Danielle Keeton-Olsen
Hong Sok, 48, a farmer in dispute with Heng Huy Agriculture Group over his family's farmland, stands in front of an area that he says was cleared, in Koh Kong province's Sre Ambel district on June 29, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Weary From Sugar Conflicts, Koh Kong Residents Brace for More Clearing

Sre Ambel residents have long dealt with land issues related to infamous sugarcane plantations nearby. Activity on those plantations appears to be waning, but they are now bracing for more problems as an opaque state program privatizes swaths of protected areas across the province.

A dump truck travels across a construction site in Koh Kong province's Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary on June 27, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Koh Kong’s Mass Land Privatization Elicits Doubt, Laughter From Villagers

As part of a massive government campaign to privatize land, ostensibly for poor families, Cambodia has cut off nearly 127,000 hectares from Koh Kong’s protected parks. In part one of reports from the province, Tuol Koki commune residents laugh off the prospects of benefiting from the campaign.

An excavator sits on a dirt road in the middle of the swampy land, which former residents and farmers say used to fill with sewage, in Boeng Tompun I commune on July 21, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Boeng Tompun Residents’ Land Dug Up for City Reservoir

Excavators have started digging a waste-water treatment reservoir off a wastewater canal in Boeng Tompun I commune, with Phnom Penh authorities telling the land’s claimants they had no claim to the land.

Protesters from Kandal and Takeo provinces sit at a barricade constructed in Kandal Stung district's Boeng Khyang commune, taking shifts to protest, on June 22, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Residents in Dispute With New Airport Curse Developers in Ceremony

They feel intimidated by authorities, and a village official was detained and questioned over the weekend for standing up for the community, but residents protesting the new airport have built a small barricade of branches and cursed the developers in a ceremony.

Kandal province’s Koh Meas island, on the Mekong river, on June 16, 2021. (Andy Ball/VOD)

Khun Sea, Canopy Sands, Others Gain in Gov’t Land and Water Grants

Cambodia has in recent months privatized more than 120,000 hectares of land, lake and sea, according to a review of decrees published this year. In Kandal, developer Khun Sea has received a Mekong island, where some inhabitants are previous evictees of Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island.

A man buys scrap metal from floating house residents who were told to dismantle their houses in Phnom Penh's Prek Pnov district on June 12, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Floating Fish Farms Drift Upstream as Eviction Deadline Hits

Floating fish farms floated 5 km north temporarily, those without fish worked to dismantle their homes, and some moved onto a wooden platform on shore, as the deadline for Phnom Penh floating communities’ evictions passed this weekend.