Challenges and opportunities of recognizing and protecting customary tenure systems in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
April 2019
Resource Language: 
Pages: 
16

This policy brief was developed in order to enable a meaningful engagement and policy dialogue with government institutions and other relevant stakeholders about challenges and opportunities related to the recognition of customary tenure in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Customary tenure is understood to be the local rules, institutions and practices governing land, fisheries and forests that have, over time and use, gained social legitimacy and become embedded in the fabric of a society. Although customary rules are often not written down, they may enjoy widespread social sanction and may be generally adhered to by members of a local population (FAO, 2016). In this context, this document aims at strengthening the recognition and legal protection of customary tenure systems in the country in line with the key principles of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT). It is important to note that customary tenure systems exist on both communally managed land and on individual land used by individuals and households.

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Project Description

Land governance is at the center of development challenges in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Governments are revising land policies and practices in order to face these challenges. The project aims to (i) assist the emergence of more favorable policies and practices for securing the rights and access of family farmers to land and natural resources; and (ii) to strengthen the effectiveness of concerned stakeholders through learning, alliance building and regional cooperation.


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FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO Asia & the Pacific)

The vision of the FAO office in Bangkok is a food-secure Asia and the Pacific region.


Its mission is to help member countries halve the number of undernourished people in the region by raising agricultural productivity and alleviating poverty while protecting the region’s natural resources base.


Agricultural growth in Asia-Pacific has stagnated in recent years, with a serious decline in agricultural investment, and depletion and degradation of natural resources in the face of continued population growth.

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