CAMBODIA: Conservation Helps Secure Land Rights In Cambodia

Published on Friday, 16 March 2012

A vulnerable ethic minority village inside Cambodia’s remote Seima Protection Forest today became one of the first in Cambodia to receive a collective land title, which will help villagers fend off threats to their land and culture while also strengthening conservation goals.

The Senior Minister for Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, H.E. Im Chhun Lim, visited the ethnically Bunong village of Andoung Kraloeng village to mark this historic moment. The legal system has been piloted in three villages – the first two received titles last December, but the third is the only one in a protected forest and so sets crucial precedents for similar villages.

It has taken eight years for these first villages to receive their titles, but with the system now in place the rate of issuance is now expected to rise. Hundreds of other villages are eligible and many have begun the application process, including 12 in and around the Seima area. Eventually it is hoped to offer this opportunity to all interested villages around the reserve. More

CAMBODIA: Indigenous People To Hold Protest March to Save Their Land

07/03/2012

Phnom Penh, (SCB Press)–Cambodia’s indigenous people plan to hold peaceful rally march in Ratanakiri’s Banlung city on 19 March to protest against land grabbing and rampant illegal logging in their community according to letter issued today from Ratanakiri ADHOC Office to provincial hall.

The protest march will have 1000 indigenous people from different affected communities of Ratanakiri to participate in the march. The letter stated that the marcher will first rally at ADHOC Office in Ratanakiri to pray for help from ancestor spirit and then walk from office across key departments and offices of the province which those are Department of Transpiration, Agriculture, Information, Ratanakiri Forestry Administration Office, Court House, Provincial Hall and provincial roundabout before return to provincial ADHOC office. More

CAMBODIA: Prey Lang protectors warned

May Titthara
Thursday, 08 March 2012

Member of the Prey Lang Network said yesterday that Ouch Sam On, the deputy governor of Kampong Thom province, had told them he would not be responsible if they were shot while protecting Prey Lang forest.

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Kim Cheng, 50, a member of the network, said villagers would not obey an order to stay out of the forest and would continue patrolling for illegal loggers.

“Ouch Sam On threatened villagers and told us we were not allowed to patrol anymore,” he said.

“Maybe he is cooperating with businessmen who are illegally cutting trees, so he is afraid our patrols will expose his interest.”

More than 30 companies have been granted economic land or mining concessions in the forest, which covers 3,600 square kilometres in four provinces in the country’s north, and villagers say illegal loggers regularly cut down trees for luxury timber. More

Cambodia’s Amazon under threat

Written by Borin Noun
WEDNESDAY, 07 MARCH 2012

Illegal logging, government collusion combine 

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The sounds of birds chirping filter down through the forest canopy as the 200 members of Prey Lang Network walk deep into Cambodia’s most precious rainforest.

The group, dedicated to stopping illegal logging, have set out on foot from the city of Kam Pong Thmor to the Prey Lang Forest, arguably Cambodia’s Amazon, a remote 200,000 hectares of virgin timber. Five hours in, they discover newly built roads and illegally logged timber.  More

CAMBODIA: Airwaves breathe new life into endangered ethnic languages

Cambodia’s minority languages receive little recognition, both in this country and abroad. Though the French colonial administration drew a distinction between the ethnic Khmer majority and the highland-dwelling “Montagnards” in the north-eastern provinces, there has been little appreciation, either by colonial administrators or post-independence governments, of the remarkable linguistic and cultural diversity among the residents of these areas.

These languages are now being rescued from obscurity and the threat of extinction, under a radio initiative designed – with the help of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – to safeguard parts of the Kingdom’s cultural heritage. More

CAMBODIA: Indigenous land exploited

Tep Nimol
Friday, 02 March 2012

The Royal Government of Cambodia and private land developers were exploiting indigenous communities in Mondulkiri and Ratanakkiri provinces by signing concession deals for the communities’ land without prior consultation, advocates said yesterday.

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“We urge the government as well as the private sector to respect [indigenous peoples’] rights to their land . . .  and their rights to independence and cultural integrity,” Chhith Sam Ath, executive director of the NGO Forum, said. More

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