Cambodia needs more land mapping if it is to start to resolve many disputes that have become a major issue and potential source of instability, a development group says.
With maps of state and private land, as well as community land, many disputes can be solved, or avoided in the first place, said Tek Vannara, head of the NGO Forum, which this week issued a study on land disputes in four provinces.
“With a specific map of state land, private land and community land, it can help in reducing land disputes,” he said.
Cambodian land disputes are caused by various factors, including land history and political conditions that make them hard to solve. They can be a major problem for the poor, who often find themselves on the losing side of a dispute.
NGO Forum sought to map out land disputes in Battambang, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu and Pursat provinces.
It found that land disputes are often driven by a conflict between a 2001 land law and a customary law of possession, inconsistent decision-making at various levels of government, and a program of land titling that has been slow to take hold, even as economic land concessions are quickly approved.