For Myint Shwe and local communities in Rakhine State’s Gwa Township, securing tenure to the forests they depend on for survival was the foundation they needed to overcome poverty.
In Rakhine State and other parts of Myanmar, rapid development, illegal logging and other encroachments were degrading and destroying forests and marginalizing poor people and ethnic groups that could not prove ownership.
RECOFTC’s work in Myanmar helped change that. With funding from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Yangon, the Scaling UP Community Forestry (SUComFOR) project from 2014 to 2018 provided more than 5,000 training sessions in Rakhine State and throughout Myanmar on securing land tenure, natural resource management, forest governance, gender equity, and social inclusion, and other topics for communities, government officials and civil society organizations.
During the four-year project, Myanmar transferred 19,000 hectares of forests to almost 100 villages across Myanmar. Members of more than 5,000 households received certificates of tenure. Eighteen of those villages were in Rakhine’s Gwa Township, where the government issued land certificates for almost 5,000 hectares of forest to communities in 2017.