Flexibility Fixes Land Acquisition, Payment Concerns in Bangladesh

Publication | November 2013

The Chittagong Hill Tracts lie in the southeast of Bangladesh. It is a geographically isolated and remote area covering 13,000 square kilometers and home to 11 distinct groups of indigenous people.

The communal land system in Chittagong Hill Tract makes land acquisition complex. This case is the first successful application of consensus-based compensation under ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement.

Highlights

  • The indigenous people of Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts have a communal landownership system that does not use individual land titles, making the process of land acquisition and compensation complicated.
  • To implement its rural development project, ADB dialogued with government representatives and ethnic leaders to devise a compromise solution combining statutory and customary laws.
  • The successful implementation of this compromise solution built the trust of the ethnic population and demonstrated how consultation and community support can lead to innovative solutions.