Governance of Tenure

Sharing land law knowledge in Southeast Asia

As a follow-up to the FAO/Landesa international study visit for government officials of the Government of Myanmar to Viet Nam in April 2019 and several follow-on workshops held in 2019-2020, Landesa Myanmar conducted a study on the complex matter of how to harmonize land laws for the new National Land Law of Myanmar. Given the current political situation in Myanmar, Landesa and FAO pivoted to take a broader approach to this question by looking at comparative examples and best practices from across the region on how the drafting or revision of a land law can be harmonised with other land-related laws.

To provide an opportunity for practitioners to share their vast knowledge and experience, Landesa and FAO convened a regional video workshop on land law harmonization with colleagues and partners from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Viet Nam. Participants exchanged experiences with conflicting legal instruments, approaches for harmonizing laws, and inclusive practices for consulting civil society at different stages in the process.
The discussion was lively, with participants sharing challenges and comparing solutions across countries, often finding similarities in the biggest barriers to achieving harmonized legal frameworks. For instance, the importance of identifying a priori potential conflicts between laws and to identify practical solutions when such conflicts occur. Participants requested that the video workshop become a regular gathering to discuss these questions in more depth, and to address other challenges facing land rights in the region. The findings of the video webinar will feed into the study on law harmonisation.