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Cambodia suspends land concessions for companies

Posted on: 09.05.12 (Last edited) 9 May 2012

Prime Minister Hun Sen announces temporary suspension of economic land concessions to strengthen effectiveness of land management

The Cambodian government has suspended the granting of land for agricultural development by private companies in a bid to curb evictions and illegal logging.

The government also said it would revoke already issued grants from companies found to be engaging in illegal activities.

Evictions by private companies have displaced tens of thousands of people in Cambodia, and rights groups have been calling for the banning of land grants for a long time. Environmental activists, including the recently deceased Chut Wutty, have campaigned, suggesting Cambodia’s protected areas and wildlife are under threat from development by private companies.

Typically land concessions are large tracts of forested or rural land granted to companies who have permission for clearing the territory to form plantations for crops such as rubber, cassava and sugar cane.

Fauna & Flora International’s Tony Whitten Regional Director of the Asia-Pacific programme, welcomed the announcement, commenting, “Our job is to support those government policies which we believe are wise and contribute to sustainable development. We and many others have been concerned about these concessions and are really pleased the government has taken this radical and important step.”

Written by
Ally Catterick

Ally worked in media management and PR for clients including comedians Eddie Izzard and Ed Byrne before becoming Publicity Manager for the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Strategy and communications for conservation organisation Greening Australia and her role as Unit and Company Publicist for production company Roving Enterprises followed, until she was introduced to FFI upon their arrival in Australia in 2008. Ally became a founding board member – until moving to the UK to become the organisation's Communications Manager. Ally is now FFI's Deputy Director of Communications and oversees all communications for FFI globally.

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