More than 1 million hectares of forest terrain and land leased by private companies has been put under government control since Prime Minister Hun Sen initiated a moratorium on new economic land concessions (ELCs) in May 2012, the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction has claimed.
A growing number of reports show that large-scale deforestation continues in Cambodia’s protected forests, often with tacit endorsement from government officials—despite promises of conservation.
A series of reports this year show that protected forest areas across Cambodia are under increasing threat from land grabs and deforestation.
The Cardamom Mountains sit off the Gulf of Thailand in southern Cambodia and provide important habitat for a multitude of plant and animal species, many of them already threatened with extinction.
Ten cases of land disputes that lasted for over 15 years have been solved by the Banteay Srei district administration by understanding and peaceful mean on January 19.
The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction has reasserted its authority to conduct cadastral surveys of land plots that aim to establish leaseholder rights over state private land.
The Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) released a statement on “Business and Human Rights: Corporate Accountability in Land Rights Violations”, dated December 25, to give an overview of the challenges in seeking corporate accountability regarding land rights issues.
Forestry crimes including logging, poaching and encroachment on state forest land for private ownership increased considerably last year despite stricter law enforcement, according to an annual report by the Ministry of Environment.
Minister of Environment Say Sam Al urged the public to prevent land disputes and contribute to forest and wildlife conservation in the Phnom Tnout-Phnom Pok Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court has placed eight men in pre-trial detention on charges of “intentional violence” in relation to a land dispute with tycoon Pheun Phalla, who holds the honorific “oknha” title, in Prey Nop district.
The Kampot provincial authorities will grant land titles for 2,500 plots covering 6,649ha in Preah Monivong Bokor National Park to local residents who applied for official occupation and usage permits, according to the provincial Department of Environment director Suy Thea.
The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has set tentative dates in December this year to announce the verdicts for three separate wildlife sanctuary land grab cases, which happened last year.
Provincial court spokeswoman Chum Kaniya said on December 10 that the court’s investigating judge had heard the three cases of forest logging and land encroachment on December 8.
Binit Agrawal analyses the global impact of a Thai court judgement, which provides a judicial forum to farmers from Cambodia, who were victims of transnational land grabbing.