporated into state legislation. The goal of this thesis is to propose how customary land management systems may be integrated into the state land management system in order for customary land use rights over swidden land to be recognised as comprehensively as possible by the state. The legislative framework should also allow sufficient flexibility for local farmers to adapt to changing circumstances. The identification of swidden land will be considered in the context of producing maps of customary land use, the management of swidden land under collective land-holding structures will be discussed with regard to pressures to individualise landholding and the use of swidden cultivation practices will be considered in light of proposed development projects. The current political and economic climate in Myanmar indicates some willingness to acknowledge and address these issues. There is hope that customary land management systems and the state land management system will begin to complement, instead of conflict with, each other in order to enable swidden farmers to access their customarily held land into the future." Subjects and Topics: Formalisation, Customary land tenure, Swidden, Myanmar, Southeast Asia,
Author/creator: Jim David Ennion
Language: English
Source/publisher: Victoria University of Wellington (Master of Laws thesis)
Format/size: pdf (1.2MB-reduced version; 1.35MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10063/4640/thesis.pdf?sequence=2
Date of entry/update: 01 August 2015


Title: Shifting cultivation in Myanmar (slide share)
Date of publication: 11 December 2014
Description/subject: 11 slides: 1. Naw Ei Ei Min POINT ( Promotion of Indigenous and Nature Together) Point.director@gmail.com 2.  "Shwe Pyaung taung ya”- hill-farm.  Mostly in Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin and Shan states  Estimated 15,000 ha per year ( REDD roadmap)  22.8%of the total land area (Forestry fact sheet, Forest Department, 1993)  15% of the forest area  Fallow Period ranging from 0 to 7 Years  1/10 of population rely on shifting cultivation (2004)  Reduced year by year 3.  All types of land belong to the state, use right do not own land  pioneering or unsustainable shifting cultivation are often listed as the main drivers of forest degradation.  "to discourage shifting cultivation practices causing extensive damage to the forests through adoption of improved practices for better food production and a better quality of life for shifting cultivators" The Myanmar Forest Policy (1995)  1992 Land use act for wasteland/Vacant land – 30 years 4. • Farmland Law • Customary land tenure is not recognized • Specifically communal/collective tenure is not allowed under the law • Rotational agriculture systems ‘shifting taungya’ is not recognised as a legal land-use under the law  land can not be registered • Vancant, Fallow and Virgin land law • Grazing and forest lands can not be communally titled • No independent legal redress in case of conflicts 5.  Hsin Hswe and Lake Poke , Natalin Township, Bago Division, Myanmar, Estimated 100 households, 2 hour to 5 hours on foot  Barter economy  Main Crops: chili, sesame, cotton for exchange and paddy. tomatoes and egg plants and corn for family consumption  5-7 fallow period, permission during Brithsh Colony, reduced land by illegal logging  Animal husbandry, turtle eggs and orchid  Rat Infestation (Hpjan's bulbous roots for food , wild pig eat bamboo flowers, cats for mice, traps and collective hunt, exchange rice with orchid and pork)  600 Kyats for tax 6.  5 villages Kanpetlet Township, Mindat District, Nothern Part of Chin State, Estimated 100 households, 24 hour on foot  Main Crops: rice, corn, Pickel tree leave, sweet potato, potato, egg plant, tomato, chili  Hunting (Gi, Sat, Tiger, wild pig, rabbit, wolf and butterfly) and fishing  Decreased fallow period in some area up to 1-3 year, stronger customary practice, high rate of migration  Selling and Plantation of Yam Seed, 5-6 USD per viss ( Chinese Market)  family income per month is between 20,000 and 50,000 kyats (20 to 50 USD) 7.  Shortening fallow period and reduced practices due to many reasons  Loss of traditional land due to investments (e.g. hydropower, agriculture);  Growing population;  Lack of land tenure over shifting cultivation land and surrounding forests;  Lack of viable alternatives to shifting cultivation and acceptable technologies or practices to improve or diversify slash-and-burn agriculture. 8.  Research and documentation on shifting cultivation and related studies  Acknowledge land tenure for sustainable shifting cultivator  Support services for indigenous peoples to enhance their livelihoods,  capacity building on innovations especially for women and youth, skills on agroforestry, NTFPs etc.  Biodiversity Conservation and Enhancement and protection against bio-piracy and unfair and illegal patenting
Author/creator: Naw Ei Ei Min
Language: English
Source/publisher: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
Format/size: Online slides
Date of entry/update: 30 January 2015


Title: Myanmar Ecological Forecasting: Utilizing NASA Earth Observations to Monitor, Map, and Analyze Mangrove Forests in Myanmar for Enhanced
Date of publication: May 2014
Description/subject: "... Mangrove forests are one of the most valuable, thriving, and diverse ecosystems on the planet, but they are becoming increasingly exploited and mismanaged (Lee 1999; Giri et al. 2008). In Myanmar, many of these mangrove stands flourished for centuries, virtually untouched until extensive deforestation began in the late 1970’s. At the time there was no legislation to promote sustainable forest management, and as a result the forests were depleted at alarming rates. During the 1990’s, multiple environmental acts were passed to help regulate tree harvesting processes, including the 1992 Forest Law and the 1995 Forest Policy, but they were only mildly successful and difficult to enforce (Oo 2002). The 2000’s brought a new chapter as Myanmar’s expanding economy and lifted political embargos created an explosion of infrastructure and agriculture, once again encroaching on the mangrove’s habitat. Even with the increasing development and encroachment on mangroves, Myanmar’s long state of isolation has made it one of the most species rich countries in all of South-east Asia, and is considered to be one of the last strongholds for large mammals such as tigers and elephants (Leimgruber etal. 2005). In a country with such rich biodiversity and a large dependence on natural resources for income, fuel, and food, preserving Myanmar’s mangroves and raising awareness about sustainability has become a national priority. This study mapped the spatial extent of three main mangrove regions along the coast of Myanmar during 2000 and 2013, including the Ayeyarwardy Delta, Rakhine and Tanintharyi regions (Oo 2002). The three regions are spread along the coast and vary in population density, which provides a valuable comparison among the regions as to how human and economic pressures can affect mangroves. The Ayeyarwady Delta is centrally located and has the highest population density, followed by Rakhine to the north, and the most remote region being the Tanintharyi to the south. A land change model was then used to produce change maps between 2000 and 2013 and project mangrove coverage to the year 2030 to help resource managers and policy makers craft future decisions. Once the mangroves were classified and projected, SRTM data were used to derive tree canopy heights and biomass estimations using allometric equations. Mangroves in Myanmar house thriving biodiversity and provide citizens with essential natural products such as food, firewood, and construction materials (Oo 2002). This ecological forecasting project helped the Myanmar government visualize and quantify their current largest mangrove areas, as well as shed light on the success of previous preservation efforts that may influence future conservation strategies. This project ultimately allowed important decision makers to assess the negative impacts that have occurred due to the deforestation and degradation of mangrove ecosystems. To successfully implement this study and its findings, Dr. Peter Leimgruber and Ellen Aiken at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute were irreplaceable as they officially handed off the project and its decision making tools to the Myanmar Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Forestry. The project will serve as a valuable reference for efficiently allocating resources and man power, while adapting new management strategies to the changing mangrove landscape..."
Author/creator: Samuel J. Weber, Louis Keddell, Mohammed Kemal
Language: English
Source/publisher: NASA
Format/size: pdf (1.6MB)
Date of entry/update: 17 April 2016


Title: Customary Land Tenure and Responsible Investment in Myanmar
Date of publication: 2013
Description/subject: A Symbol of land...Secure land rights and food security and nutrition...Perspectives of land issues in Myanmar...Two recent laws enacted in 2012...VFV LAW...Opportunities and Risks...Key Challenges...Access to land ?...Access to land? For whom? given by whom?...Responsible investment ?...Customary Land Tenure in Myanmar • 70% population in rural areas use land as a major productive asset • Majority of ethnic groups (over 20 millions of country population) use customary land tenure in Myanmar...Results of Study in 16 villages...Farmer’s Voice...Key to consideration...FAO Guidelines on Governance of Tenure...UN Principles on Business & Human Rights...Recommendations
Author/creator: Aung Kyaw Thein
Language: English
Source/publisher: Land Core Group
Format/size: pdf (621K)
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2016


Title: Rethinking Swidden Cultivation for Sustainable Upland Livelihoods and Food Security in Myanmar
Date of publication: 2013
Description/subject: "Swidden cultivation, also known as shifting cultivation or Shwe Pyaung Taung-ya, describes a spectrum of rotational agro-forestry practices at varying levels of intensity prevalent in Myanmar’s uplands. Swidden cultivation contributes to the livelihoods of millions of citizens, for whom it is a solution to upland food security. * During the Colonial era Forest Departments, attracted by timber, entered into competition for control of the uplands with swiddeners, and sought to restrict them. Even after Independence, Colonial era prejudices and hostile assumptions have persisted. But in recent years perceptions are becoming more sympathetic, mainly due to scientific studies which confirm that under conducive conditions swidden systems are efficient, productive, sustainable and environmentally beneficial. * The conducive conditions for stable swidden systems are however declining in many areas due to a range of factors: population increase, land shortage and tenure uncertainty, decline of technical skills and customary authority, market penetration and intergenerational cultural change. The cultivation systems are also becoming stressed as climate change threatens them further, including through increased fire incidence slowing fallows recovery. * The policy challenge is now how to support swidden cultivators to adapt their livelihoods to the changing conditions: 1) legitimate swidden cultivation practices 2) provide secure tenure, through reinforcing customary authorities, revising national land legislation, handing over community forests, and protecting against land grabbing 3) provide technical support for sustainable intensification, building on local technical knowledge and innovations 4) promote rural enterprises for jobs and cash incomes..."
Author/creator: Oliver Springate-Baginski
Language: English
Source/publisher: University of East Anglia, Pyoe Pyin
Format/size: pdf (480K-reduced version; 533K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/Rethinking_Swidden_Cultivation_in_Myanmar-Pyoe_Pyin-2014.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2015


Title: No protection for taungya farmers in bylaws: experts
Date of publication: 22 October 2012
Description/subject: "A network of land-focused civil society organisations has raised concerns that bylaws for two new pieces of land legislation fail to offer proper protection for upland farmers who use shifting cultivation, leaving millions at risk of losing their land tenure rights. Land Core Group chairman U Shwe Thein said that the recently introduced bylaw for the Farmland Law interprets taungya, or upland farming, as only fields under permanent cultivation. This leaves farmers who practise upland shifting cultivation with little protection from losing their lands..."
Author/creator: Thomas Kean
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 December 2014


Title: Study on the Evolution of the Farming Systems and Livelihoods Dynamics in Northern Chin State
Date of publication: August 2012
Description/subject: Conclusions: "Chin State has been often characterized among all States and Regions by the highest poverty gap ratio, highest occurrence of food deficits, poor road connectivity, low population density but lowest percent availability of cultivable lands and high percentage of waste and scrub lands, adherence to the shifting cultivation system, lack of rural based industries, and higher rate of out migration. In order to pull the local people out of these traps, fundamental problems will have to be addressed. The public goods such as infrastructure, roads and electricity should receive the priority agenda for development. Without this development framework, attempts to address the issues of community development, food security, natural resources management and community empowerment will give no significant impact on the local communities. The government bodies and the development agencies should participate in and coordinate the formulation of the development agenda and afterwards respective organizations and institutions will focus on their relevant tasks with their set targets. Assuming that these preconditions have been or will be met soon or in parallel manner, the following agenda are suggested as far as the sustainable livelihood improvement and farming systems development with better natural resources management are concerned to us..." Table of Contents: I. INTRODUCTION: 1. Objectives of the Study... 2. Expected Mission Outcomes... 3. Methodology... II. Presentation of the survey cases: 1. Location and Geography... 2. Settlement Pattern... 3. Upland Ecology, Households, Land and Land Tenure Bounded by Tribal Community Culture... 4. Location of Village in Relation to Forests, Taun-yar (Lopils) and Paddy Land... 5. Farming Systems of the Study Areas... 6. Past and Present Situation of Taun-yar or Shifting Cultivation... III. Evolution of farming systems & Livelihood Dynamics: 1. Good Practices and Weaknesses in Taun-yar Farming... 2. Changing Process of Lowland Paddy Growing and Terrace Farming... 3. Process and Pattern of Terraced Farm Development... 4. Legal Aspects and Land Registration in Permanent Farming Plots... 5. Land Use Types in Relation to Wealth Classes in Sample Villages... IV. Food Security Attained by Different Livelihood Activities: 1. Sources of staple food... 2. Change in Dietary Habit over 20 Year- Period... 3. Demand and Supply Situation of Rice in Northern Chin State... V. Examination of the Population Dynamics and Land Cover changes: 1. Population status and evolution... 2. Migration Dynamics... 3. Assessing the Carrying Capacity of the Land Resources... 4. Land Cover Changes... VI. Activities and Programmes of the Developement Agencies and Local Initiatives for Livelihood Improvement and NRM in Northern Chin State: 1. Development Agencies... 2. The Government and Non-Government Activities for Crops Development... VII. Recommendations and Conclusions: VIII. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: IX. REFERENCES: X. APPENDIX.
Author/creator: U San Thein
Language: English
Source/publisher: Group of Research and Exchange of Technologies (GRET), LIFT
Format/size: pdf (1.5MB)
Date of entry/update: 10 March 2014


Title: Upland Land Tenure Security in Myanmar - an Overview (Burmese ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
Date of publication: February 2011
Description/subject: "This report provides an overview of issues related to upland smallholder land tenure. The immediate objective of the report is to promote a shared understanding of land tenure issues by national-level stakeholders, with a longer term objective of improving the land tenure, livelihood and food security of upland farm families. The report is intended for government and non-government agencies, policy makers and those impacted by policy. The report covers four main areas: status of and trends in upland tenure security; institutions that regulate upland tenure security; mechanisms available to ensure access to land; and points for further consideration which could lead to increased effectiveness and equity. Trends in the uplands include increased population growth, resettlement and concentration of populations, fragmentation and degradation of agricultural lands, and increased loss of land to smallholder farmers or landlessness. Declining access to land for smallholder farmers results in the depletion of common forest resources, increased unemployment, outmigration for labor, and ultimately food insecurity for the people who live in these areas..."
Language: Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
Format/size: pdf (4.3MB; 11MB)
Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013


Title: Upland Land Tenure Security in Myanmar, an Overview (English)
Date of publication: February 2011
Description/subject: "This report provides an overview of issues related to upland smallholder land tenure. The immediate objective of the report is to promote a shared understanding of land tenure issues by national-level stakeholders, with a longer term objective of improving the land tenure, livelihood and food security of upland farm families. The report is intended for government and non-government agencies, policy makers and those impacted by policy. The report covers four main areas: status of and trends in upland tenure security; institutions that regulate upland tenure security; mechanisms available to ensure access to land; and points for further consideration which could lead to increased effectiveness and equity. Trends in the uplands include increased population growth, resettlement and concentration of populations, fragmentation and degradation of agricultural lands, and increased loss of land to smallholder farmers or landlessness. Declining access to land for smallholder farmers results in the depletion of common forest resources, increased unemployment, outmigration for labor, and ultimately food insecurity for the people who live in these areas..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
Format/size: pdf (2.6MB)
Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013


Title: Exploring the Socio-Economic Situation of Plantation Villagers: A Case Study in Bago Yoma
Date of publication: 2008
Description/subject: "... Massive scale plantation forestry in Myanmar began in the early 1980s as a drastic measure to fulfil the increasing demand for timber and to prevent the conversion of deteriorated forestland to agricultural land. More than 30,000 ha of forest plantations have annually been formed since 1984 (Myanmar Forest Department 2000). Myanmar has also launched a Special Teak Plantation Program in 1998 which has an annual plantation target of 8000 ha in addition to the normal plantation scheme. Myanmar Forest Department is recruiting shifting cultivators and applying the taungya method in plantation projects because it can avoid conflicts at the time of teak plantation establishment, achieve large plantation area targets in remote areas and overcome the problems of insufficient funding and insufficient labour. Further, as the plantation area is under the intensive care of taungya farmers for their intercrops, the Forest Department can expect a higher survival rate of trees for the first year. The Forest Department is planning a joint venture by establishing plantation villages near or inside the reserved forests with the aim of securing labour for plantation establishment at reduced cost and with increased efficiency, as well as protecting the existing natural resources including old plantations more intensively with the participation of the taungya farmers. In brief, Myanmar Forest Department is trying to get people participation in the promotion of reforestation. From the commencement of the project, the foresters have been arguing about whether the project would create forest protective groups or forest destructive groups. Past experiences suggest that taungya farmers are likely to destroy the plantations once they have been established. ‘Evidently there were destructions of many teak plantations and other plantations of valuable species during the Second World War (1942−45) and again during the 1988 pro-democracy movement by the villagers who had involved in establishment of those plantations’ (Ba Kaung 2001). Why did the taungya farmers become destructive instead of the intended protective groups? In the author’s judgment, the underlying issue is an economic one, and it is essential to explore the socio-economic situations of the groups involved in taungya teak plantations..."
Author/creator: Tin Min Maung, Miho Yamamoto
Language: English
Source/publisher: DSSENR Tokyo University of Agricultre and Technology
Format/size: pdf (823K)
Date of entry/update: 17 April 2016


Title: Analysis of Land Use History and Fallow Vegetation Recovery: A Case Study of Shifting Cultivation by the Karen in the Bago Mountains, Myanmar
Date of publication: 31 December 2007
Description/subject: "In the Karen area of Myanmar, where the Karen have practiced traditional shifting cultivation since colonial times, we tried to reconstruct a land use history of their shifting cultivation practices using a combination of field observations, global positioning system (GPS) mapping, and interviews conducted during 2002-06, as well as analyses of JERS and LANDSAT satellite images taken in 1989-2001. The vegetation recovery process during the fallow period was also analyzed using a supervised classification of high-resolution QuickBird satellite images taken in 2005. The satellite image analysis suggested that 65-75% of the shifting cultivation fields could be extracted from JERS images taken between November and January by using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as an indicator. The overlap of shifting cultivation fields from 1989 to 2006 showed that the fallow period of most shifting cultivation in this area exceeded 9-12 years. According to the vegetation recovery analysis, most fallow land was covered with bamboo within 5 years after the harvest, and that fallow land was reopened when a few tree species started to grow in the bamboo-dominated forests. Vegetation analysis showed that around 90% of the shifting cultivation fields were opened by slashing and burning bamboo-dominated forests in 2006, although more tree-dominated forests with a longer fallow period could have been opened. These results showed that the recovery of bamboo-dominated forests is a key factor in maintaining the practice of shifting cultivation in this area"....Keywords: long fallow, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), remote sensing, supervised classification
Author/creator: SUZUKI, Reiji, TAKEDA, Shinya, Hla Maung Thein
Language: Japanese (Abstract in English)
Source/publisher: The southeast asian studies 45(3), 343-358,
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 January 2015


Title: Three-year monitoring of shifting cultivation fields in a Karen area of the Bago mountains, Myanmar
Date of publication: 01 October 2006
Description/subject: Abstract: "We conducted a field survey in SN village, in the Bago Division of Myanmar. Through GPS mapping, interviews, and participant observation, we examined the present state of shifting cultivation in a Karen area by focusing on the vegetation in fallow lands and fallow period lengths. In 2002, 59 households (HHs) opened 60 plots for shifting cultivation. The village itself covered an area of 3970.62 ha (A). The 60 plots covered 161.46 ha (B1), corresponding to an average plot size of 2.69 ha. In 2003, 62 HHs opened 65 plots for shifting cultivation, which covered 141.10 ha (B2) total with an average plot size of 2.17 ha. In 2004, 74 HHs opened 75 plots for shifting cultivation, with an aggregate area of 179.91 ha (B3) and an average plot size of 2.40 ha. Based on these Figureures, the potential maximum numbers of fallow years were 24.6 (A/B1) for 2002, 28.1 (A/B2) for 2003, and 22.1 (A/B3) for 2004. During the first fallow year, the land was covered with Eupatorium odoratum, which was replaced by bamboo (Bambusa polymorpha and Bambusa tulda) over several years. After 12 years, tree species such as Xylia xylocarpa gradually dominated the fallow lands. Despite the potential fallow periods, the actual fallow periods were only 17.9 years in 2002, 15.1 years in 2003, and 12.8 years in 2004. This difference may have occurred because lands left fallow for 12 to 18 years are covered with trees and bamboo. These lands can be easily cleared and they provide good burning material for shifting cultivation."... Keywords: Karen area, Shifting cultivation, Taungya, Fallow period, GPS mapping
Author/creator: SUZUKI, Reiji, TAKEDA, Shinya, Hla Maung Thein
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kyoto University
Format/size: pdf (287K-reduced version; 2.3MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://wgrass.media.osaka-cu.ac.jp/gisideas06/viewpaper.php?id=205
Date of entry/update: 25 January 2015


Title: Ecological Factors Affecting Taungya Farmers Behavior in Teak Plantation Projects: A Case Study in Bago Range, Union of Myanmar
Date of publication: 25 December 2000
Description/subject: ABSTRACT" "Taungya system that originally started in 19th century British Burma is now applied in many countries to serve as a tool for reforestation of degraded areas. Understanding the behavior of taungya farmers is crucial for better management of taungya plantation projects but so far little research has been conducted on this subject. Through a case study in the Bago Range of Myanmar, this paper argues that ecological factors and the Burmans’ customary land tenure were affecting the taungya farmers attitude towards the project. In the Reserved Forests (RF) there are cultivators who live on agriculture utilizing lowlands as well as uplands. Some of these cultivators were recruited by the Forest Department for the project, but at the same time the project itself was distributing taungya farmers as new cultivators in the RF, since the lowland was not involved in the project. Through this procedure the department was achieving plantation targets in remote areas, and virtually demarcating the boundary of the RF. However, the recruitment of cultivators is uncertain, and the lowlands escape from forest legislation. The cultivators are granted no legal right to live in the RF and they receive little administrative support from the government. Therefore, to ascertain sustainable man-made forest management, more investment in forest administration and social welfare might be required, and the department may face the necessity of seeking a way to accommodate more funding." Key words: Tectona grandis / taungya / Myanmar / Burmans / lowland
Author/creator: Yukako Tani
Language: English, Japanese
Source/publisher: "TROPICS" Vol. 10 (2): 273-286
Format/size: pdf (422K-reduced version; 5.5MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/Tani-2000-taungya-Bago.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2015


Title: Upland Agriculture, Myanmar
Date of publication: 1999
Description/subject: "Myanmar is the largest Asian mainland country excluding India and China. Its land area is 676 577 sq. km divided into seven states and seven divisions. The population is estimated at 46 million, of whom 75% live in rural areas. Agriculture dominates the economy constituting 36% of the GDP in 1998 and 35% of export earnings. There is great potential for expansion of arable land. In 1998 only 12 million of the available 18 million hectares were cultivated. Rice, beans, pulses and sugar cane are the principal crops. Rice alone accounts for 25% of the GDP in Myanmar. The per capita GDP is 220 USD (in 1995) and makes Myanmar one of the Least Developed Countries. But the country has substantial human resources and economic potential including underdeveloped arable lands, resources to expand irrigation and energy supply capacity as well as natural gas, marine resources and mineral wealth...Of all the GMS countries Myanmar has the greatest potential to expand its agricultural production area. There is also great potential for increasing exports of field and horticultural crops. The policy framework encourages foreign investment in the sector and promotes export-driven agricultural sector growth. This creates an enabling environment for diversifying and intensifying agricultural production, which is of benefit to the remote watershed development initiatives of concern to us. Major issues to consider in planning an upland development initiative relate to access to support services in the agricultural as well as social sectors. Access to production inputs (seed, fertilisers, livestock, machinery, etc.), and rural services such as credit, markets and agricultural extension vary and have a significant impact on the development potential of a community..."
Author/creator: Eija Pehu
Language: English
Source/publisher: Regional Environmental Technical Assistance 5771 Poverty Reduction & Environmental Management in Remote Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Watersheds Project (Phase I).
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The History of Taungya Plantation Forestry and Its Rise and Fall in the Tharrawaddy Forest Division of Myanmar (1869-1994)
Date of publication: 1998
Description/subject: "... In some areas of Myanmar (formerly Burma), trees are planted amongst agricultural crops in hill-farms (taungya). This "taungya system" is one method of restoring tree cover and can also be regarded as a forerunner of agroforestry. The system is widely believed to have originated in the Tharrawaddy forest division of Myanmar, but the actual location of its origin is likely to be the Kaboung forest area. The taungya system was first devised by Dr. DIETRICH BRANDIS, an early German botanist-turned-forester in Myanmar, in the mid 1800s after he observed the taungya of the Karen hill people. Taungya teak plantations expanded in the Tharrawaddy forest division from 1869 as teak grows well there and the facilities for teak timber extraction are good. However, the annual establishment rate in Tharrawaddy has fluctuated greatly. The establishment of taungya plantations has gone through three periods of growth and decline. The growth phase of the first period began in 1869 when Imperial foresters succeeded in employing the hill Karen to plant teak in their taungyas, and was followed by a decline from 1906 when the scattered taungya plantation became difficult to manage. The second period began from 1918-19 when concentrated regeneration under the Uniform System was introduced into the division. This period's decline started in 1930 and was caused by the farmers' revolution. The third period began in 1948, but the thirty years to 1979 were politically and socially unstable, so there was very little planting throughout this time. The growth in plantation establishment began in early 1980 when the government focused on reforestation to boost timber production, but it decline came in the late 1980s and was primarily caused by socioeconomic and government policy changes. Higher wages for taungya workers and more productive agricultural techniques for taungya crops are now necessary if taungya plantation management is to be successful in the future..."
Author/creator: San Win, Minoru Kumazaki
Language: English
Source/publisher: Japan Society of Forest Planning
Format/size: pdf (1MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 April 2016