Land deals in Laos: First insights from a new nationwide initiative to assess the quality of investments in land | Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2015
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
MLRF:2200
Pages: 
i-iii, 1-26
Copyright details: 
BRICS Initiatives for Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS), MOSAIC Research Project, Land Deal Politics Initiative (LDPI), RCSD Chiang Mai University, Transnational Institute

In Laos land concessions have increased dramatically over the last decade. To provide a window into the concessions landscape, we conducted a nationwide inventory between 2007 and 2011. In response to an order by the Lao Government to its ministries, we developed a methodology to update the inventory and complement existing data with a systematic assessment of investment quality in 2014. We investigated aspects of compliance as well as impacts on livelihoods and the environment. In this paper we present insights into the landscape of land concessions in Laos from the first national inventory and an overview of the approach to update and enhance it. We then present results from the first two provinces assessed - Luang Prabang and Xiengkhouang – through the second baseline study. Nearly 90% of the total area granted to investors in these two provinces was granted to foreign investors. There are many domestic concessions, but these are generally small in size. Household income and employment were the most common positive impacts as perceived by affected villagers, while the lack of land for farming and rising social conflicts were the most common negative impacts. FPIC was widely conducted in the agricultural and mining sector; it is completely missing in the tree plantations sector so far.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
Hett, Cornelia Nanhthavong, Vong Saphangthong, Thatheva Robles, Guillermo Rodriguez Phouangphet, Ketkeo Speller, William Messerli, Peter Epprecht, Micheal Heinimann, Andreas
Publisher(s): 

The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague is part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR).

It is a graduate institute of policy-oriented critical social science, founded in 1952 and able to draw on sixty years of experience.

ISS is a highly diverse international community of scholars and students from the global south and the north, which brings together people, ideas and insights in a multi-disciplinary setting which nurtures, fosters and promotes critical thinking and conducts innovative research into fundamental social problems.

The Land Deal Politics Initiative (LDPI) is a network of the research programme of Political Economy of Resources, Environment and Population (PER) of the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Part of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The aim of LDPI is for a broad framework encompassing the political economy, political ecology and political sociology of land deals.

Our general framework is based on answering 6 key questions:

RCSD logo

The Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD) was established in 1998 at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Thailand in response to the need for integration of social science and natural science knowledge in order to gain a better understanding of sustainable development issues in upper mainland Southeast Asia. RCSD has, since that time, striven to become a truly regional center for sustainable development issues, linking graduate training and research to development policy and practice.

The Transnational Institute (TNI) is an international research and advocacy institute committed to building a just, democratic and sustainable world. For more than 40 years, TNI has served as a unique nexus between social movements, engaged scholars and policy makers.

The Transnational Institute (TNI) is an international research and advocacy institute committed to building a just, democratic and sustainable world.

Founded in 1974 as a network of ‘activist scholars’, TNI continues to be a unique nexus between social movements, engaged scholars and policy makers.

Data provider

The Mekong Land Research Forum seeks to bring research and policy a bit closer together. It does this in part by making the research more accessible and in part by helping to distill the key messages and points of debate so that information overload does not overwhelm policy makers and other advocates for progressive policy reform.

Share this page