Country:

Cambodia

Region:

Asia

Date:

Ended February 2017

Implementor:

Inclusive Development International (IDI)

Funding amount:

$27,560

Details:

Inclusive Development International, with support from SRM, continued its support to fourteen Cambodian villages, containing some 15,000 people, whose land and forest rights have been violated by one of Vietnam’s largest companies. The company, Hoang Anh Gia Lai, was granted almost 50,000ha of land for rubber plantations over large swathes of Ratanakiri province, which overlapped considerably with the ancestral lands of the Kachok, Tampuon, Jarai and Kreung indigenous communities. As the company began developing its plantations, the communities lost residential, farming and forestland as well as many scared areas.

In 2014, IDI supported the communities to file a complaint to the International Finance Corporation’s CAO, an independent accountability mechanism. The company and communities agreed to try to resolve the issues through CAO- facilitated mediations. In a major breakthrough in 2015, the company agreed to refrain form any further development of its plantations and to return remaining land, reducing their total concession area to under 14,000ha.  It also agreed to a joint-mapping exercise with the company and government to determine which areas of additional land it should return or compensate for.

With support from SRM, IDI and local partners assisted the community in preparing for and participating in the joint mapping exercise, and pushing for recognition of their claims in the mediations. This included training and workshops on tenure options, customary land registration, GIS mapping exercises, and a valuation of losses, among other activities. As a result, the company has now agreed to return further significant tracts of land, including 20 spirit mountains and other areas with spiritual and traditional value to affected villagers. The mediations are ongoing.