“Land Reforms, Sustainable Agriculture and Water Resources in the Presence of Climate Change: A Critical Analysis for Policymakers and Development Practitioners in Lao PDR.”

A Supplementary Research Paper.

Brief Note

Over the past several decades, the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has instituted several policy reforms in hope of attracting investors and development organizations with the aim of working with national partners and other stakeholders to address the effects of climate change and the sustainable use of land, water and agricultural resources for sustainable development. Lao PDR stands at the hub of natural resources along with its competitive neighbors within the region, namely: China, Viet Nam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar. The development and implementation of policies geared towards the sustainable use of agricultural resources, lands and water driven by sound research is the hallmark for transitioning from a Least Developed Country (LCD) to a prospective developing country, a state that the current government of Lao PDR seeks to overcome with several policy reforms. This paper seeks to provide a critical analysis of the current state of policy reforms in land, water and agricultural resources in Lao PDR with the aim of providing quality information to policymakers and development practitioners that are involved in natural resources management and how to address the negative environmental impacts of climate change. The paper builds on extensive secondary research, which include published academic papers, government policies as well as technical reports, gray literature and project documents released by development organizations and research institutions. The overall goal of this paper is to critically outline and provide constructive recommendations of what have been formulated in terms of policy reforms, their social and environmental implications, if any, successes, failures and how these policies drive the fight against climate change in Lao PDR to protect and conserve agricultural resources, land, and water for sustainable development.