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

Archive for the ‘Laws, policies and regulations / ກົດຫມາຍ, ນະໂຍບາຍ ແລະ ຂໍ້ກຳນົດ’ Category

Regional countries seek new approaches to agricultural investment

Source: Vientiane Times, November 16, 2017

Workshop on Land and Natural Resource Management for NA and PPA members

Source: Phouthan Pasaxon Newspaper, Issue 1st – 4th October 2017

(NA) To strengthen deep understanding on Land and Natural Resource Management, Legislative Research Institute of National Assembly organized workshop on “Knowledge and Experience Sharing with the National Assembly/Provincial People councils’ members on Land and Natural Resource Management” at International Convention Training Center (ICTC), Vientiane from 28-29 October 2017. The workshop was chaired by Dr Khampheuy Panmalaythong, the president of Legislative Research Institute of National Assembly, Laos. There were totally 153 participants from National Assembly’s members, Provincial People Assembly ’ members, President – Vice president of the NA committees, President -Vice president of different departments, centers, officials from National Assembly, The acting director general of Legislation Department from Ministry National Resource and Environment, representatives of relevant ministries, representatives from Village Focus International (VFI), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Community Association for Mobilizing Knowledge in Development (CAMKID)/Oxfam attended this workshop.

ສຳມະນາວຽກງານທີ່ດິນ ແລະ ຊັບພະຍາກອນທຳມະຊາດໃຫ້ແກ່ ສສຊ ແລະ ສສຂ

ຂ່່າວຈາກ: ໜັງສືພິມ ຜູ້ແທນປະຊາຊົນ, ສະບັບວັນທີ 1-4/10/2017

(ສພຊ) ເພື່ອສ້າງຄວາມເຂົ້າໃຈຕໍ່ວຽກງານບໍລິຫານທີ່ດິນ ແລະ ຊັບພະຍາກອນທຳມະຊາດໃຫ້ມີຄວາມເລິກເຊິ່ງ, ສະຖາບັນຄົ້ນຄວ້ານິຕິກຳ ສະພາແຫ່ງຊາດ ໄດ້ຈັດກອງປະຊຸມສຳມະນາ ເພື່ອແລກປ່ຽນຄວາມຮູ້ ແລະ ບົດຮຽນກ່ຽວກັບການບໍລິຫານວຽກງານທີ່ດິນ ແລະ ຊັບພະຍາກອນທຳມະຊາດ ໃຫ້ແກ່ສະມາຊິກສະພາແຫ່ງຊາດ (ສສຊ) ແລະ ສະມາຊິກສະພາປະຊາຊົນຂັ້ນແຂວງ  (ສສຂ) ທີ່ ສູນ ຮ່ວມມືສາກົນ ແລະ ການຝຶກອົບຮົມ (ICTC) , ນະຄອນຫຼວງວຽງຈັນ ລະຫວ່າງວັນທີ 28-29 ກັນຍາ 2017, ພາຍໃຕ້ການເປັນປະທານຂອງທ່ານ ຄໍາເຜີຍ ປານມາໄລທອງ ຫົວໜ້າ ສະຖາບັນຄົ້ນຄວ້າ ນິຕິກຳແຫ່ງຊາດ; ມີບັນດາທ່ານ ສສຊ ແລະ ສສຂ, ປະທານ-ຮອງປະທານກຳມາທິການ, ຫົວໜ້າ-ຮອງຫົວໜ້າກົມ, ສູນ, ພະນັກງານພາຍໃນ ສພຊ, ຫົວໜ້າກົມນິຕິກຳ, ກະຊວງຊັບພະຍາກອນທຳມະຊາດ ແລະ ສິ່ງແວດລ້ອມ, ຕ່າງໜ້າຈາກກະຊວງທີ່ກ່ຽວຂ້ອງ,​ ຫົວໜ້າໂຄງການບ້ານຈຸດສຸມ (VFI), ຕ່າງໜ້າຈາກອົງການອາຫານ (FAO) ແລະ ຕ່າງໜ້າຈາກ (CAMKID)/OXFAM ເຂົ້າຮ່ວມທັງໝົດ 153 ທ່ານ.

ທັ້ງນີ້ ກໍ່ເພື່ອສະໜັບສະໜູນການປະກອບສ່ວນຄວາມຄິດເຫັນຂອງທ່ານ ສສຊ ແລະ ສສຂ ເຂົ້າໃນຮ່າງກົດໝາຍທີ່ດິນ (ສະບັບປັບປຸງ); ການໃຫ້ສຳປະທານ ແລະ ການໃຫ້ເຊົ່າທີ່ດິນ ໂດຍຜ່ານການສົນທະນາແລກປ່ຽນຄວາມຄິດເຫັນກັນ; ພ້ອມນັ້ນ ເພື່ອເຮັດໃຫ້ການຈັດຕັ້ງປະຕິບັດພາລະບົດບາດຂອງສະພາແຫ່ງຊາດ, ສະພາປະຊາຊົນຂັ້ນແຂວງ ແລະ ອົງການຈັດຕັ້ງທາງສັງຄົມ ໃນການຕິດຕາມກວດກາ ການຈັດຕັ້ງປະຕິບັດກົດໝາຍ ແລະ ບັນດານະໂຍບາຍກ່ຽວກັບທີ່ດິນໃຫ້ມີປະສິດທິພາບທີ່ເພີ່ມຂື້ນ; ເພື່ອຍົກລະດັບຄວາມຮູ້ ແລະ ປະສົບການກ່ຽວກັບວຽກງານການຄຸ້ມຄອງທີ່ດິນ ແລະ ຊັບພະຍາກອນທຳມະຊາດໃຫ້ແກ່ ສສຊ ແລະ ສສຂ ພ້ອມດ້ວຍພະນັກງານທີ່ເປັນເສນາທິການໃຫ້ແກ່ກຳມາທິການຕ່າງໆ.

Govt seeks ways to resolve land conflict issues

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.

Govt officials discuss land management and development

Source: Vientiane Times, August 16, 2017

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is focusing on land management and development around the country with aims to better manage land and prevent spread out land use.

Over the past year, land use was still extravagant because the master plan of national land management is not finished yet.

Meanwhile, the price of land is continuing to rise, especially land in the city areas.

It’s causing an issue related to land management and use.

NA, Govt discuss development impacts, compensation

Source: Vientiane Times, August 16, 2017

The impacts on residents of government-approved development projects and concession projects by domestic and foreign investors were on the top of the agenda for discussion between National Assembly (NA) and government at a joint meeting yesterday.

NA President Pany Yathotou, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, NA Committees chairs and ministers attended the first joint meeting between the NA’s Eighth Legislature and the government held yesterday in Vientiane to discuss the way ahead on addressing development impacts and compensation policy.

Ministry orders action to address land disputes, unlawful land occupation

Source: Vientiane Times, June 21, 2017
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has ordered provincial and district line departments to take actions to address land disputes, unlawful land occupations and related issues.
The order came as increasing numbers of cases involving land issues have emerged in recent years prompting the government to form a taskforce committee to investigate and address the issues.
Deputy Director General of the Ministry’s Land Administration Department Mr AnothaiChanthalasy told Vientiane Times yesterday that the taskforce committee was required to conclude their works and report their outcomes to the government by October.
It was reported previously that the government has told the committee to inspect land concessions and the transfer of land use rights in various cases after learning these issues had been causal factors in disputed cases emerging in recent years.
The committee will also inspect the implementation of the government’s policy to turn assets into capital, which has seen state departments approaching investors to build new offices for them in suburban areas in exchange for usage of the state lands where their old offices were located, generally closer to the city centre. The inspection came as reports emerged that many projects implemented under the turning-asset-into-capital scheme were not properly included in relevant socio-economic development plans thus were not approved by the National Assembly.
Additionally, many of these projects did not undergo open bidding processes in violation of the relevant regulations.
Additionally, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said recently that a number of fake documents had been produced claiming usage rights of state lands by various individuals and organisations.
The inspection will also find out if local people’s lands have been occupied unlawfully as well cases of the inappropriate occupation of proximate state lands by members of such communities.
MrAnothai said Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, MrSommad Pholsena issued several notices giving guidance on how best to take actions to address these issues.” Authorities in charge will carry out a comprehensive inspection into land issues including the inspection of land registrations,” MrAnothai said.
In his notice issued late last month, MrSommad recommended local people facing land disputes approach district offices in charge to seek solutions in line with the relevant laws and regulations.
The minister also called for the district and provincial authorities to collate submissions made by respondents and take appropriate actions to address the particulars of respective cases based on the law.
For those issues which district and provincial departments are unable to address, the officials are called upon to report to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment or higher authorities to seek guidance and solutions.
Those wanting to submit petitions concerning land disputes to the Ministry’s Land Department directly can do so through its reception desk, its petition box or through the ministry’s hotline No 1514.
MrSommad pledged that the Ministry would work with local concerned authorities to address the submitted issues.
He also told the provincial Natural Resources and Environment departments to report progress made in addressing identified land-related issues to the ministry on a regular basis.

Bolikhamxay Shuts Down 17 Timber Factories

Source: KPL, June 15, 2017
By Phetsamone PHOMMUNY
(KPL) Bolikhamxay authorities have recently announced the shutdown of 17 timber factories and 35 other factories have been ordered to improve their standards within the next six months.
Head of the Bolikhamxay Industry and Commerce Division, Sengaloun Sengaphone said that 35 timber factories must be improved within next six months in line with the Prime Minister’s decree. If they fail to do so, their business operations will also be suspended permanently.
17 timber factories have been shut down due to violation of the Prime Minister’s decree and running in poor condition: wood industry processing factory, Phoudoi-Liengfathong, KL, Sengdao Group, Duangchaleun 2, Duangchaleun 3, Boualy, Mingkhuang, Duanglasy, Phaviengthong, Phoudoi Furniture,Touay-Toun Furniture, Manida, Inthalengsy, Manivong, SLP and Bounyou furniture.
Prime Minister’s Order No. 15 has successfully curbed harmful practices in the forestry sector and timber industry, while restoring public trust in the party and government.
Currently, 67 timber factories are deemed to be legitimate and up to standard, Mr Sengaloun has said, adding that since the Prime Minister’s order No 15, authorities have strictly implemented the order and set up a task force committee to carry out preventive measures on illegal logging and banning illegal wood exports.

Local land handovers unauthorised: Minister

Source: Vientiane Times, May 30, 2017
Community land which has been handed over by village authorities to investors should be all taken back as collective property because the actions of local authorities are against the law.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Mr Sommad Pholsena tabled this direction in debate at the recent session of the National Assembly (NA).
The assembly quizzed the government about the spread of village authorities giving community land to investors, individuals, companies and organisations for rent or granted in exchange for community roads or other infrastructure facilities.
“I would like to propose the National Assembly as well as Local People’s Assemblies annul the land authorisations made by village authorities,” Mr Sommad said. He referred to the Land Law, which he said gave clear stipulation on the allocation of agricultural land use rights.“The district or municipal administration is in charge of considering and approving the allocation of land use rights for agricultural land under its management to individuals and organisations to use by issuing land certificates to them,” the minister stated from article No.18 of the law.
“These land certificates are valid for three years. During this period, if land has been used in conformity with objectives and regulations, and if there is no objection or claim, or those claims have already been settled, then the individuals and organisations have the right to apply to the land management authorities at the provincial or city level for the issuance of a land title for long-term use rights,” he continued reading the stipulation in the law.
Mr Sommad also highlighted the spread of offences made against stipulations in the law regarding allocation of forest land use rights, use of land around bodies of water, and determining the scope of construction land use rights.
He promised to inspect the offences related to the responsibilities of his ministry such as the issuance of land titles. In an example, he spoke about village chiefs selling community land to private companies or individuals, who later received land titles from the ministry.
Such issuance of land titles would include cases when private companies or individuals wanted to use the land to secure investment finance, according to the minister. He asked NA members and members of provincial people’s councils to keep a close eye on these activities and inform the ministry about any related offences.

Gov’t to get tough with dishonest land concession holders

Source: Vientiane Times, April 28, 2017
The government will use tougher measures to regulate concession projects by withdrawing land if no progress is made on the proposed project, while also pushing for authorities at various levels to participate in the process.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on behalf of the government made the promise yesterday in response to National Assembly (NA) members’ queries concerning issues surrounding land concessions, which were raised at the ongoing debate session.
The government acknowledged that many concession projects have been awarded, but investors often did not fulfill their obligations with regard to the contract and relevant laws. Many acquired land for the purpose of handing it over to other investors, thereby making a profit.
“If an investor who has been given a concession is found not to proceed with the stated project in the time frame agreed, I ask local authorities to actively investigate and report their findings to the government,” Prime Minister Thongloun said.
He urged the relevant ministries to urgently take action when they received a report indicating possible misconduct.
The issue of investors refusing to obey the requests of local authorities was also raised by Assembly members. In response, Mr Thongloun said concession deals and other development project agreements made at the central or local level must be signed off by local authorities.
Also up for discussion was encroachment onto state land by investors in addition to the land area stated in the concession contract.
“In this case, local authorities have the right to use measures directly to prevent encroachment at the first stage before it continues any further. The authorities should not wait for orders from the government,” Mr Thongloun said. “If local authorities are unable to influence the situation, please inform the related sector or ministry so they can deal with the matter,” he added.
Taking possession of land without putting it to good use not only delays the country’s development but denies other developers the opportunity to use land productively.
“If land is handed over and no development takes place, it will be withdrawn. I want the business sector to understand this,” the prime minister said.
“Effective investment and the implementation of development projects that follow the law will help to strengthen the economy,” he added, noting that the government would not allow a monopoly in investment, but supported competition.
Mr Thongloun told Assembly members that the government had carried out a study on the positives and negatives of the Law on Land, saying a lot of shortcomings were uncovered.
The government is improving its policies before submitting them to the Politburo, which is expected to propose a resolution by the Party Central Committee in order to tackle the issues surrounding land use, according to Mr Thongloun.

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