Cambodia: Indigenous communities from 15 provinces call on the govt. to expedite their collective land title registration

Author: Soth Koemsoeun, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 13 October 2019

"Indigenous groups call on gov’t for speedy registration of collective land", 10 October 2019

Representatives of 24 indigenous groups from 15 provinces … urged the government to solve their outstanding land dispute and expedite the process of registering their collective farmland to prevent private companies grabbing it.

The appeal was made during a national consultative seminar under the theme “Strategic Planning for the Preservation and Development of Indigenous Communities. The event was attended by government and civil society organisation representatives and around 300 indigenous people.

Tep Toem, one of the representatives, said indigenous communities are most concerned about land grab and forest clearance by companies that have received economic land concessions. She said such encroachment has cost them livelihood, shelters and traditions, among others.

… Kreung Tola, a Bunong community representative from Mondulkiri province who also attended the seminar, said indigenous people are generally left homeless while locked in land dispute.

He said most of them were forced to migrate for work abroad, especially Thailand, after losing their land and forest…

Pheap Sophea, land and forest programme manager at NGO Forum on Cambodia, said some indigenous communities in Preah Vihear, Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Stung Treng, and Koh Kong provinces are still mired in land dispute with companies that had received economic land concessions from the government…

Ministry of Land Management spokesman Seng Lout declined to comment ...

Nuon Danhel, Ministry of Rural Development secretary of state who presided over the seminar, said the ministry formed a technical team … to implement action plans for the preservation and development of indigenous communities…

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