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Land in protected areas to be gifted to long-term occupants

Taing Rinith / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen at the plenary session of the cabinet meeting this morning. Facebook

Prime Minister Hun Sen today announced that the government will gift state land, which people have been living on for years, to the occupants as part of efforts to improve the people’s livelihoods amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Hun Sen made the announcement during a plenary session of a cabinet meeting this morning.

“The Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Land Management must carve out land in forest covers, protected areas or wildlife sanctuaries, which belong to the state in provinces such as Preah Vihear and Koh Kong and give them to the people who occupied them for 10 to 20 years,” the premier wrote on his official Facebook page. “The state owns the lands only in a map, but the people have built their houses on them and their families have been living there for generations.”

Mr Hun Sen said the move is aimed at improving the people’s livelihoods, securing their food security and prevent them from migrating to find work in other countries.

The relevant ministries, he added, must issue the land titles to all the occupants in the next few months.

However, Mr Hun Sen asked the people not to clear the community’s forests to expand their portions of the land.

“Some forest areas need to be preserved for the sake of the local community,” he wrote.

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