Land grabs cause lingering South-east Asia conflicts, according to report

“Three-quarters of around 50 conflicts that have erupted in South-east Asia since 2001 pitting mining, logging or agribusiness giants against indigenous peoples protesting land grabs are still lingering today, researchers reported yesterday.

Only six such clashes have been resolved, while others have resulted in lawsuits, damaged corporate reputations, abandoned projects, and even loss of life, according to a report keyed to the launch of the first global institution dedicated to securing indigenous land rights.

Whether palm oil plantations in Indonesia, sugar farms in Cambodia, or hydroelectric dams in Myanmar, government-backed business ventures that drive local communities off their land tend to become festering hotspots.

“It’s tragic that we still see governments and private sector partners grabbing land, forcing out the inhabitants and levelling their forests,” said Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

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