3rd Mekong Regional Land Forum | Land Portal
Contact details: 
Neil Sorensen, neil.sorensen@landportal.org

Project Description
Land governance is at the center of development challenges in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Governments are revising land policies and practices in order to face these challenges. The project aims to (i) assist the emergence of more favorable policies and practices for securing the rights and access of family farmers to land and natural resources; and (ii) to strengthen the effectiveness of concerned stakeholders through learning, alliance building and regional cooperation.

The Land Portal is a Foundation registered in the Netherlands in 2014.

The vision of the Portal is to improve land governance to benefit those with the most insecure land rights and the greatest vulnerability to landlessness through information and knowledge sharing.

LEI is an experienced, innovative and progressive international development consulting organisation specialising in land administration, land policy and land tenure. At LEI, we work with various public, private and citizen-led stakeholders to research, design, develop, manage and monitor land sector projects. We use only the best international and nationally based experts to consult and co-design land administration solutions, from field documenting customary tenure to integrated national information system strategies.

Groupe de Recherches et d'Echanges Technologiques (GRET) (French, Group For Research and Technology Exchanges) is a non-governmental association supporting international cooperation, professional solidarity and poverty reduction in the countries of Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. It was established in the late 1970s.

Its activities include implementation of field projects, expertise, studies, research, running information and exchange networks. The main spheres of attention are:

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As a service provider in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education work, we are dedicated to shaping a future worth living around the world. We have over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment promotion, energy and the environment, and peace and security. The diverse expertise of our federal enterprise is in demand around the globe – from the German Government, European Union institutions, the United Nations, the private sector, and governments of other countries.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. We help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all.

Language of the event: 






Land tenure in Mekong forest landscapes: advancing the recognition of customary rights and responsible investment practices

Online and in Chiang Mai (Thailand), Hanoi (Viet Nam), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Vientiane (Lao People's Democratic Republic) and Yangon (Myanmar)

26-27 May 2021

Recent global disruptions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted the dependence of Mekong region communities on land and forest resources. More widely recognised than ever, secure tenure and access to land and forests are preconditions for the sustainable management of the resources. The 3rd Mekong Regional Land Forum will bring together reform-minded actors within and beyond the region to engage in in-depth, interactive debate on issues that cut to the core of local tenure security and community resource management. 

Day 1 of the Forum will focus on advancing customary and collective forest tenure rights. The first of these sessions will compare and examine experiences and approaches within national tenure regimes of the Mekong countries. The second session will situate these experiences within global trends, emphasising the potential for regional platforms such as ASEAN to foster more inclusive and grounded policies for the sustainable management of forests, with diverse benefits including securing local livelihoods, gender equity, and national commitments to biodiversity and climate change.

Day 2 of the Forum will focus on a key determining influence over smallholder tenure security within the Mekong countries: how to manage and respond to patterns and practices of investment in Mekong forest landscapes. The third session is aimed at ‘demystifying’ principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent, principles that are designed to protect the rights of communities to land and resources while also protecting investments by avoiding land conflicts. The fourth session will highlight the potential effectiveness of tools such as the ASEAN Guidelines for Responsible Agricultural Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (ASEAN-RAI) in steering agribusiness investments in Mekong forest landscapes towards a more sustainable future.

Each Forum session will be organized in four parts:

  1. An expert review of the topic, complemented by two case study presentations

  2. A panel discussion including experts and representatives from government and civil society, followed by questions from the public to the speakers and panellists.

  3. In-person and online break-out groups, allowing further time for debate among participants around a specific experience, topic or question.

  4. Summarization of key take-aways from the sessions to stimulate further action

The sessions will take place online, with in-person events in each of the Mekong countries. All the sessions will be in English, simultaneously translated in four languages: Khmer, Lao, Myanmar and Vietnamese. Participants at the in-person events in each country will have the opportunity to debate and exchange in their own national language, while online discussions will be in English only. 

The event will use innovative tools to ensure an interactive experience and offer multiple means to share questions, answers and debate during the sessions and beyond.







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