The cash crop boom in southern Myanmar: tracing land use regime shifts through participatory mapping

Zaehringer, Julie G.; Lundsgaard-Hansen, Lara; Thein, Tun Tun; Llopis, Jorge C.; Tun, Nwe Nwe; Myint, Win; Schneider, Flurina (2020). The cash crop boom in southern Myanmar: tracing land use regime shifts through participatory mapping. Ecosystems and people, 16(1), pp. 36-49. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/26395916.2019.1699164

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Tropical forest landscapes are undergoing vast transformations. Myanmar was long an exceptionto this trend–until recent policy reforms put economic development at the forefront. Underambiguous land rights, commercial agriculture has spread rapidly, causing an unprecedentedloss of biodiversity-rich forest. In south-eastern Myanmar, where land tenure is highly contesteddue to several decades of conflict, scientific evidence on these complex social-ecological pro-cesses is lacking. In the absence of past satellite data, we applied a participatory mappingapproach and co-produced annual land use information with local land users between 1990and 2017 for two case study landscapes. Results show that both landscapes have undergonea land use regime shift from small-scale farmers’shifting cultivation to plantations of rubber, betelnut, cashew, and oil palm. These changes are likely to have long-term impacts on land users’livelihoods and the environment. We call for a reconsideration of land governance arrangementsand concerted land use planning that respects the rights of local land users and strengthens theirrole as environmental stewards. Applied with careful facilitation, participatory mapping could bean important tool to engage communities in the highly challenging process of transforming landgovernance to achieve more sustainable outcomes in this post-conflict context.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management (LS-SLM)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

Graduate School:

International Graduate School North-South (IGS North-South)

UniBE Contributor:

Zähringer, Julie Gwendolin; Lundsgaard, Lara; Llopis Sendino, Jorge Claudio and Schneider, Flurina

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

2639-5908

Publisher:

Taylor & Francis

Projects:

[1047] Managing Telecoupled Landscapes for Sustainable Provision of Ecosystem Services and Poeverty Alleviation
[805] Sustainability Governance
[803] Cluster: Land Resources

Language:

English

Submitter:

Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

31 Jan 2020 13:20

Last Modified:

02 Sep 2020 22:50

Publisher DOI:

10.1080/26395916.2019.1699164

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.139253

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/139253

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