Land rights have become highly contested in Vietnam in recent years. Vietnam‟s land endowment is one of the lowest in the world: each agricultural household holds, on average, less than 0.5 hectare. Access to land is critical to social and economic development in the future. The national priority on “industrialization and modernization” has placed new demands on agricultural and forest land for urban-industrial expansion. The high level of public concern over land tenure and its links to political and social stability have led to widespread calls for revision of the 2003 Land Law. This paper contributes to the conference thematic area of “Securing land rights and improving land use at the grassroots” by presenting the initial results of advocacy on the Land Law and land rights conducted by a multi-stakeholder coalition including Oxfam, Vietnamese domestic NGOs, government research institutes, and media. The paper begins with a political economy analysis of land rights in Vietnam, including an analysis of the draft revised Land Law, with particular focus on appropriation of agricultural land and protection of ethnic minority forest land. Next, the paper describes local and provincial consultation on the draft law conducted by the Oxfam-supported coalition and its initial results.
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The purpose of the Mekong Land Research Forum online site is to provide structured access to published and unpublished research on land issues in the Mekong Region. It is based on the premise that debates and decisions around land governance can be enhanced by drawing on the considerable volume of research, documented experience and action-based reflection that is available.