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3rd Mekong Regional Land Forum 2021
26 May 2021 to 27 May 2021


South-Eastern Asia

Mekong Region Land Governance
Land Portal Foundation
Land Equity International
Groupe de Recherches et d'Echanges Technologiques
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
20 May 2021

Join the Ford Foundation, the Land Portal Foundation, the Tenure Facility and the Thomson Reuters Foundation for a webinar on May 20th. The link between “environmental imbalances” and “emerging infectious diseases” is well established in literature; studies have shown that activities associated with deforestation, and subsequent biodiversity loss, contribute to the spread of disease v

Land Portal Foundation
Thomson Reuters Foundation
The Tenure Facility
Ford Foundation

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Gold mine in Papua New Guinea, by By Penn State, 2015, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia in 1975 and is one of the ethnically most diverse countries worldwide. More than 87% of the rural populations live off farming, and agriculture contributes about 28% to the national GDP.  Furthermore, the country generates revenues from the large-scale export of mineral resources, oil, gas, and timber.


Tasek Merimbun -Bernard Spragg. NZ from Christchurch, New Zealand

From the 15th to 17th centuries, the whole island of Borneo was under the control of the Brunei Sultanate as a trading power.  Territory was gradually lost through wars, piracy and colonial expansion, and in 1888, Brunei became a British Protectorate.  It later turned down an opportunity to join the Federation of Malaya (with Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah), gaining full independence in 1984.  Modern Brunei is based around the three pillars of Malay culture, Islam, and absolute monarchy.  The present sultan is King Hassanal Bolkiah, who represents one of the oldest continuous ruling dynasties in the world for over 600 years.  Officials are unelected (unique among ASEAN countries) with the monarch holding absolute executive and legislative powers. Brunei became the first East Asia country to adopt sharia law, first announced in 2013 and then gazetted in 2019.



With secure land tenure, Indigenous Peoples and local communities can realize human rights, achieve economic growth, protect the environment, and maintain cultural integrity. For centuries, Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) have used, managed and depended on collectively-held land for food supplies, cultural and spiritual traditions, and other livelihood needs. Historically governed through customary tenure systems rooted in community norms and practices that often go back centuries, governments often consider such community land as vacant, idle, or state-owned property.  Statutory recognition and protection of indigenous and community land rights continues to be a major challenge.

Learn more about challenges concerning Indigenous & Community Land Rights.

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