The publication released by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and GIZ systematically summarises the years of experience the two institutions gathered from various activities in support to the development of standardised system for systematic land registration in rural areas of Lao PDR.
Theoretically all land in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic belongs to the National Community. There is a procedure that foresees the transfer of permanent land use rights to citizens and legal entities, but these have been granted rather sporadically and predominantly in urban and peri-urban areas. Rural areas have only been reached in the case of donor-funded project support, this although 85% of Lao’s population lives in the rural areas. The rural population is also strongly dependent on agriculture and natural resource therefore also access to land.
The government has recognised the problem, as the missing access to land also poses a threat to food security and limits the opportunities to improve rural livelihoods. Furthermore the land of legal tenure security is one of the major causes of poverty and conflicts, all factors that hinder the land’s economic development. Germany directly supports the Lao government in the land reform planning and implementation of the Land Management and Decentralisation Planning Programme, which will scale up land registration schemes in 4 provinces, including at least 8 rural districts.