Working towards greater community control over land, forests and natural resources
(ກຸ່ມເຮັດວຽກກ່ຽ່ວກັບບັນຫາການນຳໃຊ້ທີ່ດິນ) ແນ່ໃສ່ສົ່ງເສີ່ມ ຄວາມເຂົ້າໃຈ ແລະຄວາມຮູ້ທ່ວງທັນ ໃນດ້ານ ເສດຖະກິດສັງຄົມ ສິງແວດລອມ ທີ່ກ່ຽວຂອງກັບການນຳໃຊ້ເນື້ອທີ່ດິນ ໃນໂຄງການ ຕ່າງໆ, ໂດຍການເກັບກຳ ແລະ ແຜ່ກະຈາຍ ຂໍ້ມູນ ຂ່າວສານ, ການຊຸກຍູ້ການສົນທະນາປຶກສາຫາລື ແລະ ການຄົ້ນຄວ້າວິໃຈ

PM orders a halt to alabaster projects in Attapeu

Vientiane Times, 8 Sept 2014

Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong has issued an order to halt the feasibility studies for alabaster on Phoukanghong Mountain in Attapeu province, an official in charge of the project confirmed on Friday. The PM’s order comes after the provincial authorities signed memorandums of understanding (MOU) with 48 companies to conduct project surveys on the stone resource before the excavation process can take place.

More companies join rush for alabaster in Attapeu

Vientiane Times, 5 September 2014

Attapeu Provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment estimates that there is about 250,000 tonnes of alabaster which can be easily quarried on Phoukanghong Mountain, about 60km from the provincial capital. Officials from the department estimate that there is alabaster readily available on the surface of the land on an area of 1020 hectares on the mountain. However there may be more alabaster available on Phoukanghong Mountain, which is some 7,800 hectares in size. The question is how far beneath the surface it is and whether it is viable to extract.

Attapeu province rife with illegal logging

Vientiane Times, 4 September 2014

Almost 180,000 cubic metres of timbers, including many illegal logs were excavated in Attapeu province in the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to a report from the Provincial Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Of the total figures, more than 7,000 cubic metres were confiscated from illegal activities, sparking concerns about widespread illegal logging in the province.

Officials said this is just the figure authorities had seized but the real figure could be considerably more. The department director Mr Vixay Saysengchan said authorities had seized 47 vehicles carrying over 4,000 cubic metres of illegal logs in the province for 2013-14.

Foreign investors unable to buy land, despite legal right

Vientiane Times, 4 September 2014

Foreign business operators are still unable to buy small plots of land in Laos despite being entitled to do so under the new Investment Promotion Law. Members of the overseas business community told Vientiane Times they could not buy land in Vientiane on which to build offices or a house, even though the Investment Promotion Law, which was revised five years ago, states they can do this.

Rubber processing factory to be built in Luang Namtha

Vientiane Times, 3 September 2014

A Chinese company has invested more than US$3 million to build a rubber processing factory in Long district, Luang Namtha province in order to transmute raw rubber before exporting the goods to China. The contract was recently signed in the province between the provincial Planning and Investment Department and the company. The signing ceremony was witnessed by the provincial Administration Office Head Mr Khamlay Sipaseuth.

Official: villagers given compensation in line with regulations

Vientiane Times, 29 August 2014

Villagers whose land was used to build a casino and airport in the northwestern province of Bokeo have been awarded full compensation in accordance with the government’s policy, senior government officials have confirmed. Deputy Director General of the Land Administration Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr Anothai Chanthalasy made the comment at a press conference held recently at the National Assembly after the issue was raised through the telephone hotline set up during the Assembly’s ordinary session.

Vietnam rubber giant to address issues raised by displaced communities

Vientiane Times, 28 August 2014

The state-owned Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) will directly resolve all issues raised by villagers affected by its plantations in Laos and Cambodia, Thanh Nien News reported. A large area of land in Laos has been given over to rubber plantations under concessions awarded to large companies.

The report by the news agency, which is run by Vietnam’s Youth Association, referred to Global Witness’ requests that VRG improve its communication with communities affected by the company’s plantations in the two countries.

Rubber plantations in Luang Namtha grow despite price drop

Vientiane Times, 27 August 2014

The number of rubber plantations in Luang Namtha province has continued to increase despite the fact the rubber price has been declining steadily over the past few years. The rubber price began to fall back in 2011 and the price of the commodity on the world market has remained low ever since, Mr Sawaeng Sivilay, an official from the provincial domestic trade section, said.

Vietnam rubber giant to hear complaints from displaced communities

Thanh Nien News, 25 August 25 2014

The state-owned Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) has promised to improve communication with communities affected by its plantations in Cambodia and Laos following requests from Global Witness, a British NGO that investigates the financial dimensions of corruption and resource extraction. Communities affected by VRG’s plantations can now lodge formal complaints or inquiries with the firm. Previously there was no system that allowed people to interact with the company in this way, according to Global Witness.

NA identifies problems in natural resource sector

Vientiane Times, 23 August 2014

The National Assembly (NA) has highlighted that many foreign investment projects working in the natural resource sector are not operating in accordance with the law and NA officials need to educate themselves on the issues to better address problems with projects. Vice Chairperson of the NA Economic, Planning and Finance Committee Dr Bouakham Thippavong was addressing a training workshop on the “Process of National Planning, Public and Private Investment Approvals and Environmental and Social Impact Assessments” in Vientiane last week.

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