In 2016/17, during the course of my research in Cambodia, I explored micro-politics of contestation and the role of former Khmer Rouge in contesting land grabbing. Analyzing the repercussions on conflict transformation, I also paid special attention to gender dynamics at play.
Phnom Penh is a rapidly changing city marked by urban development. In 1998 one in every 20 Cambodians lived in Phnom Penh. Within four years, this statistic has become one in every ten Cambodians. Between 1998 and 2008 the city’s population more than doubled, increasing from 567,860 to 1,237,600 people.
Green Economy is a source of both hope and controversy. For some, it points the way out of permanent environmental and economic crises and promises to reconcile – a long cherished Utopia – ecology and economics. It fosters the hope that we can hang on to our current high standard of material prosperity.
Healthy soils are crucial to human nutrition and the fight against hunger. But worldwide 24 billion tons of fertile soil is lost annually. Barbara Unmüßig calls attention to the growing threat to one of Earth’s most important resources.
Indigenous communities in Cambodia are legally recognized and should thus have been protected by the Land Law and the Forestry Law, entitling them to communal land titles. A number of national and international instruments including the Cambodian Land Law of 2001, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the ILO Convention no. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples and the World Bank Safeguard Policy recognize both collective and individual Indigenous Peoples’ rights.
The COP 20’s “Lima call for climate action” is no wake-up call but a worrisome sign of a feeble multilateral climate process plagued by political deafness and leaving poor and vulnerable communities alone with the impacts of climate change.
Phnom Penh, October 26, 2014 Heinrich-Böll Foundation has been supporting the Cambodian Indigenous Youth Organization (CIYA) for more than 7 years now. CIYA was established by a group of Cambodian indigenous people and attempts to provide an indigenous youth group serving as a social network in Phnom Penh, as well as strengthening the capacity of these indigenous students and empowering them as the future generation of their indigenous communities.
Tenure security, or more specifically lack thereof, is a pervasive problem in Cambodia. While rural households are driven from their land in the thousands to make way for Economic Land Concessions and other types of developments, urban residents, particularly the poor, continue to live with insecure tenure. Over 150,000 people in Phnom Penh – representing 11% of the capital’s current population – have been displaced over the past two decades.
Korea was widely portrayed in recent years as one of the top investors in Cambodia, with its investment reaching record levels in 2007 and 2008. Its influence also became noticeably visible, from the ubiquitous broadcasting of Korean productions by Cambodian TV and radio channels to the increasing number of Korean-led ambitious real estate projects in Phnom Penh.
Large-scale wind farms and solar power plants are springing up everywhere one looks. That’s good for the climate, but small-scale farmers and the poor are becoming the pawns of hard-nosed business interests around the world.
More than 300 indigenous peoples celebrated this year’s IP Day with a march, speeches, an exhibition of arts and crafts and a large cultural show in Siem Reap – Angkor Town. “We reached more people and our voices have been heard nationally and internationally” claims Pheap Sochea, President of the Cambodian Indigenous Youth Association.
For more than three years, The Heinrich Böll Foundation has been supporting the development of the Cambodian Indigenous Youth Association (CIYA). Both organisations are sharing an office since CIYA was registered as an independent organisation in September 2008. CIYA is the first association of indigenous youth on the national level. CIYA works to achieve its vision of strong and prosperous indigenous people that are able to protect indigenous cultures and tradition, as well as their lands and natural resources.
“More wealth can result in more corruption” cautioned Dr. Ramos Horta Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and President of Timor-Leste participants at a Dialogue on Transforming Natural Resource Wealth into a Source for Sustainable Growth and Democratic Development organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Cambodians for Resource Revenue Transparency.