Mekong Land Research Forum | Land Portal

The Mekong Land Research Forum seeks to bring research and policy a bit closer together. It does this in part by making the research more accessible and in part by helping to distill the key messages and points of debate so that information overload does not overwhelm policy makers and other advocates for progressive policy reform.

The Mekong Land Research Forum online site was developed in 2015 by a team at the University of Sydney, as part of an exercise carried out with the Mekong Region Land Governance program. This exercise also included the writing of country papers on the political economy of land governance in CambodiaLaosMyanmarVietnam, and one Regional overview paper. The Regional Centre for Social Science and Sustainable Development at Chiang Mai University manages the resource as part of the Mekong Land Research Forum. Further information on the Forum is available here. An application form to join our research network can be found here.

Mekong Land Research Forum Resources

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Library Resource
Mekong Land Research Forum: Annual country reviews 2020-21
Policy Papers & Briefs
February, 2021
South-Eastern Asia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam

The Annual Country Reviews reflect upon current land relations in the Mekong Region, and has been produced for researchers, practitioners and policy advocates operating in the field. Specialists have been selected from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam to briefly answer the following two questions:

Library Resource
Journal Articles & Books
February, 2020
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam

Labor migration and large-scale land enclosures are increasingly central to the story of agrarian change throughout the Global South. Nonetheless, there remain limited understandings of how recent explosions of mobile labor and new sources of smallholder capital shape and are shaped by ongoing land use and property transformations. This article reviews this gap in Southeast Asia – a region where labor and capital are highly mobile and where the expansion of industrial agriculture and forestry has been particularly rapid.

Library Resource
Journal Articles & Books
February, 2020
Vietnam

This paper deepens the economic analysis of the effects of land consolidation – reduction of land fragmentation. It does this in the context of rural Vietnam, studying whether land consolidation promotes or hinders the Vietnamese government's policy objectives of encouraging agricultural mechanization and stimulating the off-farm rural economy. The analysis views land consolidation as a form of technical change, making it possible to apply the rich insights developed in the economic literature on that subject.

Library Resource
Journal Articles & Books
February, 2020
Laos

Land tenure, or access and rights to land, is essential to sustain people’s livelihoods. This paper looks at how farm households perceive land tenure (in)security in relation to food (in)security, and how these perceptions evolve throughout different policy periods in Laos. The paper highlights the centrality of farmers’ strategies in configuring the dynamic relationships between tenure (in)security and food (in)security, by demonstrating how farmers’ perceived and de facto land tenure insecurity shapes their decisions to diversify livelihood options to ensure food security.

Library Resource
Journal Articles & Books
December, 2019
Laos

Economic globalization promotes the economic development of underdeveloped regions but also influences the ecological environments of these regions, such as natural forest degradation. For inland developing regions with underdeveloped traffic routes, are the effects on the ecological environment also as obvious?

Library Resource
Journal Articles & Books
December, 2019
Global

This paper explores the political processes that activists engaged in contesting land grabbing have triggered to connect claims across borders and to international institutions, regimes and processes. Through a review of cases of land-grab resistance that have led to project cancelation or suspension, I argue that contextual elements of the land grab and shifting geopolitics highlight the need for adaptation and refinement of models of transnational advocacy, historically structured in North–South patterns.

Library Resource
Journal Articles & Books
December, 2019
Cambodia, Vietnam

Concessions granted to investors in Cambodia have generated a deep sense of insecurity in rural forested areas. Villagers are not confined to a passive “everyday resistance of the poor,” as mentioned by James Scott, insofar as they frequently engage in frontal strategies for recovering land. Such has been the case in the northeastern provinces, where indigenous livelihoods are recurrently threatened by foreign and national companies. But what happens when a land conflict ends up in a stakeholder dialogue?

Library Resource
Journal Articles & Books
December, 2019
Vietnam

Between Vietnam's independence and its reunification in 1975, the country's socialist land tenure system was underpinned by the principle of "land to the tiller". During this period, government redistributed land to farmers that was previously owned by landlords. The government's "egalitarian" approach to land access was central to the mass support that it needed during the Indochinese war.

Library Resource
Journal Articles & Books
December, 2019
Laos, Vietnam

Since the early 2000s the Lao government has dramatically increased the number of large-scale land concessions issued for agribusinesses. While studies have documented the social and environmental impacts of land dispossession, the role of Vietnamese labour on these Vietnamese-owned rubber plantations has not previously been investigated. Taking a political ecology approach, we situate this study at the intersection between ‘land grabbing’ studies and work on ‘labour geographies’.

Library Resource
Journal Articles & Books
December, 2019
Vietnam

Our main objective in this research was to examine the role of land ownership in the choice of household livelihood in the rural Mekong Delta region, Vietnam. Using secondary data on rural households in the Mekong Delta region, we use cluster analysis techniques to classify livelihoods currently adopted by rural households. Using Bonferroni pairwise tests and quantile functions (Pen’s parades), we then compare the income levels of identified livelihoods. Finally, we employ a multinomial logit model to examine different factors affecting the choice of livelihoods.

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