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
NameMyotha Industrial Park Development in Mandalay, Myanmar
CountryMyanmar
ProvinceMandalay Region
SiteNgazun 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 CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe 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].

Two other projects complement the Myotha Industrial Park: the Semeikhon Port Project, located 18km west of the Park, and a road project connecting the Park to the Semeikhon Port [1;4].

The project is to be developed in three phases. During the Phase 1 (2013-2018), about 809 ha are developed for the Industrial Park. During Phase 2 (2019-2014), another 1,770ha will be developed for the Industrial Park, the related Semeikhon Port, roads, and residential areas. Phase 3 (2025-onwards) involves the remaining 1,610 hectares [4].

Development of the Industrial Park started in early 2014. The first factories that have started to operate at the Park include a plywood factory, animal feed plants, a concrete plant and food packaging factories [1;6].

No information on total investment size required to construct the park could be found. In January 2018, it was reported that the Park attracted so far 500 million USD of local and foreign investment [6].

Families affected by land confiscation come from 14 villages: Ah Nauk Taw, Htan Chaung, Lay Daunt Kan, Leik Wut Taw, Let Pa Kyin, Nawarat, Ngwe Inn, Nyaung Pin Kone, Pauk Sein, Pyawbwe, Taung Auk, Than Bo, Thaung Pyin, and Ywar Saik [1].

Most households received compensation at a rate of 500,000 Kyat/acre (909USD/ha). Only 9% of households received 2 million Kyat/acre (3632USD/ha). 156 refused to accept the inadequate compensation. For a detailed description of the problematic and inadequate compensation procedure, see FIDH report 2017 [1].

The Myotha Industrial Park also caused land speculation and related rise in land prices. FIDH reported that land prices reached 8 million Kyat/acre (14,538USD/ha) in 2015 and over 10 million Kyat/acre (18,167USD/ha) in 2017. In contrast, farmers received only 500,000Kyat/acre (909USD/ha) as compensation [1].

MMID is part of the Royal Hi-Tech Group, a conglomerate owned by Aung Win Khaing, who has close ties to a number of military commanders in Mandalay Region, and holds important positions in several institutions, such as the Upper Myanmar Chamber of Commerce [1;4].
Project Area (in hectares)4,190
Level of Investment (in USD)total investment size unknown
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population1,000 families
Start Date03/01/2013
Company Names or State EnterprisesMandalay Myotha Industrial Development (MMID) from Myanmar - main developer
Royal Hi-Tech Group Co. Ltd (RHGC) from Myanmar - Parent company
Relevant government actorsThe Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC)

The Mandalay Industrial Development Authority

Land Measurement Committee

General Administration Department (GAD) of Ngazun Township
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersFarmers 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
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Religious groups
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
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
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-economic 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
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Migration/displacement
Repression
Development of AlternativesProposals 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 as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project goes on while the concerns of affected farmers remain unsolved.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

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

2016 Myanmar Investment Law
[click to view]

2012 Farmland Law
[click to view]

References

[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

[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
ContributorEJatlas Southeast Asia Team (ejatlas.asia"at"gmail.com)
Last update01/02/2018
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