State private land is all property that belongs to the state but does not have a public interest value.1 It is defined as land that is neither state public land nor legally privately or collectively owned or possessed under the Land Law of 2001.2 Any land that is not private land or does not have a public interest is de facto state private land.3
Rights over state private land are alienable,4 and as such can be allocated for economic land concessions (ELCs), social land concessions (SLCs), and other concessions. However, all state private land must be registered in the state inventory database in order to be transferable.5 Private state land may be reclassified as state public land by sub-decree.6
State private land has been granted in significant quantities to private entities in the form of land concessions. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry reported than 1.2 million hectares of land had been granted as economic land concessions;7 however, some NGOs estimate that the number is closer to 2 million hectares.8 Concessions, intended to promote development in Cambodia, have raised serious concerns ranging from human rights issues to deforestation and natural resource overexploitation.9
Last updated: 1 November 2015
- 1. Sub-decree No.129 on Rules and Procedures for Reclassification of State Public Properties and Public Entities (2005), Article 3. http://www.opendevelopmentcambodia.net/pdf-viewer/?pdf=download/law/ENG_Sub_Decree_No_129__27.11.2006.pdf
- 2. Ibid.
- 3. Land Law 2001, Article 12. http://www.opendevelopmentcambodia.net/download/law/Law%20on%20Land_%20August_30_2001_Eng.pdf
- 4. Ibid., Article 17.
- 5. Ibid.
- 6. Ibid.
- 7. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Economic Land Concessions: Overview. Accessed July 3, 2015. http://www.maff.gov.kh/elc/
- 8. ADHOC. 2013. “A turning point?: Land, housing and natural resources rights in Cambodia in 2012.” http://www.nachdenkseiten.de/upload/pdf/ADHOC-A_Turning_Point_Land_Housing_NRM_2012.pdf
- 9. Subedi, Surya P. 2012. “Report of the Special Rapportuer on the situation of human rights in Cambodia.” Human Rights Council, 21st Session, September 2012, 53. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session21/A.HRC.21.35_en.pdf