© Helvetas

Strengthening Land Rights of Ethnic Minorities

© Helvetas

Rapid industrialization and economic development along with population growth put high pressure on land and natural resources in Vietnam. Land becomes increasingly more valuable and is often a source of conflicts. With this project Helvetas contributes to the effective promotion and protection of land and forest resource rights of ethnic minorities.

  • Project Name
    Secure land rights for all - Giving ethnic minorities a voice (L4A)
  • Project Phase
    June 2020 to January 2026
  • Funding
    The project is co-funded by the European Union
  • Thematic focus
    Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Land right related issues often have a higher impact on lives of ethnic minorities as their livelihood depends on land and forest resources, while oftentimes they are being deprived of their voices. Large-scale land expropriation for hydropower development and private investments in the upland areas have often been accompanied by forced resettlement and inadequate compensation, making the already disadvantaged even poorer.

That is why Helvetas Germany and its partner Land Alliance (LANDA) of which Center for Rural Communities Research and Development (CCRD) serves as LANDA’s coordinating organization have jointly developed this project to support vulnerable ethnic minorities, particularly vulnerable women to claim their land-and forest resource related rights in northern provinces of Vietnam.

Through the development of a hands-on ‘Land Right Toolkit’ and various capacity building measures, the project provides the target groups with structured and understandable information and tools on land right related issues. An e-platform will serve as a place where users can find examples of ways to resolve land conflicts, share information and seek advice from LANDA members. With this the target groups will become more self-reliant and confident to resolve land and forest disputes and to defend themselves against discriminatory actions.

Furthermore, the project sets its goal in enabling a viably interactive multi-stakeholder network of civil society, local communities, academia, media, private sector, lawyers, local government officials and policy-makers. Civil Society Organizations' capacity to resolve the land right-related conflicts, policy analysis and advocacy will be strengthened to raise their position, reputation and recognition in the public domain.

Although the law recognizes the equality of land rights to all, a significant gender gap in access to land and forest user rights persists since significantly men in rural areas have their names recorded on the certificates than women and ethnic minority women are specifically vulnerable to violations of their rights. That is why, in all activities, LANDA and Helvetas will be particularly attentive to the needs of ethnic minority women.

As a result of L4A, not only the recognition of land and forest resource rights will be fostered, but also local rights will be protected and best practices on sustainable forest management in mountainous areas will be exchanged and facilitated.

The project is co-funded by the European Union.