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Recognizing Ethnic Minorities Customary Land Rights in Vietnam and the Philippines

Most ethnic minorities in Vietnam such as the Vietnamese-Thai, Tay, Nung, Hmong, Muong and Dao have a special relationship with the land, elements and other living creatures. This relationship goes beyond mere economic interests to cultural and spiritual connections to the places they have inhabited for generations.

Although Vietnam has a number of legislations and policies on lands and other natural resources, none of these laws provide legal recognition of ethnic minorities’ customary rights to land and other natural resources. This policy brief uses examples from the indigenous people in the Philippines, to argue that legal recognition of ethnic minority customary rights to land and natural resources will contribute to better resource management and improved local livelihoods.

Published by The Center for People and Forests

Publication date
January 2010