National Overview of Land Concessions in Lao PDR

I recently had the opportunity to, on behalf of SDC, interview Dr. Andreas Heinimann, who is a Senior Research Scientist at CDE and a lead author of the first-ever report to give a national overview of land concessions in Lao PDR.

I asked him if he thinks that too much land in the country is under concession, and I think he gave a great answer, like a true scientist:

Marianne: The report concludes that 1.1 million hectares, that’s five percent of the country’s total territory, is currently under concession. That sounds like a lot?

Andreas: So I think the five percent, 1.1 million hectares or five percent of territory, is a figure, but I don’t think it’s an important figure. I think for me, one of the most relevant comparisons is the comparison with the rice production. Even though I knew it, I still find it striking: There is currently more land granted in concessions, than there is land being cultivated for rice. You can get people’s attention with that kind of number.

You can read the full interview on SDC’s blog.

The Concessions and Leases in the Lao PDR – Taking Stock of Land Investments Report is a result of collaboration between SDC, CDE (Centre for Development and Environment, GIZ (German Cooperation), and the Lao Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment.

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