80% of Cambodian people are farmers living in rural and remote areas. They are depending on agriculture, livestock and natural resource extraction to feed their families. Nearly last two decades, the royal government of Cambodia has tried its effort develop legal framework, infrastructure and urbanization to attract national and foreign investments to invest in Cambodia. while legal enforcement has been weak, some development plan has exploited and caused negative impacts on Cambodia people who are majority poor.
Economic infrastructure development project does not follow Cambodian laws and legal frameworks concerning to rights of legal possessor, ownership rights, social and environmental impact assessment, principle of Free Prior Informed Consent and Consultation with related stakeholders before the development project starts. Judicial and non-judicial mechanisms have limited functioning while a conflict or land right violation happens; consequently, land rights and human rights are violated. The poor people whose rights are violated cannot find solution. They lost land livelihood. Those are getting poorer and poorer.
To tackle with tenure insecurity, low functioning of judiciary, and make all related stakeholders responsible principles of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) are very important.
Together, we all work to push the government to integrate VGGT's principles into the governance of natural resources.