State of Land in the Mekong Region Brief

The State of Land in the Mekong Region Brief summarizes the key findings of the State of Land in the Mekong Region Report.

This report is based on key data and information, largely available in the public domain, to identify and describe the key issues and processes revolving around land in the Mekong Region. It aims to be a basis for constructive dialogue and collaborative decision-making.

The State of Land in the Mekong Region is structured around five domains:

(1) the land-dependent people of the Mekong

(2) the land resource base

(3) the distribution of land

(4) the land tenure security

(5) the land governance.

One of the conclusions concerns the increase in the inequality in land distribution, with a reduction of small holders land holdings size on one side, and with a large proportion of agricultural land given in concessions, resulting in a boom in commodity/ export crops.

Another striking feature is that contrary to common wisdom, farmers remain the majority of population in all countries except Thailand. The agrarian transition is on its way, but far from complete. Rural to rural migrations are higher than rural to urban ones. The creation of employment in secondary and tertiary sector is not sufficient to absorb the work force coming out of agriculture. This also results in growing cross country migrations. This means the demand for agricultural land is increasing, and explains some of the drive of farmers towards upland areas.

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