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

Land Information Learning Center “A learning and sharing information on land platform”

By LIWG Secretariat, 14th May,  2018 

“Information is essential to make well informed decisions about use of land, management of land, land allocation, land tenure and the implementation of government policies and laws related to land,” Ms. Celestine Kroesschell, Chair of Land Information Working Group (LIWG) said during her speech.

Ms. Ms. Celestine, the chair of LIWG gives speech at on LILC launching's day

Ms. Ms. Celestine, the chair of LIWG gives speech at the LILC launching’s day

On 4th May 2018, the Land Information Learning Center (LILC) is official launched  and opened to the public.

Families in Oudomxay Province First to Receive Compensation From Lao-China Railway

By RFA:  May 8th, 2018 

More than 20 Lao families from Hoi Khoom village in northwestern Laos’  displaced by construction of a high-speed railway linking the country with China are the first to receive compensation for the loss of their farmland to the megaproject, a local government official said.

Those receiving payments can no longer plant rice because railway construction has encroached upon their land and left them without money to buy rice to eat, said the official from the province’s Xay district, who declined to be named.

Govt mulls future of Lao uplands

Vientiane Times, May 4th 2018 (Referred to LaoFab)

Inspectors scrutinise unauthorised projects

Vientiane Times, 20th April 2018

NA members push for compliant land allocation

Vientiane Times, 24 April 2018

VT for land management article

Justine Sylvester on Land Contract Transparency and

Source: Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, January 23, 2018

Image credit: Pixabay Creative Commons CC0.

Image credit: Pixabay Creative Commons CC0.

Justine Sylvester is an advisor to the Land and Livelihoods Program and Private Sector Engagement at Village Focus International. She is also an alum of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI)’s Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture program. CCSI spoke with Justine about contract transparency and how she has used in her work.

Govt, INGOs look to more productive cooperation

Vientiane Times, March 1, 2018

Khammuan authorities revoke two firms’ concession licences

Vientiane Times, March 22,2018

Khammuan provincial authorities are monitoring the progress of investment projects in the province in a move to further boost economic growth.
Their investigations revealed that about 20 projects owned by Lao and foreign investors had failed to demonstrate any progress in their operations while others were violating the law in various ways.
Two of the 20 projects had their concessions revoked by the provincial authorities for not complying with agreements.
Provincial Governor Mr Oday Soudaphone took the decision to revoke the concession licences of the two firms, which had invested in limestone excavation and sand and gravel mining.
The first company (whose name translates as Veunxeu-Vongsaphay limestone excavation) was found to have violated the Investment Promotion Law and a concession agreement signed with authorities on June 21, 2016, to excavate and process limestone in Hinboun district.
Authorities were unable to contact the company president but informed other company representatives that the firm would not be allowed to continue with the project.
The second firm (whose name translates as Phonchaleun sand and gravel mining) was found to have contravened a concession agreement signed with authorities on February 21, 2012, to operate a sand and gravel business in Hatnakom village, Hinboun district.
But no progress had been made since the company was granted a concession licence.
Deputy Director of the Khammuan provincial Department of Planning and Investment, Mr Si-nguan Inthalath, told Vientiane Times on Monday these two companies had not shown any willingness to carry out their proposed projects.
“They not only failed to comply with the concession agreements signed with our authorities, but also failed to pay any tax,” he said.
Mr Si-nguan concluded that the companies could have run into funding problems or had been unable to find markets for their products.
Many companies seem not to be genuinely interested in carrying out a project as permitted by authorities while others just want to maintain ownership of a project with the intention of selling it to another investor at a later date.
“We identified about 20 companies that did not demonstrate sufficient progress in their project operations. We will invite them for talks and discuss ways to solve the problem,” Mr Si-nguan said.
“We will warn them that what they are doing is unacceptable and encourage them to comply with our laws. If no progress is made after the warning, we will have to revoke their concession licences.”
Khammuan has abundant mineral resources including potassium, lead and gold, so private investment in mining continues to increase.
Deputy Head of the Khammuan provincial Administrative Office, Mr Vannavong Vongphachanh, said mining commodities were mainly exported through Vung Ang Port to Vietnam and China.
This is Laos’ shortest route to a seaport. Since the opening of the Third Friendship Bridge in 2011, linking Thakhaek district in Khammuan province to Thailand’s Nakhon Phanom province across the Mekong River, more freight has been transported using this route.
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