The Outbreak of Peace: Communal Land Management and Traditional Governance  in a Remote Cambodian Province. Jeremy Ironside
Introduction <ul><li>This presentation looks at the dynamics of the ownership and governance of land and natural resources...
 
Introduction <ul><li>Key elements are; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>understanding the role traditional systems could play as the ...
Introduction <ul><li>Methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Ratanakiri </li></ul><ul><li>History - conflict and pos...
Methodology <ul><li>Action research into traditional conflict resolution carried out in 2006 and 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>A...
Ratanakiri Province and its Indigenous People.   <ul><li>Covers an area of 11,973km², population - 150,000.  </li></ul><ul...
 
History <ul><li>The concept of “wild-ness”,  </li></ul><ul><li>Post colonial government continued and greatly expanded col...
History: Lessons <ul><li>Cambodia did not know how to integrate its ethnic minorities (Meyer, 1979).  </li></ul><ul><li>Wa...
The Outbreak of Peace <ul><li>What happens to conflict once fighting stops?  </li></ul><ul><li>In 'frontier areas' there a...
The Outbreak of Peace <ul><li>Conflict over indigenous peoples' land and forest, during peacetime is different and similar...
Traditional Governance <ul><li>Lack of a political hierarchy above the village level.  </li></ul><ul><li>Village affairs m...
The concept of justice <ul><li>Justice wider than punishing the offender -also focuses on compensating the victim, restori...
Traditional Governance <ul><li>Out of 257 cases in 10 villages over the recent past,  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>170 were resol...
Traditional Governance <ul><li>Now difficult resolving disputes with much more powerful people.  </li></ul><ul><li>State a...
Adapting to Changing Circumstances   <ul><li>Local traditional systems have long been adapting to change.  </li></ul><ul><...
 
 
 
 
The Individualization of the Communal Lands <ul><li>Long term crops are interpreted as land individualization.  </li></ul>...
Burial and spirit forests
Communal Land Titling <ul><li>Three pilot communal land titles.  </li></ul><ul><li>Another 15 villages have or are obtaini...
Lessons <ul><li>Conflicts are inevitable – need efficient methods to make ‘big problems small’ - not 'putting out the fire...
Lessons <ul><li>Resolution in the court system can worsen/prolong the conflict.  </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts flourish in s...
Possible solutions <ul><li>Recognition of Traditional Conflict Resolution Systems  </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen traditiona...
Possible solutions <ul><li>Strengthen opportunities for multi stakeholder dialogue,  'Peace tables‘, etc.  </li></ul><ul><...
Final word <ul><li>Indigenous legal systems are built on fairness, this strengthens solidarity and friendship, their cultu...
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The Outbreak of Peace: Communal Land Management and Traditional Governance in a Remote Cambodian Province

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Presented at the CAPRi International Workshop on Collective Action, Property Rights, and Conflict in Natural Resources Management. June 28th to July 1st, 2010, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
http://www.capri.cgiar.org/wks_0610.asp

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The Outbreak of Peace: Communal Land Management and Traditional Governance in a Remote Cambodian Province

  1. 1. The Outbreak of Peace: Communal Land Management and Traditional Governance in a Remote Cambodian Province. Jeremy Ironside
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>This presentation looks at the dynamics of the ownership and governance of land and natural resources, in Ratanakiri province. </li></ul><ul><li>I n biologically and culturally diverse forested areas linkages between property rights, land distribution, livelihoods, social equity and environmental management are highly contested. </li></ul>
  3. 4. Introduction <ul><li>Key elements are; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>understanding the role traditional systems could play as the basis for communities negotiating their place in a changed world, and; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learning from traditional management/property systems for sustainable NRM. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Introduction <ul><li>Methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Ratanakiri </li></ul><ul><li>History - conflict and post conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional governance </li></ul><ul><li>Adapting to changes </li></ul><ul><li>Communal land titling </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons and possible solutions </li></ul>
  5. 6. Methodology <ul><li>Action research into traditional conflict resolution carried out in 2006 and 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Also investigations into; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>land use and social changes in different villages including pilot communal land titling, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>legal entity registration in indigenous communities, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the impact of economic land concessions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>community conserved area (CCAs). </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. Ratanakiri Province and its Indigenous People. <ul><li>Covers an area of 11,973km², population - 150,000. </li></ul><ul><li>Eight indigenous groups/subgroups. </li></ul><ul><li>2008 census - 179,215 indigenous people, or 1.4 per cent of the population. </li></ul><ul><li>Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri provinces - the only 2 where indigenous peoples are the majority. </li></ul><ul><li>Annual population growth rates extremely high (4.65% between 1998 and 2008) (MOP, 2008). </li></ul>
  7. 9. History <ul><li>The concept of “wild-ness”, </li></ul><ul><li>Post colonial government continued and greatly expanded colonialist policies, </li></ul><ul><li>This area has been an epicentre of international and civil war, </li></ul><ul><li>A 'marriage of convenience' was formed with the Khmer Rouge (Colm, 1996), </li></ul><ul><li>There are strong links between development and warfare. </li></ul>
  8. 10. History: Lessons <ul><li>Cambodia did not know how to integrate its ethnic minorities (Meyer, 1979). </li></ul><ul><li>War and remoteness allowed indigenous groups to avoid large scale deculturation. </li></ul><ul><li>T heir methods of governance and land use allowed communities to quickly re-establish themselves following war. </li></ul>
  9. 11. The Outbreak of Peace <ul><li>What happens to conflict once fighting stops? </li></ul><ul><li>In 'frontier areas' there are layers of conflict - improvements in security have resulted in new conflicts. </li></ul><ul><li>Ratanakiri now being rapidly opened up both by in-migration and large scale agro-industry. </li></ul><ul><li>Fertile land is converted from food growing and secondary forest to luxury and non food crops - cashew, rubber, cassava for biofuel, etc. </li></ul>
  10. 12. The Outbreak of Peace <ul><li>Conflict over indigenous peoples' land and forest, during peacetime is different and similar. </li></ul><ul><li>The actors and story line is much the same -powerful actors and villagers with few rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Villagers don’t have the space to flee. </li></ul><ul><li>Kanat Thom villagers said if peace means they lose their land, they wonder why they bothered to go and fight. </li></ul>
  11. 13. Traditional Governance <ul><li>Lack of a political hierarchy above the village level. </li></ul><ul><li>Village affairs managed by elders. </li></ul><ul><li>The consequence of social disintegration is not yet a widespread social issue. </li></ul>
  12. 14. The concept of justice <ul><li>Justice wider than punishing the offender -also focuses on compensating the victim, restoring community harmony and reconciling the two parties. </li></ul><ul><li>Indigenous people see their system as more fair, more pro-poor and easier to access than the formal justice system. </li></ul>
  13. 15. Traditional Governance <ul><li>Out of 257 cases in 10 villages over the recent past, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>170 were resolved by the traditional adjudicators. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Of those which were taken to a higher level; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>87 were taken to the Village Chief, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>30 were taken to the Commune Council, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>19 to the Commune Police, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>9 to the District level, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>only 6 were taken to the Courts. (Backstrom et. al. 2006) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>In the courts: “What is wrong is right and what is right is wrong” </li></ul>
  14. 16. Traditional Governance <ul><li>Now difficult resolving disputes with much more powerful people. </li></ul><ul><li>State authorities are not dealing with illegal activities either. </li></ul><ul><li>With the increase of the role of the state illegal activities have increased. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of justice leads to community break up, landlessness and a decline of traditional forms of mutual aid - increasing impoverishment of the already poor. </li></ul>
  15. 17. Adapting to Changing Circumstances <ul><li>Local traditional systems have long been adapting to change. </li></ul><ul><li>70,000 hectares of cashew nuts has been planted in Ratanakiri over the past 10-15 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Villages with strong community governance have minimized environmental impacts. </li></ul><ul><li>In less well managed villages forest loss has been up to 5% per year. Fox et. al. (2008) </li></ul>
  16. 22. The Individualization of the Communal Lands <ul><li>Long term crops are interpreted as land individualization. </li></ul><ul><li>Indigenous community land is defined in the narrowest possible sense. </li></ul><ul><li>Desecration of burial and spirit forest areas touches at the heart of indigenous culture and symbolizes the clash of cultures in play. </li></ul>
  17. 23. Burial and spirit forests
  18. 24. Communal Land Titling <ul><li>Three pilot communal land titles. </li></ul><ul><li>Another 15 villages have or are obtaining legal entity recognition. </li></ul><ul><li>Plans to increase this number. </li></ul><ul><li>Legal entity registration – an adaptation of traditional leadership into a government recognised village representative structure. </li></ul><ul><li>Development schemes invariably focus on family rather than community managed models. </li></ul>
  19. 25. Lessons <ul><li>Conflicts are inevitable – need efficient methods to make ‘big problems small’ - not 'putting out the fire', rather 'dampening down the flames‘ </li></ul><ul><li>Community cohesion is key. Traditional law is an important way community harmony and solidarity is preserved. </li></ul><ul><li>The system works because the community has ownership and takes responsibility for it. </li></ul><ul><li>For it to remain viable and effective conflict resolution systems need to be free from outside interference. </li></ul>
  20. 26. Lessons <ul><li>Resolution in the court system can worsen/prolong the conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts flourish in situations of injustice – i.e. the court system. </li></ul><ul><li>Support for traditional systems an important part of indigenous peoples’ development and poverty reduction. </li></ul><ul><li>This allows communities time to adapt to changing circumstances. </li></ul>
  21. 27. Possible solutions <ul><li>Recognition of Traditional Conflict Resolution Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen traditional authorities and community committees, </li></ul><ul><li>Local people suggested allowing women a greater role, and working closely with village youth . </li></ul><ul><li>Promote legal entity registration and communal land titling </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen the informal cooperation that is occurring between the local level state and traditional authorities. </li></ul>
  22. 28. Possible solutions <ul><li>Strengthen opportunities for multi stakeholder dialogue, 'Peace tables‘, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognise informal management over spirit and burial forests, as community conserved areas (CCAs). </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a kind of land court to deal with conflicts over indigenous communal lands. </li></ul><ul><li>Build networks of indigenous communities for common interest/governance. </li></ul><ul><li>Reform of the formal legal system. </li></ul>
  23. 29. Final word <ul><li>Indigenous legal systems are built on fairness, this strengthens solidarity and friendship, their culture, identity and confidence to manage their affairs and resolve their problems. </li></ul><ul><li>‘… This traditional conflict resolution in the community, directly managed by the village leaders with the support of the villagers, would be a good way for them to operate under official recognition. This custom will never lose if the villagers in the village together help and try to conserve it, especially natural resources. If the natural resources are lost, everything will be lost as well.’ (Rean and Vel, 2006; 4). </li></ul>
  24. 30. Thank you

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