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Post-Socialist Land Reform in Lao PDR and its Impact on Community Land and Social Equity

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Fujita, Yayoi; Phengsopha, Kaisone; Vongvisouk, Thoumthone; Thongmanivong, Sithong
Conference: Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities, the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Conf. Date: June 19-23, 2006
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/106
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Social Organization
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
land tenure and use
transitional economics
property rights
common pool resources
Abstract: "Post-socialist land reform began to take place in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR or Laos) during the mid 1990s, recognizing communal and private rights over lands and decentralizing management responsibilities. These are known as the Land and Forest Allocation (LFA) policy that recognizes both communal and private land use and management rights particularly in rural villages and the Land Titling policy, which provides legal documents for land parcels in urban and peri- urban areas securing long-term land use rights and efficient use of land. "Feudalistic relationship did not develop in Lao PDR prior to the socialist reform which began in 1975. The reform was focused on modernizing agricultural production and attaining food sufficiency. Development of formal institutions on lands only began to surge in the 1990s as the government decided to take a passage towards the market economy in 1986. This also gave a new meaning to land. "Our study takes an interdisciplinary approach to examine the effect of post-socialist land reform in rural areas of central Laos where land management policies have been implemented. We incorporate spatial analysis to understand the relations between demographic and resource use change. We also incorporate political ecology approach to understand the land use histories in two communities with diverse ethnic composition, and perspectives of different stakeholders with regards to their meaning of land and how they interpret the government policy. Finally, we examine how the new land policies affect access and use of the commons and consider the impact of current land policies on social equity in two communities."

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