Working towards greater community control over land, forests and natural resources

Research team proposes better banana plantation management

Vientiane Times, April 4, 2016.

An agricultural research team has called for the government to formulate and enforce policies and measures to manage banana plantation investments in Laos after they were shown to have negative impacts on society and the environment. The team from the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) and the National University of Laos recently conducted a study on banana plantations, supported by various international organisations. Its recommendations include the formulation of appropriate market policies in order to avoid the risks of failing prices and policy implementation for the proper enforcement of environmental laws.

Bokeo Governor imposes ban on expansion of banana farms

By Phetsamone

(KPL) The Governor of Bokeo Province Khamphanh Pheuyavong has imposed a ban on the further expansion of banana plantations invested in by foreign investors in the province. The area of banana plantation investments by foreign companies currently stands at over 10,000 ha.  “Impacts on the environment and nearby communities partly results from the fact that relevant government authorities failed to carry out proper management and monitoring of the issue. As a result, chemical fertilizers and harmful herbicides and pesticides have been used by foreign investors,” said Governor Khamphanh Pheuyavong.

Land concessions for development continue in Vientiane

Vientiane Times, March 30, 2016.

The Vientiane Planning and Investment Department reports that it has approved land concession agreements for local and foreign investors from 2010 until the present totaling more than 7.65 trillion kip (almost US$945 million) and the figure is expected to keep increasing.
The department reported recently that it had approved investments of 1,488.33 hectares for 39 development projects in the districts of Xaysettha, Chanthabouly, Sikhottabong, Sisattanak, Xaythany, Hadxaifong, Naxaithong and Sangthong.

The Global Call to Action has now been launched!

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Newsletter Global Call to Action – 2 March 2016

The Global Call to Action on Indigenous and Community Land Rights around the globe! Right now, hundreds of people like you, activists, organizations and communities are hosting events, sharing tweets, and taking actions to make the Global Call to Action a success — find out what’s happening here. Don’t miss the opportunity and be part of the movement!

Common Ground: Securing land rights and safeguarding the earth
Our flagship report is out! Download it and get more information about why we need to take action now to secure Indigenous and community land rights.

Inspectors uncover widespread illegal logging, vehicle imports

Vientiane Times, March 2, 2016

Inspection authorities have uncovered more than 86,744 cubic metres of illegal logs, the illegal importation of 978 vehicles, and also discovered banking officials taking customers’ money, during inspections carried out in 2015. The illegal logs were found after the authorities investigated suspicious incidents in 12 provinces and Vientiane, according to the 2015 report from the Inspection Committee of the Party Central Committee, and the Government Inspection Authority.

Regional experts mull solutions to land governance challenges

Vientiane Times 24th February 2016

Experts are seeking to design innovative solutions to land-related challenges in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam by discussing the experiences of the four Mekong countries. More than 80 people representing over 30 organisations from six countries in South East Asia are taking part in a regional stakeholders’ consultation workshop in Vientiane from February 23-24. The meeting is considering coordinated responses and priority areas for joint collaboration on issues of land governance.

Free legal aid continues at Lao Bar Association

Vientiane Times, February 12, 2016

Train CLE to the Village Leader in Luangnamtha and Oudomxay Province

By: Pangthong Xayyavong, FLP CLE Lecturer and Pavina Thephithuck, Senior Legal Fellow

On the 24th January to 2nd February 2016, The Faculty of Law and Political Science Clinical Legal Education(FLP CLE) had been to the North of Laos, Luangnamtha and Oudomxay Province to do a 2days Training of Trainer (Each District) to the 29 Village Leader, in 3 District which are from Sing District, Luangnamtha Province and Lar and Namor District in Oudomxay Province. Which were support by Care International Oganization. More than 261 Village Leader attend the workshop. In this member of participants are include: Head of the Village, Duty Head of the Village, Woman’s union, Elderly, Police of the Village, Land unit in the village, Youth unit and Village mediation unit.

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