Natural Resource Federalism in Myanmar

Decentralizing power to end conflict


Armed groups, Myanmar government, civil societies


Myanmar has a history of conflict between its government and armed guerrilla groups, particularly in resource-rich areas. Conflict between formal and informal armed groups is often linked to control of these areas.


Natural resource federalism, or the subnational jurisdiction over regions of the country, could increase representation in government, increasing the chance of citizens addressing causes of conflict in their communities. There are risks with granting jurisdiction to subnational institutions, but with proper representation, the system could work to benefit the citizens of Myanmar at large.

Peace Engineering Takeaway

Shared ownership vis a vis natural resource federalism has shown to be successful in countries like Indonesia, where agreements to share revenues among regions helped end years of conflict. Transparency in the process of licensing and ownership can help bring ownership back to communities, preventing resource-related conflict.
Last updated January 2018. Powered by Webflow.