Conclusion of the case study

The land use and land cover changes were incredibly impressive. Enormous forest lands (approximately 140,000 hectares) were fully converted to farmed land in the last 10 years, which was mostly done by hand. The most important proximate cause is the expansion of agricultural land drove mainly by large scale forest land allocation to demobilized militaries (policy and institution), in-migration of poor rice farmers and rapid growth of agro-industries in the region.

For further understanding, please read :

  • Diepart, J.C., Dupuis, D., 2014. The peasants in turmoil: Khmer Rouge, state formation and the control of land in northwest Cambodia. J Peasant Stud 41, 445-468.

  • Geist, Helmut J., and Eric F. Lambin. "Proximate causes and underlying driving forces of tropical deforestation: Tropical forests are disappearing as the result of many pressures, both local and regional, acting in various combinations in different geographical locations." BioScience 52.2 (2002): 143-150.

For further understanding, please watch:

Title: Rural migration in Northwestern Cambodian uplands

Synopsis : In Cambodia, a silent but massive migration from rural lowland to rural upland areas was observed in the early 2000s after the win-win policy of the royal government for the Khmer Rouge's integration. The film highlights the drivers of migration and unregulated or even illicit tenure transfer led to enormous forest lands reclamation in the Northwestern uplands for annual crops farming. It shows the process of social differentiation and the fate of migrants, the poor rice-farmers, who were struggling to occupy and secure a plot of farmed land for living.

Title: Land degradation in Cambodian uplands

Synopsis : Peace negotiation in the late 1990s for the Khmer Rouge's integration legitimated an allocation of vast forest lands the last civil war zones, which could be considered the first and largest social land concession in Cambodia. This film features dilemmas of the socio-economic development of small-scale farming based on annual upland crops productions over the degradation of natural resources (forests, biodiversity, and lands) in the Western and North-Western regions of Cambodia in the last 15 years. It shows the upland farming is in very fast transition under farmer's practices of intensive soil tillage and mono-cropping driven to remarkably rapid land degradation.

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