Mekong Region Land Governance Project

Customary Land Tenure and Practices of Khmer Communities in Lowland Rural Cambodia. A Case Study In Choam Thnanh Village, Kampong Thom Province

Customary Land Tenure and Practices of Khmer Communities in Lowland Rural Cambodia. A Case Study In Choam Thnanh Village, Kampong Thom Province
In Cambodia, Customary Tenure is frequently associated with Indigenous People Communities. However customary practices on land and natural resources can also be found in non IP communities, including Khmer communities. This study, based on extensive field work and interviews, highlights the history of customary practices in the village of Choam Thnanh in Kampong Thom Province, and how they have evolved since more than 50 years. These practices have been threatened by the creation of an ELC and the arrival of new comers in the village, but however the village have succeeded to maintain some control on part of its territory and natural resources, on one hand by keeping two remote small areas of spirit forest and communal pond, where customary practices are still strong; and, on the other hand, they have managed to protect some of their forest by having it recognized as community Forest. In this last case, there is a hybrid type of customary practice and government-backed management.

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