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

Govt collects unpaid land lease and concession fees

Vientiane Times, 21 August 2014

Authorities will take strong action to secure US$15 million in land lease and concession fees, which have not been paid to State since last year. The move is one of the measures the Ministry of Finance is undertaking to boost revenue collection in order to pursue the target set for collecting domestic revenue at a total of 19,229 billion kip this fiscal year. As of August 12, some 16,705 billion kip or 69 percent of the annual revenue plan has been collected. The measures were presented at a Ministry of Finance meeting held last Friday in Vientiane to discuss ways to accelerate achievement of the revenue target.

That Luang Marsh road to convert land into capital

Vientiane Times, 21 August 2014

The construction of an 11km highway in Vientiane from Donnokhoum village in Sisattanak district which links to the 450 Year Road will still proceed under the policy of turning land into capital. Gossip amongst local residents recently was that the road would no longer have land reserved along each side to be sold and converted into capital as they had heard no talks on the issue in recent months. In fact, the road will still proceed under the original plan, with two hundred metres of land being reserved along each side of the road, which will be sold at commercial rates afterwards.

Cross border timber smuggling reported in Xieng Khuang

Vientiane Times, 20 August 2014

Vietnamese nationals have been felling trees illegally in Lao territory, with clandestine logging reportedly taking place in Xieng Khuang province which shares a border with Vietnam’s Nghe An province. Lao government officials reported that the Vietnamese have used slings to transfer the logs they cut in remote Lao forest areas back to Vietnam, said Deputy Director General of the Department of Forest Inspection under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Mr Thongphanh Ratanalangsy.

Land concession, chemical use threatening rural livelihoods

Vientiane Times, 20 August 2014

Rural people are facing challenges resulting from the granting of land concessions, which have limited the forest areas available to them, while the unregulated use of herbicides is also threatening their health. Officials recently voiced the concerns regarding the issue that they encountered during the pilot of Sam Sang (Three Builds) over the past two years.

Xekong rubber project: some affected villagers refuse relocation

Vientiane Times, 13 August 2014

Some 38 families affected by a rubber plantation project in southern Xekong province have refused to move to a newly-developed community arranged for them, a senior government official told media last week. The 38 families claim that land in the area allocated to them is not fertile for cultivation.

But technical officials have confirmed that up to 80 percent of the entire area prepared for the newcomers is arable and good for cultivation, Deputy Director General of the Land Administration Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr Anothai Chanthalasy told a press conference recently.

Survey, land use plan needed to avoid land disputes

Vientiane Times, 11 August 2014

A ministry has pledged to undertake surveys and draw up land use plans before land lease and concession approvals in order to avoid land disputes. Director General of the Land Administration Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Mr Siphandone Sihavong made the comment at a two-day workshop that ended last Friday in Vientiane.

Govt aims to deal with land disputes

Vientiane Times, 8 August 2014

Policy developers are exploring ways to deal with land disputes and precautionary measures to prevent issues from arising in the wake of land leases and concessions for investment projects. Representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Planning and Investment and their provincial departments along with officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs met yesterday in Vientiane to discuss possible solutions.

Experts from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) were invited to share lessons on various land-related topics including economic appraisal techniques for state land concessions and leases, as well as social and gender risk assessment for state land concessions and leases.

Khammuan residents accuse project of unfair compensation

Vientiane Times, 6 August 2014

A resident of Khammuan province in central Laos has accused Phoukhiew Specific Economic Zone Project of providing unfair compensation to villagers who lost houses and land to make way for the project. However a senior government official has confirmed that the compensation was given in accordance with accepted principles.

The resident raised the issue through the hotline of the National Assembly (NA)’s ordinary session that ended recently, calling for the NA to inspect the issue. The resident stated that the private investment project has provided only residential lands but lands for cultivation activities were not provided as part of the compensation package.

Village authorities illegally turn state land into capital

Vientiane Times, 5 August 2014

Investigations are underway after allegations were made against Sivilay village authorities accusing them of illegally turning state land into capital. Deputy Director General of the Land Management Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr Anothai Chanthalasy, said officials would investigate the matter immediately.

If the allegations prove to be true, the authorities from the village in Xaythany district of Vientiane will be charged according to the law. Mr Anothai made the decision in response to an inquiry raised by a resident of the district via the National Assembly’s (NA) ordinary session hotline.

Investors require clear agricultural investment policy

Vientiane Times, 31 July 2014

Economic crop development policy in Laos needs clearer regulations to encourage foreign investor confidence. The government should define more clearly the kinds of main commercial crops for promotion, which areas are suitable for investment and how long the investment period can last, the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Secretary General, Mr Khanthavong Dalavong told Vientiane Times yesterday.

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