USAID Country Profile: Property Rights and Resource Governance - Lao PDR

TitleUSAID Country Profile: Property Rights and Resource Governance - Lao PDR
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2011
Key themesAccessToJustice, CivilSociety-Donors, Dispossession-grabbing, Distribution, Environment, FDI, Formalisation-titling, Gender, MarginalisedPeople, Policy-law

OVERVIEW: The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is a landlocked country situated in Southeast Asia, bordering Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Myanmar. Despite a recent increase in the rate of urbanization and a relatively small amount of arable land per capita, most people in Lao PDR live in rural areas and work in an agriculture sector dominated by subsistence farming. Lao PDR’s economy relies heavily on its natural resources, with over half the country’s wealth produced by agricultural land, forests, water and hydropower and mineral resources. All land in Lao PDR belongs to the population as a whole. The state administers the land on the people’s behalf, and individuals and organizations access land through land-use rights. Recent land titling programs have formalized permanent land-use rights in urban and peri-urban areas, and land allocation programs have formalized temporary land-use rights for agricultural and forest land. Communal tenure, which is common in rural areas, has not been formalized. Individual use rights in rural areas are short-term and insecure. Land concessions to foreign investors are controversial in Lao PDR due to their social and environmental impacts. The Government of Lao PDR (GOL) has expressed its intention to address these issues when revising the land law. Although draft amendments were submitted to the National Assembly in 2012, the revisions have not yet been adopted.


Available for download



Document Type