7th National Advocacy Conference on “Working together for good governance on land and natural resources in Cambodia”

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The national advocacy conference has been conducted annually since 2006. The theme of the 2012 event is “Working Together for Good Governance of Land and Natural Resources in Cambodia”.

This conference was held on December 7th 2012, at the Imperial Garden Villa and Hotel in Phnom Penh. There were 375 people attending and it was co-organised by 18 organisations including Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Advocacy and Policy Institute (API), Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC), Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), Committee for Free and Fair Election in Cambodia (COMFREL), Cambodians for Resource Revenue Transparency (CRRT), Cambodian Volunteers for Society (CVS), Development and Partnership in Action( DPA), Gender And Development (GAD/C), Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF), Indigenous Community Support Organization(ICSO), Khmer Youth for Social Development (KYSD), Life With Dignity ( LWD), STAR Kampuchea, The NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGO Forum), Human Rights of Vigilance in Cambodia ( Vigilance), World Vision Cambodia (WVC), and Youth Resource Development Program (YRDP).

The aims of the conference were to (1) Provide an opportunity for community representatives, civil society, government officials, lawmakers, private sector and development partners for constructive dialogue on key emerging issues facing the good administration of land and natural resources in Cambodia; and (2) Collectively formulate key policy recommendations and suggestions to the Cambodian government and lawmakers, the civil society and the communities in contributing to the national development plan and in ensuring full and good governance of land and natural resources.

The main topics raised at the national conference included: (1) Identification of indigenous community; (2) Social and environmental impacts by extractive industry; (3) Resettlement and its impacts; (4) Forestry management; (5) Resource revenue management from extractive industry; and (6) Rights of access to information, participation and justice.

“Good governance is one of the cores of the Rectangular Strategy of The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC),” said H.E. Yim Chhay Ly, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council for Agriculture and Rural Development, during open remarks. “The Royal Government recognises that land reform is vital to enhance social stability, develop an efficient land market, create environmental sustainability, and increase agriculture productivity through the issuance of land titles to the citizens, in particular the poor farmers who are cultivating their land. Therefore, the government keeps continue to work together with communities, civil society and NGOs to reduce poverty.”