Hoang Anh Gia Lai, a publicly listed Vietnamese real estate, energy, mining and agribusiness giant, is at the center of recent allegations of clearing land in Cambodia that had been earmarked for local indigenous communities.
HAGL, as the company is known, is involved in a diverse range of business sectors, but is best-known in Cambodia for its sprawling rubber plantations, particularly in Ratanakiri province, a rural, poorly developed region that borders Vietnam’s Central Highlands.
According to a May 25 statement from Inclusive Development International (IDI), an NGO, in March HAGL cleared land that was meant to be returned to 12 indigenous communities in the area as part of a mediation process overseen by the World Bank-affiliated Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO).
“While the communities waited for the official ratification of this land return by the Agriculture Ministry, which had been delayed due to COVID-19, the company bulldozed two spirit mountains, wetlands, traditional hunting areas and burial grounds,” the group said. “The clearances destroyed old-growth forest and caused irreparable harm to land of priceless spiritual value to the communities.”READ FULL ARTICLE ▶