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Aug 08 2019

Learning across borders: Myanmar officials visit Vietnam to learn about land law drafting process

HANOI – As part of our global South-South learning program to strengthen land rights of smallholder farmers, Landesa partnered with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to bring 20 Myanmar government officials to Vietnam to learn about the country’s past land reforms and current land law drafting process. This trip was the fourth in a series developed by Landesa (previous trips visited India, Taiwan and the US) to assist the newly democratic country in learning land law and policy processes after more than 50 years of isolation.

The 10-day program featured seminars with the Vietnamese government officials, civil society organizations in the land sector, and field visits to smallholder farms. The meeting (pictured above) between the leadership of the Myanmar land records department and the Vietnam land registry – to review actual joint titles – was likely the first such policy meeting in Myanmar’s history.

While in Vietnam, the delegates learned about Vietnam’s land reforms of the 1970s and ’80s, which substantially reduced poverty for millions of smallholder farming families, and current best practices to support vulnerable and marginalized populations. Delegates met with officials to understand important legal protections for women and for customary land users, including the requirement that married couples have joint land titles with each spouse’s name. Delegates also visited the Vietnam National Space Center to study how satellite data is used to protect forests and increase rice production.

Landesa and the FAO will continue the program in the coming months through a series of follow-on workshops in Myanmar as the country begins their land law drafting process.

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