Mekong Region Land Governance Project

Cambodian Land Dispute Independent Mediation: Mediation Evaluation Report

Cambodian Land Dispute Independent Mediation: Mediation Evaluation Report
This report documents the evaluation of the Cambodian Land Dispute Independent Mediation (CLAIM), an independent mediation between Socfin-KCD Co., Ltd. and Coviphama Co., Ltd., known as Socfin Cambodia and five Bunong villages from Busra Commune, Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia. MRLG provided funding for CLAIM. The evaluation was undertaken by the Australian Disputes Centre (ADC) in 2022. CLAIM sought to resolve a long-standing and previously intractable conflict over land use, following the Royal Government of Cambodia granting of three Economic Land Concessions (ELCs) acquired by Socfin Cambodia (2009-2013). The land was traditionally occupied by the community for cultivation and cultural amenity. The conflict lasted over a decade. The CLAIM process managed five mediations over five years, beginning preliminary work in late 2016, and ending with final settlement agreements signed in September 2021. The Evaluation found CLAIM an example of an effective, multi-party mediation process that can be replicated to resolve future land claim disputes in Cambodia. With this learning, MRLG will continue promoting and supporting fair conflict resolution for smallholder farmers and communities affected by state land appropriation. The project is pursuing further land policy reforms in the country to prevent conflict in the first place by protecting more effectively customary rights.

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