EISEI Network Supports Community Calls for Peacefully Mediated Resolution to O'Kvav Resettlement


EISEI Network Press Release

Date of publication: 
22 June 2010

The Extractive Industry Social and Environmental Impact (EISEI) Network is calling for all stakeholders involved in the mineral exploration process in O’Kvav to agree to settle their concerns peacefully, with respect shown for all the viewpoints involved.

The EISEI Network, a coalition of Cambodian civil society and community groups, concerned with social and environmental impacts from the mining industry, has been following, and seeking resolution to, the current situation for the past three months. Recently, the EISEI Network became aware of threats made to the homes of the 69 families remaining in O’Kvav, in Mondulkiri Province, in the east of Cambodia. Upon receipt of this information, the EISEI Network sent a representative from Phnom Penh to investigate the issue further, and ask community members what role EISEI could take to help resolve the issue. Accordingly, the 69 families have prepared and signed a petition requesting government assistance with their situation. Specifically, the residents request assistance in identifying and relocating to an adequate alternative area to pursue their livelihoods.

The EISEI Network understands that all stakeholders have a role to play in resolving the issues related to the mineral extraction in O’Kvav. The EISEI Network believes it is not the intention of the remaining 69 families in O’Kvav to cause trouble by willfully violating the law. Rather, community members have indicated their willingness to leave the concession area, if they are permitted to enter into mediation with all stakeholders, to assist them to identify viable alternatives to eviction.

The EISEI Network supports the request of OZ Minerals Ltd that local authorities treat the residents of the O’Kvav area with respect and dignity. Similarly, EISEI welcomes the recent willingness of relevant Provincial level authorities of the Royal Government to consult with the EISEI Network. Furthermore we recognize the important potential role the Royal Government has in guiding all stakeholders towards a suitable solution for all affected stakeholders. The EISEI Network stands ready to assist in any fully collaborative effort to achieve a peaceful resolution to this issue.

Mr Mam Sambath
EISEI Steering Committee