On 22 November 2023, the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), funded by HEKS/EPER, organized a meeting to find a solution to the community land disputes in Orana Village, O’Chra Village, Pou Kong Village and Sre Chhouk Village. This was done to better facilitate the realization of indigenous rights to land. The meeting was held at Kaev Seima District Hall and was chaired by Mr. San Kim Eab. There were 27 total participants including the district governor, 3 representatives from Wildlife Conservation Society Cambodia (WCS), 1 from Development and Partnership in Action (DPA), and 4 from CLEC. There were also members of 3 commune or village authorities and district officials, including 5 women.
The meeting was successful and the following conclusions were reached:
- Firstly, the community should submit a letter to the Department of Land to encourage the reevaluation by officials of previous norms regarding disputed community land.
- Secondly, the district administration established a working group to resolve the community land dispute in the Keo Seima district.
- Thirdly, this working group accompanied the land officials to verify the plot of land and establish community boundary markers.
- Finally, the cost of transportation and meals for the team involved were borne by CLEC and WCS.
In the case of Boeung Kamblok land in O’Rana village, the community must submit a letter to the municipality to prohibit Mr. San Samon from cultivating on public lake land. Additionally, for disputes arising in different communities, the working group comprised of CLEC and WCS members ought to compile those issues for resolution by the Dispute Resolution Committee.
At the same time, CLEC engaged with another cluster of communities in the Mondulkiri Province on the 22nd November 2023. Supported by HEKS/EPER, organized a meeting to solve the land dispute between the communities of Puleh, Pou Treng, and Pou Chhop villages. The meeting was held in Ou Reang district hall, Dak Dam commune, Mondulkiri Province. There were 20 participants, including 3 women, with 6 organizational representatives, 7 district office officials, and 3 village authorities, as well as members from 4 communities.
The meeting was successful and decided as follows:
- In the first case:
- A working group of 25 people was formed in order to verify the disputed land in Chrey Thom waterfall, Dak Dam commune.
- The Ou Reang district governor is to make a letter requesting a standard and systematic registration of the borders on the plot of land bordering Chrey Thom waterfall.
- The verification of land ownership will be implemented in early December 2023.
- The responsibility for food, transportation and other expenses falls to CLEC and CIPO.
- In the second case:
- There has been systematic registration of land by private individuals on collective land in Puleh village, to which the community committee has already filed an objection. This objection will be followed up to ultimately be resolved.
- The community is requesting an exchange between company and community land, and the meeting resolved to hold talks with the Department of Agriculture in hopes of facilitating this exchange.
- In the third case:
- The case concerns the registration of the collective land of the community of Puleh village, Busra commune, on the forest land of the Dak Dam commune.
- The case was beyond the capacity of the district authority, who therefore requested to contact the relevant province or relevant department to mediate and coordinate an effective resolution.