Reports & Research

African Development Bank (AfDB) Logo
Date of publication
September 2016
Geographical focus

Source: BAD

Le continent africain s’urbanise rapidement. D’ici 2035, une majorité d’africains vivront dans des zones urbaines. Mais la croissance rapide des villes ne s’accompagne pas de suffisamment d’emplois productifs et de services publics de qualité. Cependant, l’urbanisation possède le plus grand potentiel pour accélérer le développement économique, social et environnemental ; même les zones rurales devraient bénéficier de villes africaines dynamiques et durables. Exploiter ce potentiel requiert de nouvelles et ambitieuses stratégies nationales de développement urbain. Bien que les priorités dépendront des contextes spécifiques à chaque pays, la plupart devront clarifier les droits fonciers, fournir des infrastructures et des services de meilleure qualité et mieux gérer la croissance des villes intermédiaires.

Date of publication
December 2007
Geographical focus

Although Cambodia has made significant progress in improving human well-being, poverty in rural areas persists. This Human Development Report for Cambodia assesses the state of rural livelihoods and their relationship with natural resources. It describes the status of human development at the regional and provincial levels, and distinguishes high performance areas from those which require more attention. Several key problems are identified, including: widening inequality in incomes and opportunities; persistent rural poverty; unacceptably high maternal mortality, or death during childbirth; high rates of child malnutrition; poverty compelling children to leave school at an early age; land inequality pose serious challenges to ordinary people’s livelihoods. The report delves into policy recommendations and opportunities to galvanise rural areas. It emphasises that the highest benefits are likely to be generated from targeted efforts in the following areas: fair and effective governance of land; a substantial increase of public investments in agricultural productivity; broadened and diversified job-creating sources of growth in both rural and urban areas; substantial investments in human capabilities; ensuring a ‘resource blessing’ from offshore oil and gas.

Cambodia Development Resource Institute
Date of publication
December 2007
Geographical focus

ABSTRACTED FROM THE SUMMARY: The impact of land titles on social and economic development and poverty reduction in the rural sector can be optimized by targeting land-titling efforts in areas where government agencies, NGOs, and private investors are actively engaged. The benefits for disadvantaged households can also be increased by policies that specifically link land-titling efforts to pro-poor development objectives. In this sense, active consultation and collaboration among all development actors in support of LMAP’s efforts would enhance the benefits from land titles for all landholders. The research methodology employed in the baseline survey has been quasi-experimental in nature using quantitative data collected in household interviews with a structured, close-ended survey instrument (See Annex A). The follow up survey should incorporate qualitative research approaches and tools into the overall methodology in order to provide more substance and texture to the household survey data, as many of the subtle yet important nuances concerning the economic and social impacts of land titles cannot be effectively captured by a standard household survey instrument.

Date of publication
December 2007
Geographical focus

This ADI study in collaboration with the Land Information Centre seeks to understand the relationship between land titling and poverty reduction in two sangkat of Prey Nup District, Sihanoukville Municipality. More specifically, it attempts to document the manner of landholder acquisition and the land titling process of the Land Management and Administration Project (LMAP) in four villages of the two sangkat; to examine land sales and land transfer processes before and after titling; to explore the link between land titles and access to credit; and to assess the contribution of land titles to security of land tenure and the resolution of land disputes. A survey questionnaire was conducted with 264 households in four villages of the two sangkat. In addition key informant interviews were convened with villagers, LMAP officials, and district managers of lending institutions. In the two sangkat villagers actively participated in the mapping and measurement of their lands for titling under LMAP and more than 90 percent of all agricultural plots owned by the households surveyed were titled under LMAP. This was a remarkable achievement. Land sales in the two sangkat were higher in the four and a half years since LMAP implementation than in the previous fourteen years combined. While higher land values benefited village sellers, proceeds from land sales were spent mainly on health costs and rarely invested in productive pursuits. Meanwhile, the majority of land sales after LMAP were still transacted by making sales contracts with notification at village and commune levels without processing the transfers through the Land Registry. This practice of transferring land extralegally threatened to undermine the viability of the systematic land titling program. Of note, more than 90 percent of all households surveyed had never used an LMAP title as collateral for a loan. A major benefit conferred through LMAP was the stronger tenure security on LMAP titled lands. While LMAP titling did not immediately translate into poverty reduction for most of the recipients it did constitute a contributing component of development interventions and reforms with potential for moving people out of poverty and allowing them to share more equitably in economic growth.

Date of publication
December 2007
Geographical focus

The purpose of this study is threefold: (1) to describe the legal and institutional framework governing land in Cambodia, as well as the current status of land ownership and use; (2) to estimate the impact of access to land on human development and the potential benefits from land reforms; and (3) to discuss implications for land polices and challenges for implementing land reforms.

Date of publication
December 2006
Geographical focus

ABSTRACTED FROM PREFACE: This volume... present a rich set of articles presenting issues specific to a number of continents and regions, countries and communities, land tenures and land tenure databases. The articles in this volume are unique in presenting a set of regional perspectives on this important issue. They demonstrate the importance of collection, recording and analysis of land tenure data in all regions. These data are crucial for improved decision and policy making in the fields of economic development, food security and environmental sustainabilitiy, owing to the variability and complexities of land tenure systems and arrangements; nor do land tenure databases permit standard solutions or models.

Date of publication
December 2004
Geographical focus

ABSTRACTED FROM THE MISSION STATEMENT: The primary purpose of his mis,sion was for the Special Representative to update himself on the human rights situation in Cambodia for his report to the 61 st session of the Commission on Human Rights. He paid particular attention to the management of land and natural resources, the continuing problem of impunity, and to corruption which impacts negatively on the realisation of a range of human rights and distorts the allocation of economic resources so as to further exacerbate existing inequalities. He examined issues of justice sector reform, freedoms of association and assembly, indigenous land rights and issues relating to the proposed trials of senior Khmer Rouge leaders. He reiterated his call for the establishment of an independent commission to investigate the deplorable phenomenon of mob killings. He visited, in the company of representatives of the Governor, the former theatre "Hamacheat" in central Phnom Penh where over one hundred families live. He was shocked by the inhumane conditions he found. Mr. Leuprecht releases today a report on land concessions for economic purposes from a human rights perspective. In his foreword to the report, he states that the policies are wrong, that companies have been given rights over land that are very similar to ownership, and yet they have little or no regard for the welfare of the people, and contribute little to state revenue. The Special Representative is calling for full disclosure of information concerning all concessions in Cambodia, including economic concessions. The aim of the report is to contribute to better public understanding of the issues and to help bring about the changes in policy and practice that are necessary for the sake of Cambodia, its rural poor and for future generations

Date of publication
December 2004
Geographical focus

This report is the fruit of collaboration between ILC, IFAD and FAO. It provides information on the historical background of the Convention and its Optional Protocol, the working methods of the Committee, as well as a summary of information provided in reports of selected countries. NOTE: See also the 2010 update of this document.

Date of publication
December 2007
Geographical focus

Over 943,069 hectares of land in rural Cambodia have been granted to private companies as economic land concessions, for the development of agro-industrial plantations. Thirty-six of these 59 concessions have been granted in favour of foreign business interests or prominent political and business figures. These statistics exclude smaller economic land concessions granted at the provincial level, for which information on numbers and ownership has not been disclosed. Since 1996, successive Special Representatives of the Secretary-General for human rights in Cambodia have expressed concern about the impact of economic land concessions on the human rights and livelihoods of rural communities. The concerns raised over the past decade remain the same today. At the root of these concerns is poor enforcement of and compliance with the requirements of the Land Law and Sub-Decree on Economic Land Concessions, which govern the grant and management of economic land concessions. Essential pre-conditions to the grant of concessions, such as the registration of land as state private land and conduct of public consultations and environmental and social impact assessments, have not been met. Likewise, restrictions on the size and ownership of economic land concessions have not been properly enforced. Individuals have used different companies to acquire interests in multiple concessions, contrary to the Land Law, and to obtain adjacent concessions for the same purposes, circumventing the 10,000 hectare size limit. Concessions have been granted over forested areas and former forest concessions, contrary to the Forestry Law and forestry regulations. Despite these breaches of the law, there has been no systematic review of concessions, as required by the Sub-Decree on Economic Land Concessions. Further, the judicial system has failed to uphold the rights of affected communities and respect for the law, and to hold companies accountable for their actions. As a result, economic land concessions continue to impact negatively upon the human rights and livelihoods of rural communities, who depend upon land and forest resources for their survival. Commonly-cited concerns are encroachment on agricultural and grazing land, and loss of livelihoods; encroachment on forested areas and loss of access to non-timber forest products; impact on areas of cultural and spiritual significance; displacement; and environmental destruction. The report raises particular concerns about the impact of economic land and other concessions on indigenous communities, whose rights to collective ownership of land are protected under Cambodian law. The alienation of indigenous land through the grant of concessions is undermining the ability of indigenous communities to register their collective ownership of traditional lands, and enforce their rights to land under the Land Law. Instead of promoting rural development and poverty reduction, economic land concessions have compromised the rights and livelihoods of rural communities in Cambodia. To promote the equitable and sustainable management of Cambodia’s land and natural resources for the benefit of all Cambodians, the Special Representative has made a series of recommendations relating to the implementation of the Land Law and Sub-Decree on Economic Land Concessions; protection and implementation of indigenous rights to land; access to information on all economic land concessions and beneficiaries of these concessions; and legal enforcement and access to an effective remedy for affected communities. It is also recommended that alternative agricultural models be considered, prioritizing smallholder agriculture and community-based initiatives. The recommendations are set out in full at the end of the report.

Date of publication
December 2003
Geographical focus

The dramatic increase in migration and settlement in several areas where indigenous people live is leading to a multitude of problems for the original inhabitants. Lowland immigrants are taking advantage of the vulnerable situation of indigenous people, and the absence of regulations, to lay claim to the people’s traditional lands. Illegal land transactions are taking place at an alarming rate without thought of the problems that would result from widespread landlessness among indigenous peoples or the impact this is likely to have on the remaining forested areas.

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