Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - One million hectares reclassified, gov’t says

One million hectares reclassified, gov’t says

One million hectares reclassified, gov’t says

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.

The statement, signed on October 13 and obtained by the Post yesterday, also states that 3.6 million land titles have been issued since the May 2012 order began a process of land demarcation.

At least “370,000 hectares of land has been cut out of ELCs from 134 companies and more than 250,000 hectares of land has been cut from state-owned land and seized forest land,” the statement reads.

The figures provided in the statement were not given as exact and it did not explain how the ministry had reached the figure of 1 million hectares.

On May 7, 2012, Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a moratorium on the granting of new ELCs to private companies and ordered authorities around the country to carry out a nationwide land titling program.

In a recent report by the Ministry of Environment, it said that more than 50,000 hectares of land had been cut from 11 companies’ concessions.

But Chan Soveth, senior investigator at rights group Adhoc, said that the land titling program had tended to ignore areas where communities were in disputes with ELC firms.

“They measured some disputed forest land, but people locked in land disputes with ELCs do not have their land measured, so they cannot seek a solution to the disputes,” he said.

Sar Sovann, spokesperson for the Ministry of Land Management, could not be reached.

Reach Seyma, a resident of Kampong Chhnang province who is locked in a land dispute with the KDC Company, dismissed the figures.

“What the Prime Minister’s volunteer students do is just a façade,” he said.

Rights group Licadho said in April that land grabbing had affected 500,000 people over the past 13 years.

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Kingdom calls on Japan to increase number of direct flights to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

    Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries. During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair

  • Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings plans to sell Cambodian unit

    LOLC Holdings Plc, Sri Lanka’s second-largest publicly traded company by revenue, plans to sell its 70 per cent stake in Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd, which also counts Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia Ltd. as a shareholder, LOLC deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara