This BMZ comissioned report by GTZ highlights the dramatic increase of land concessions and rising inequality in land distribution in Cambodia. Parts of the study refer to an earlier report by Uch Sophas “Foreign Direct Investment in Land for Biomass Production in Cambodia”. The South-East Asian country Cambodia has an area of 181,035 km2. The Government of Cambodia is adapting its activities to attract FDI, which has lead to a steady increase especially since 2007. Hence, during the last several years landlenssness has risen to 20% and less thean 40% of the farmers are left with less than 0,5 ha, i.e. less than half of the minimum area required to meet nutritional needs. Inequality of land ownership is increaseing throughout the country. Officially almost 1 million ha of land were granted Economic Land Concessions (ELC), constituting roughly 5,5% of the Cambodian territory. In 36 out of 59 cases, foreign businesses are involved. Though a legal framework with defined steps for concession application exists, often the procedures do not comply with the regulations.
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The purpose of the Mekong Land Research Forum online site is to provide structured access to published and unpublished research on land issues in the Mekong Region. It is based on the premise that debates and decisions around land governance can be enhanced by drawing on the considerable volume of research, documented experience and action-based reflection that is available.