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January 2005

Announcement of a new publication

The implementation of land allocation and land titling in Laos: Impacts on land access and rural livelihoods

Livelihood Support Programme Working Paper Number 8

Land reform began in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) in the early 1990s with three main objectives: to stop deforestation, to intensify agricultural production and to improve the government revenue base through land taxation. Private ownership of land and increased tenure security are expected to encourage agricultural investment, intensive use of land and the rise of a market-oriented agriculture.

The land policy of Laos is quite similar to those in other Asian and neighbouring countries, such as Thailand. The case of Laos is nevertheless particular because of the social and cultural context in which the policy is being implemented. Ethnic minorities living in mountain areas and relying mostly on slash and burn agriculture, who are the prime target of the new land allocation procedures, account for more than 40 percent of the national population, while in Thailand for instance, they represent only one percent of total population.

This paper describes the results of a study funded by FAO on the impacts of the land reform in Laos on land access and rural livelihoods, focusing more particularly on the northern regions. The study draws on interviews with Lao Government officials and foreign experts in Vientiane during October- November 2003 and an analysis of existing literature.

(Available in French)

Click here to view the document (html format) or here for pdf format.

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