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Land and Forest Allocation and Its Implication on Forest Management and Household Livelihoods: Comparison of Case Studies from CBNRM Research in Central Laos

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Fujita, Yayoi; Phanvilay, Khamla
Conference: The Commons in an Age of Global Transition: Challenges, Risks and Opportunities, the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
Conf. Date: August 9-13
Date: 2004
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/406
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
land tenure and use--case studies
forest management--case studies
resource management
Abstract: "National University of Laos (NUOL) conducted a research capacity building project on community based natural resource management (CBNRM) between November 1999 and May 2003, funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The project supported three multi- disciplinary case studies conducted in central Laos in Vientiane, by groups of 11 academic faculty at NUOL focusing on the impact of government reform on resource management on local resource tenure. "The current paper reviews a landmark policy on resource management in Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), the Land and Forest Allocation Policy, which was introduced in the early 1990s as a mean to legitimately recognise customary rights of the local communities to access and use land and forest resources, as well as to management them. The paper will particularly examine the impact of the Land and Forest Allocation Policy on customary resource use practice in three case study sites studied by the NUOL academic faculty. "Comparison of the three case studies elucidates the nature of deconcentration in resource management administration from the central government to the local authorities. Land and Forest Allocation Policy is thus perceived as a state effort to simplify resource boundary and tenure to consolidate its political and fiscal control in remote areas where central government influence had been minimal in the past. The three case studies also indicates the gap between expected goals of the land reform and the varying realities of resource management in the three research sites based on their diverse geographical setting, historical access to resources, and access to market and to agricultural capital. In particular, the study indicates that the reorganisation of space through the Land and Forest Allocation had instigated population displacement of households in the upland communities with little access to productive resources instead of improving their livelihood basis in their villages."

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