Last update:
2018-02-01

Myotha Industrial Park Development in Mandalay, Myanmar

More than 1,000 families have lost their land to the Myotha Industrial Park. The way the project has developed has spurred large concerns over human rights violations.


Description:

Since the end of the military government in 2011, Myanmar has sought a transition towards a market-based economy and has aimed to attract large domestic and foreign investment into the countries designated ‘least developed areas’. Local villagers suffer however commonly under the vast land confiscations this development brings with it and affected communities receive often little redress for the harmful consequences they may face. While before 2011, land confiscation was largely conducted by the Military Junta, it is now the business sector that is turning into the most important driver of land acquisition [1;5]. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Myotha Industrial Park Development in Mandalay, Myanmar
Country:Myanmar
State or province:Mandalay Region
Location of conflict:Ngazun Township
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Urban development conflicts
Manufacturing activities
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The project is located about 50km from Mandalay town and covers a land area of 4,190 hectares. It is based on a joint venture between MMID and the Mandalay Regional government. The 70 years agreement can be extended twice be ten years each. The project provides plots for industrial development and factories, as well as for residencies, commercial and research facilities, and a golf course [1;4].

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Project area:4,190
Level of Investment:total investment size unknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:1,000 families
Start of the conflict:03/01/2013
Company names or state enterprises:Mandalay Myotha Industrial Development (MMID) from Myanmar - main developer
Royal Hi-Tech Group Co. Ltd (RHGC) from Myanmar - Parent company
Relevant government actors:The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC)
The Mandalay Industrial Development Authority
Land Measurement Committee
General Administration Department (GAD) of Ngazun Township
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Farmers Network Interest of Farmers and Labor (FNI-FL)
Saitta Thukha Development Institute
FIDH – Worldwide movement for human rights, https://www.fidh.org/en
and others
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Religious groups
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Refusal of compensation
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage)
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Waste overflow, Noise pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Accidents, Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Militarization and increased police presence, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Migration/displacement
Repression
Development of alternatives:Proposals from Human Rights Organization involved in the case call to comply with national laws on project development and land acquisition, as well as to comply with international standards and Human Rights Due Diligence. See FIDH report, Reference [1]
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The project goes on while the concerns of affected farmers remain unsolved.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

2012 Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law
[click to view]

2012 Farmland Law
[click to view]

2016 Myanmar Investment Law
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] FIDH 2017. Land of Sorrow: Human rights violations at Myanmar's Myotha Industrial Park. Published September 2017. Accessed online January 2018.
[click to view]

[5] Global Witness, 2015. Guns, Cronies, and Crops: How Military, Political and Business Cronies Conspired to Grab Land in Myanmar. Accessed online January 2018.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] The Myanmar Times, 21.10.2014. MMID’s Myotha Industrial Park (MIP) and Semeikhon Port (SMP) begin to attract investors. Accessed online (30.01.2018).
[click to view]

[4] MMID Mandalay Myotha Industrial Development Company Website. (accessed on 30.01.2018).
[click to view]

[3] The Myanmar Times. 30.09.2017. Developer brushes off concerns about Myotha Industrial Park. Accessed online (30.01.2018).
[click to view]

[6] China.org.cn. Myanmar's industrial park project attracts 500 mln USD investment. (accessed on 30.01.2018).
[click to view]

Other documents

Site under development for the Myotha Industrial Park Source: Google Earth 2018
[click to view]

Myotha Industrial Park Entrance Source: MMID company webpage
[click to view]

Masterplan Myotha Industrial Park Source: MMID company webpage
[click to view]

Camps set up by villagers to avoid their farmland to be bulldozed Source: taken from FIDH report, see [1]
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EJatlas Southeast Asia Team (ejatlas.asia"at"gmail.com)
Last update01/02/2018
Comments
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