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

Northern provinces hit by extreme cold snap

Vientiane Times, January 26, 2016.

Land owners notified of compensation for highway project

Vientiane Times, December 23, 2015

The Vientiane Natural Resources and Environment Department has announced that compensation will be awarded to people who have had their land appropriated to enable a 9.5km road to be built through the That Luang marsh. The construction of this road in Vientiane begins in Donnokkhoum village, passes through the marsh to Xiengda village and links to the 450 Year Road.

Forty owners of land on a section of the new road being built in Xiengda village were named on a list of people to be compensated by the department as their parcels of land were affected by the project. The state publicly released the information on December 16. An official from the Vientiane Natural Resources and Environment Department, who asked not to be named, told Vientiane Times on Tuesday that some houses in Xiengda village were affected but most of the land was used for agriculture. All of these parcels of land have been included in the compensation package, he said. The land along this road is affected because a swathe of land 200 metres wide on either side of the road was sold off by the government to cover the cost of the road’s construction, under the policy of converting land into capital. However some people who lost their land to the project have yet to come forward to claim compensation and others still have not received a payout.
The road is being built in three phases. Once complete, it will be 25 metres wide, not including sidewalks. The first stage sees the road connecting Donnokkhoum village to Kamphaengmeuang Road in Donkoi village. The second phase links Kamphaengmeuang Road to Xiengda village across the marsh and the third section of the road runs from Xiengda village to the 450 Year Road. The cost of the 9.5 km highway is estimated at more than US$150 million. It is being built by the Namtha Road-Bridge Construction Company. Vientiane decided to build the new highway to expand urban development outwards and reduce traffic congestion in the city centre. The new road will play an important role in contributing to socio-economic growth. The daughter of Mrs Lom, who is on the list to receive compensation, said her mother owned over one hectare of rice fields in Xiengda village. Some people recently asked to buy the land for US$115 (about 933,000 kip) per square metre but she did not sell it because the land was located alongside the new road. She was shocked when she saw her name on the department’s list for compensation for converting the 200 metres of land along each side of the road because it awarded her only US$10 (about 80,000 kip) per metre, or less than one tenth of what she could have sold it for.

Study tour provides insight into corporate social responsibility

Vientiane Times 15 December 2015

A multi-stakeholder group led by the Ministry of Planning and Investment in collaboration with Mekong Region Land Governance, Village Focus International and the Land Issues Working Group, embarked on the inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility Study (CSR) Tour in southern Laos earlier this month. The main aim of the study tour was to deepen understanding of CSR practices in land-based investment in Laos, identify and document good practices that are replicable and can serve as a model for other companies. The group also aimed to learn about companies’ and government’s needs for guidance on implementing CSR practices. The study tour brought together a diverse group of participants from civil society organisations, government, private companies and financial institutions. The tour enabled them to better understand socially and environmentally responsible business practices in the land sector in Laos.

A session opens to debate legislation

Vientiane Times, December 8, 2015.

President of the National Assembly Ms Pany Yathotou has called for various government sectors to enhance their efforts and push for more rapid development progress, seeking to enable the country to escape from least developed country status by 2020. She said although complex global changes have been made since the last session in the middle of this year, the country was able to maintain political stability and security as well as push for the continued growth of its economy. Addressing the opening ceremony of the 10th Ordinary Session of the NA in Vientiane on Monday, Ms Pany highlighted the achievements over the last NA session and challenges to be addressed in the future.

Govt, stakeholders raise awareness of corporate social responsibility

Vientiane Times, November 10, 2015.

Laos readies for forest law enforcement with EU

Vientiane Times, November 6, 2015.

The government is preparing to negotiate the first round of a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) in the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan for illegal logging prevention and to increase the value of wood exports . The negotiations are expected to start at the beginning of next year when Laos is ready for every stage of the first round, the Forestry Inspection Department Director General, Mr. Khamphouth Phandanouvong, told Vientiane Times yesterday.

Don Sahong dam critical for development of southern Laos

Vientiane Times, November 3, 2015.

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