14th National Conference on Land and Natural Resources Governance

On 17 November 2021, The NGO Forum on Cambodia collaborated by 53 national and international organizations to host 14th National Conference on Land and Natural Resources Governance.

The overall purpose of the National Conference is to work with the Royal Government of Cambodia to improve laws and policies related to land, housing and natural resources, and to strengthen the implementation of policies, laws and regulations aimed for promoting land governance and Natural resources, with a focus on addressing the economic, social and environmental impacts as well as the sustainable livelihoods of local communities.

Summary of overall results
The overall objectives of the 14th National Conference on Land and Natural Resources Governance are to promote, improve and reflect on the implementation of policies, laws and regulations related to land, housing and natural resources, as well as to promote Governance of land and natural resources for local communities for sustainable livelihoods. The conference was attended by a total of 350 participants (90 women) who are the representing of National Assembly, the Senate. Relevant ministries and departments, private companies, researchers and representatives of land communities, indigenous communities, forest communities, protected areas, fishing communities and NGO representatives from 17 capitals and provinces of Cambodia.

Dr. TEK Vannara, Executive Director of NGOF emphasized on the mechanism with stakeholders to jointly develop an equitable and sustainable environment, land governance and natural resources. He focused on the five pillars of sustainable development: People, Planet, Partnership, Peace and Prosperity. The conference is a democratic form in which local communities are involved in economic and social development, get more inputs from relevant stakeholder, provide opportunities for civil society to work and help avoid conflict in local communities.

In addition, Mr. KAN Cal, Country Director of Diakonia, was interested in creating opportunities for local communities and sub-national institutions to fully participate in the management of land and natural resources. The national economic development of the private investment sector requires a prior social and environmental assessment and monitoring. Moreover, the transparency between civil society and government to promote gender equality and policy strengthening, giver more opportunities for CSOs to fulfill their role, as well as all stakeholders to work together to build social harmony in Cambodia.

H.E NGY Chanphal, Secretary of State, Minister of Interior, delivered the opening remarks at the conference, which was considered as a topic of concerning and encouraging discussion on land and natural resources which tell the truth and mutual understand. H.E emphasized the key word “Governance” is importance of economic growth which are related to land and natural resources and the efficiency of public administration. The core of the key rectangular strategy is to improve and increase capacity of governance for governments to ensure the Vision of 2030. The government has set up a working group to study collective land registration. The government’s vision for economic growth in 2030 and 2050. As a follow-up, the conference discussed and with the intervention of representatives of relevant institutions on three major topics which including: 1. Livelihood and security in the occupation of the community (women, the disabled and the youth) to contribute to land management. State and Sustainability of Natural Resources 2- Corporate Social Responsibility and Interbank Security, Environmental and Social Protection System and 3- Strategic Objectives, Private Sector Development Partners and Civil Society to Contribute to the Promotion of Land and Natural Resources in Cambodia. Five community representatives raised challenges and suggestions on five different topics: Indigenous communities, forestry communities, protected areas, fishing communities and land disputes. The discussions on each topic focused on legal and regulatory norms, efforts and commitments, practical experiences and successful practices related to land and natural resources issues.