In the Media
Cambodia: Hun Sen grants four economic land concessions
June 25, 2012
Prime Minister Hun Sen has signed off on four more economic land concessions (ELCs), all in protected areas, despite placing a moratorium on granting such leases on May 7.
Since the May 7 sub-decree, the premier has now signed off on seven concessions totalling 56,586 hectares to develop agro-industry, though his cabinet has argued that three granted on May 18 did not flout the ban because they were ELCs already in the final stages of approval.
The latest Royal Gazette reveals more than 35,000 hectares were granted in ELCs to four companies on June 7. When asked why the leases had been granted in apparent contradiction of the moratorium, Council of Minister’s spokesman Phay Siphan said he was not aware of the concessions and believed there were no arrangements for new ELCs.
“Land concessions are the main resources that create land disputes around the country, so the government should stop granting economic land concessions, as he [Hun Sen] issued in the directive.” The rate at which economic land concessions are granted is rapidly accelerating. The government granted more than 2.2 million hectares for agro-industry last year, two-thirds of them in protected areas, according to the rights group Adhoc.
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Keywords: Asia, Cambodia, land concession, land tenure