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Community Access To Information In Forest Areas Planned For Conversion To Other Uses
By: Maeying Huamjai Phattana (MHP)
Published: June 11, 2019
Countries: Laos
Document type: Briefing note
Document ID: 8115
View count: 1011
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Community Access To Information In Forest Areas Planned For Conversion To Other Uses
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As Lao PDR develops, communities living in forest areas throughout Lao PDR have been and will continue to lose access to their natural resources as they are converted by large projects into hydropower dams, tree plantations, or other uses, and leading to social conflict and impoverishment (for examples see IUCN, 2011; Baird, 2011; McAllister, 2015).

In such instances, local communities using the forests rely on government agencies to provide them with information about the project, and how they are expected to continue their lives without such access.  However, despite a legal requirement to provide these communities with such information in a transparent manner, this has rarely occurred.   As Kenney Lazar et al. (2018:27) observe:

“When Turning Land into Capital-type projects are pursued, there is a lack of information available for the public concerning how the project will be developed, what will be the costs and benefits for affected persons, the Lao government, and society at large. Sometimes there is even a lack of information about the exact location of the project.”