Civil society organisations in Cambodia strive for inclusion in implementing land governance policies

Monday, 28th October 2019

Civil society organisations open a dialogue with government officials to pursue a people-led development that upholds human rights and protects the environment

The National Engagement Strategy (NES) Cambodia - consisting of our members NGO Forum on Cambodia, STAR Kampuchea (SK), and Farmers and Nature Network (FNN) - recently conducted the National Advocacy Conference on Land and Natural Resource Governance in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. More than 500 participants from civil society organisations (CSOs), government agencies, parliament members, development partners, private sector and local communities gathered to discuss ways in pursuing people-centered land governance. The conference held on October 24th and 25th provided an opportunity for CSOs and local communities who have been working to resolve land and natural conflicts in the country to open a dialogue with government officials and raise recommendations.

The Cambodian Government expressed their commitment to address the issues raised by participants by bringing them to discuss with their higher management. A representative from the Cambodian Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction stated that the Ministry had been putting a lot of effort to accelerate land registrations with a systematic, periodic, and communal system. Up until 2019, it was reported that the government had managed to provide 5.2 million land titles, which was equal to 74% of the total goal for land registration. The government now aims to expedite all land registration process by 2021 instead of their previous plan by 2023. 

In addition, Cambodia's Conflict Solution Committee reported in the conference that they have successfully solved the 8,062 land conflict cases out of the total 10,078. The government has also reserved two million hectares of community forests to be preserved. 

Members of NES Cambodia hoped that the conference would further open ways to build rapport with government officials in order to promote people-centered land governance that's focused on social impact, sustainable development and environmental protection. Participants also agreed that Sustainable Development Goals can only be achieved by having democratic participation of civil society in policy planning and implementation.

Story written by STAR Kampuchea and edited by ILC Asia. Photo credit: STAR Kampuchea