Indigenous peoples organisations analyse legal provision failure for customary tenure, Cambodia

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Indigenous peoples organisations analyse legal provision failure for customary tenure, Cambodia


05 August 2016

In July, the Cambodian L&A group on Customary Tenure held its third and final joint learning seminar on legal provisions affecting the Recognition and Security of Indigenous Peoples’ Customary Tenure. This learning process, which started in December 2015, aims to gain common understanding among CSOs on the legal ground for the recognition and tenure security of customary communal lands and to discuss the limits of the 2001 Land Law and related legislation. A second seminar extended the discussion on the forest and protected areas laws. However, in the presence of government officials, these seminars were dominated by experts and larger CSOs. Thus, IPO leaders and members were still seeking r more ownership and deeper understanding on the legal provisions after the second seminar.
In this third and final seminar a position paper was drafted to reflect the views of the Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Alliance (CIPA). It analyses the main shortfalls and loopholes that are still carried in the 2001 Land Law and the sub-decree #83 regulating the customary communal land titling, 2002 Forestry Law and the law on 2008 protected areas. It also looked for stronger coherence among these different laws and their sub-decrees.

The draft position paper was prepared by CIYA leaders, Lay Chantha (Coordinator of CIPA) and Chhoem Samut (President of CIYA) and Yun Mane (Director of CIPO), and Yun Lorang (Secretary of CIPA) with support from the MRLG National Land Governance Facilitator, Sothath Ngo. Fourteen issues for IP customary tenure were listed in this position paper. Seminar participants, member of core groups of IPOs went through all of them, taking their time to screen them carefully and when needed, consulting the law texts to support their understanding. The lively and constructive discussions culminated in a common position paper that will be presented in a next series of multi-stakeholder dialogues to progress and broader the context to improve the recognition of customary tenure of indigenous people in Cambodia. Furthermore, the position paper will urge concerned ministries to undertake needed amendments in a participatory process giving the opportunity for CIPA (Cambodian Indigenous People Alliance) to contribute actively.