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GICHD, cambodia, landmines, erw, erw clearance, land mines, demining, southeast asia, mine action, humanitarian demining, land release
Land conflict, tenure insecurity and an inequitable distribution of land are among the most pressing challenges facing Cambodia today. In a country in which most people depend on agriculture, livestock rearing, fishing and forest products for their livelihoods, secure access to safe and productive land is crucial. Yet, over the past decade land conflict has increased dramatically, with one NGO reporting having recorded disputes involving 700,000 people between 2000 and 2012. Land distribution is highly unequal: In 2010 it was estimated that just one percent of the population owned 30 percent of Cambodia’s land.
In addition to land-related disputes, landlessness and insecure tenure, Cambodia also has a significant mine and ERW contamination problem, which stems from 30 years of conflict that ended in the late 1990s. It also has a significant cluster munition contamination problem in the north-east resulting from aerial bombardment by U.S. forces between 1965 and 1975. Mine/ERW operators have been working in Cambodia since the late 1990s to safely remove and destroy mines and ERW and make land available for agriculture, housing and infrastructure development.