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The contested outcome of Cambodia’s national election in July 2013 appears to herald another important moment of political change in Southeast Asia. For the first time since Cambodia’s post-war democracy was born in 1993, a united opposition movement has emerged to challenge the status quo. Grounded in the grassroots concerns of ordinary Cambodians, this movement is prompting a political transition that Southeast Asia’s longest-standing Prime Minister must acknowledge and negotiate.
This panel brings together long-term observers and scholars of Cambodia to discuss the social, political and environmental dimensions of the country’s nascent transition. In particular, panellists discuss the role of natural resources and the environment in this transition, since Cambodia has in recent years demonstrated some of the world’s highest rates of deforestation, allocation of large-scale land concessions and resource degradation. These environmental transformations have undermined thousands of rural livelihoods and fuelled political discontent.
The panel discussion will address questions such as: to what degree is Cambodia’s opposition movement a response to rural dispossession and environmental change, and what do recent developments mean for Cambodia’s environment and rural livelihoods?
This workshop has been organised by Dr Sarah Milne and Dr Sango Mahanty and is hosted by the Resources, Environment and Development Group, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University. The workshop is also supported by Forest Trends, the Center for International Forestry Research, and the Asia Pacific Network for Environmental Governance.