Center-local relationship on the land and forest policies in Lao PDR
Principal Investigator: SETO, Hiroyuki
The government of Lao PDR has officially introduced market economy since the late 1980s and has attracted foreign investments to promote economic development. After joining into ASEAN, the government has implemented decentralization policies to increase the ownership of local administrations in local development. On the other hand, being a multi-ethnic state, the government of Lao PDR has been tackling with the reduction of poverty of ethnic peoples in the mountainous area who used to conduct slush-and-burn agriculture. On the process of attracting investments of foreign companies, the provincial and district level of local authorities have resettled ethnic peoples from the mountains to lowland. Local authorities encouraged villagers to product cash crops such as rubber plantation as alternative jobs for them. Thus, the local authorities of Laos also utilize the growing Chinese investments to control local peoples.
This research reviews the changes of resource management and the role of local administration of Lao PDR on the way to a regional economic integration in ASEAN. I review the historical change of the land and forest policies, interactions between land and forest policy and investments of foreign companies, the impact of each policy to local peoples, and local administrations’ role for adjusting benefits between villagers and foreign companies.