Mekong Region Land Governance Project

About Us

Land is increasingly recognised as an important governance issue around the world. The livelihoods of many smallholder farmers in the Mekong Region have been affected by investments that need land for infrastructure, agribusiness and other development purposes. Smallholder farmers have reduced access to land and other natural resources on which they depend, and often are not offered equivalent alternatives. Most affected are smallholder farmers with little or no documentation of their customary land tenure. Governments in the Mekong Region are attempting to address these problems by developing policies to manage investment related to land expropriation, compensation, concession granting, conflict resolution and increase recognition of customary tenure.


MRLG works through alliances of government, civil society, the private sector and academia to promote improved land governance policies and practices. The project focuses on policies and practices related to the recognition of Customary Tenure and Responsible Agricultural Investment.

MRLG works to influence and change policies and practices at regional, national and sub-national levels. The policy level focuses on changing laws and implementing decrees and regulations while the practice level focuses on promoting the effective implementation of policy at national, provincial or local level.

MRLG works through alliances to reform policies on the recognition of Customary Tenure and Responsible Agriculture Investment in four countries in the Mekong Region by:

  • supporting practical pilots of new policy approaches
  • developing and disseminating research and lessons learned
  • facilitating dialogue on land governance issues affecting smallholder farmers
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The MRLG project is implemented by Land Equity International (LEI) in partnership with GRET Professionals for Fair Development (GRET) and supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fűr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Check full list of our alliances here

MRLG is a project of the Government of Switzerland, through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), with co-financing from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Government of Luxembourg.

MRLG works in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, and at regional level in the Mekong Region. MRLG’s main office and team is located in Vientiane (Laos). MRLG also has small teams and offices in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Yangon (Myanmar) and Hanoi (Vietnam).

MRLG Phase II runs from October 2018 – December 2022. MRLG Phase I was implemented from 2014-2018.

MRLG supports a range of activities, including but not limited to:

Project Governance

The MRLG project is governed by a Project Steering Committee (PSC). The PSC is comprised of representatives of the project donors (SDC, BMZ and Luxembourg) in Lao PDR. The role of the PSC is to provide technical and managerial direction and implementation oversight.

To support the PSC, in each country a National Advisory Committee (NAC) is established to provide oversight and advise on project activities. The NAC brings together a variety of voices, from government, civil society, academia, media and private sector. 

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