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Title: Decentralization of Natural Resources Management in the Lao PDR: A Case Study of the Multi-village Mak Jong Management Group in Pathoumphone District
Authors: Sylavong, Latsamay
Keywords: decentralization
natural resources
forest and wetland
Issue Date: Nov-2014
Publisher: Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies , Kyoto University(ASAFAS)
Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University (CAAS)
Center for Integrated Area Studies, Kyoto University (CIAS)
Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University (CSEAS)
Journal title: Kyoto Working Papers on Area Studies
Volume: 131
Start page: 1
End page: 31
Abstract: This study introduces the process involved in a case of sustainable forest and wetland management. It analyzes the type and extent of decentralization that is practiced in Pathoumphone district (Champassack province in Southern Laos) together with the development of two local institutions and the legal framework related to this development. The Mak Jong management group (MJG) and the District Field Wetland Management team (DFWMT) were created due to the lack of a management system, a continuous decline in Mak Jong (MJ) trees and an increase in the number of conflicts over the use of wetland resources (IUCN, 2008). The MJG came about as the result of a request from local authorities and communities, while the DFWMT resulted from an official request following the Lao PDR's accession to the Ramsar Convention. Villagers strongly represented themselves through both groups at the local level and took actions to ensure the governance of natural resources as their area of responsibility, complied with their agreements and followed the legal framework, including the mechanisms for sharing profits and benefits among themselves and their village units. Transferring rights to local communities and institutions over forests and wetlands are the most significant efforts to conserve and rehabilitate forests and wetlands, while simultaneously being able to provide local communities with ownership of their areas together with the opportunity to engage in economic activities, such as agriculture, livestock and ecotourism. Decentralization regarding the natural resources in this district has not yet been fully implemented, however, as can be seen from the absence of the role and rights of local people in the current policy framework, and both the villagers and the local authorities are still concerned about the long-term viability of the MJG and DFWMT, as there has not yet been a complete transfer of power. Therefore, decentralization regarding natural resources should be taken into account by both the central and local governments and a compromise reached in order to meet both the needs and priorities of the local people and the government's interests in meeting government commitments and achieving national targets.
Rights: ©2014 Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University(ASAFAS)
©2014 Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University(CAAS)
©2014 Center for Integrated Area Studies, Kyoto University(CIAS)
©2014 Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University(CSEAS)
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Appears in Collections:No.131

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