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

Posts Tagged ‘Paksong’

Better coordination needed in allocating land concessions

Vientiane Times, 28 May 2014

Lease concessions for state land are causing confusion among some foreign investors who are not sure whether they require documentation to be issued at the central or local levels of government. Generally, concessions of state land over 150 hectares for planting crops such as cassava and rubber trees are granted by the central level whereas less than this is processed at the local level.

Olam statement in response to granting of land rights in Laos

Olam International coffee plantation in Paksong, Champasack Province.

Olam International coffee plantation in Paksong, Champasack Province.

Olam International, Oct 3, 2012

This statement details the background and actions taken with regard to a dispute by local villagers, over the granting of land rights in the Paksong District, Laos, where Olam operates a coffee growing subsidiary, Outspan Bolovens. Olam is committed to growing our business responsibly, applying the highest international standards of best practice in surveying and assessing the social and environmental impact of cultivation of land under our stewardship. A survey of the land in question was conducted according to national laws and regulations and we commenced our development in the belief that there were no issues outstanding. However, in December 2011, an international NGO brought some issues concerning this plantation to our attention so we acted promptly to investigate.

Coffee colonialism in Laos

Entrance to the Olam coffee plantation area in Champasak Province

Entrance to the Olam coffee plantation area in Champasak Province

Asia Times Online, 19 June, 2012

VIENTIANE – It is an increasingly familiar tale in Laos: poor farmers are pushed off their ancestral lands by corrupt local officials to make way for capital-rich, foreign-invested plantation agriculture. But the tenacity of one small group of agrarians who are fighting back has revealed the abuse of power that attends many Lao land dealings, representing a landmark case in the country’s often opaque and obscure authoritarian politics.

Coffee colonialism brews trouble for farmers in Laos

Southeast Asia Globe, July 04, 2012

In a situation reminiscent of the blockbuster Avatar, a small ethnic group in Southern Laos is battling an international Singapore-based agribusiness, for the return of their land. Their faces are not blue. They are brown from hard work under intense sun, and they travel by open truck instead of flying dragons, but the farmers’ intensity and potential for dramatic conflict is equivalent to that of a Hollywood film. Puan is a thin, angular-faced man and unofficial leader of the five-man delegation of Nya Hitun/Yahern people that came to Vientiane in mid-April. He looked up, his sharp cheekbones catching the light and said, “We will die for our land”. The way things are in Laos at times, that might just happen. In the hard-line nation, protest is still banned and those who disobey are often arrested and disappear.

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