Deforestation in Cambodia: A story of land concessions, migration and resource exploitation

TitleDeforestation in Cambodia: A story of land concessions, migration and resource exploitation
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHayward D, Diepart J‐C
Key themesAgriculturalModernization, Conversion-FoodSecurity, Dispossession-grabbing, Distribution, Environment, FDI

ABTRACTED FROM INTRODUCTION: The aim of this story is to explore in more detail the narrative of deforestation in Cambodia. Is it mainly a product of large‐scale acquisitions to secure land for commercial operations over the last twenty years? If not, what are the other drivers impacting upon deforestation, and how do they relate to existing land tenure and land use regimes? The path we will follow does highlight the significant influence of economic land concessions as a key policy frame for land acquisition and investment. However, this is not the whole story. Just as significant is the rural‐to‐rural migration of smallholders squeezed out of their land in lowland areas, and so seeking a new start in upland Cambodia. Illegal logging also remains important, with commercial operations continuing unabated after the onset of COVID‐19. The story therefore highlights three key drivers, which are separately addressed: 1. Large‐scale acquisition of land for agro‐industrial development; 2. Agrarian expansion by smallholder farmers; 3. Illegal logging.


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