CIRUM Workshop increases knowledge of legal framework, formalities and administrative procedures related to land rights in local communities of Quang Binh
The event was held in response to an increasing number of land disputes as a result of poor understanding of local laws and policies, including the ‘Forest Protection and Development’ Law. In order to best address these issues, CIRUM invited 30 participants from the Tuyen Hoa district, Quang Binh province, including commune land management officers, members of commune forest management board, LandNet members (Ma Lieng ethnic), representatives of Truong Son and Truong Xuan commune, and consultants of CIRUM, CIRD, RDPR and the Tuyen Hoa District People’s Committee (DPC).
Workshop overview-Photo: CIRUM
Each of the groups selected an issue relevant to forest and forest-land disputes, then discussed how to best solve those conflicts and presented their findings to the other participants. One discussion topic involved the forest land changes from natural forest to mono-plantation of Acacia in Thanh Thach commune. Not only have some local households been involved in deforestation, but local CPC officers have also been involved. Similar land disputes between households are happening in Thanh Hoa commune.
Group discussion-Photo: CIRUM
Another important issue was that of long-term land ownership certificates or ‘Red Books’ being assigned to different households and the processes involved. This includes how households are consulted throughout the process, how households apply for the Red Books and the allocation process, as well as the process for resolving active disputes as part of the allocation process. Communities are also eligible for for the allocation of natural forest land, and these processes were also discussed in line with their allocations and terms of the lease in line with private stakeholders and state organisations.
Mr Nguyen Van Huyen, Tuyen Hoa District Justice Committee Division-Photo: CIRUM
The forum attempted to find areas in the ‘Forest Protection and Development Law’ which would help resolve land disputes, which included building knowledge of the finer points of the law and relevant policies. One such method within the law involved the adequate dissemination of local forestry officers and their involvement in land conflicts.
Participants found the discussions helpful and informative; Ms Nguyen Thi Quyen, Khe Ngang village (Truong Xuan commune, Quang Ninh district, Quang Binh) said “I’ve gained a lot of useful information related to forest and forest land management. It is very practical. I witnessed land disputes in my village, however, I did not know how people solve them. But now I know the process to send complains. I know who I should contact to solve land dispute”.
Mr Nguyen Tri Phuong, head of Agricultural Department of Tuyen Hoa district, said “This workshop has awoken the local people and local authorities awareness of the Law and policies and their responsibilities for forest management. In this workshop participants are free to share their stories, listen to their fellows and consult forestry specialists. I want to see more workshops like this. They will help to reduce land conflict”