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Territorialising Sustainable Development: The Politics of Land-use Planning in the Lao PDR

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Lestrelin, Guillaume; Castella, Jean-Christophe; Bourgoin, J.
Conference: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Hyderabad, India
Conf. Date: January 10-14
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7313
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): land tenure and use
governance and politics
Abstract: "With the emergence of the sustainable development paradigm in the late 1980s, land-use planning has become a key arena for political debates over society-environment interactions and, in practice, an important means for territorialisation projects. The paper reviews the main planning approaches that have been employed over the past three decades in Laos, a country that has long represented a valuable policy testing ground for the proponents of sustainable development. It highlights three concurrent territorialisation projects that have paved the history of land-use planning and contributed to fuel important tensions between central and sub-national governments and local actors, national and foreign institutions, and land suitability and sustainability approaches. The paper argues that the latter tensions reflect an important dynamism and reactivity in the planning arena. It concludes that the capacity of land-use planners to adapt to specific contexts and evolving socio- environmental challenges should be harnessed in order to reconcile conflicting approaches to planning and, perhaps, to achieve sustainable development."

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