Source: Vientiane Times, August 31, 2017
Government officials met in Vientiane yesterday to discuss solutions to land conflict issues across the country with the aim of improving land management and preventing the misuse of land.
The meeting of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was attended by the Minister, Mr Sommad Pholsena, and other stakeholders from around the country.
Over the past year, there has been widespread misuse of forested and public land. The price of land has continued to rise, especially in cities.
These issues have emerged as the main causes of land conflict. Most of these conflicts involve individuals, families, villagers, officials, and investors seeking land concessions, while some have arisen from differences between land owners and development projects.
Some individuals or organisations seize the opportunity to occupy land, especially in rural areas, without any agreement from the authorities. They then seek ways to acquire ownership of the land so they can sell or exchange it.
In addition, the payment of compensation for land acquired for development projects continues to be slow and the amount paid is not as much as the true market price.
Addressing the meeting, Mr Sommad said Land conflict issues are still occurring in many cities and rural areas. This results in confusion and also impacts socio-economic development and people’s livelihoods.
The government has a policy and regulations to resolve land conflict issues and to ensure the interests of organisations and individuals, including land use by foreigners.
To address these issues, the government is accelerating the framing of a national master plan on land management and use.
During the two-day meeting, participants shared their experiences in resolving land conflicts. They also discussed ways to address the problem and better manage land use across the country.