Businessmen in Laos’s Attapeu province are selling timber hidden for years in the forest after being harvested illegally, mixing it with other timber allowed by provincial authorities to be sold by local villagers, Lao sources say.
As for tiny Laos, they add, it could boost a heavily resource-reliant economy with more trade, tourists and industry — if at the cost of crippling debt and the growing sway of its giant neighbor.
The Lao government will step up human resource development and cooperation with development partners to ensure the nation is able to graduate from the Least Developed Country (LDC) category.
The United Nations (UN) has confirmed that it will continue to support the Lao government under the Cooperation Framework, to enable the government to design a clear strategy for the development of Laos.
“As international businessmen rake it in, hunger and food insecurity are a threat to millions in Laos. But when Lao people protest against these projects, they risk being harshly punished, arbitrarily detained or disappeared by the government.”
“The problem is that the dam developer doesn’t want to do a new SIA, saying that the SIA has been done. But UNESCO does not accept the first SIA.”
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$57 million project to help Lao PDR promote sustainable forest management, improve protected area management, and enhance livelihoods opportunities in eight provinces across the country.
If water levels in downstream rivers dry up or are insufficient for use in a way that affects biodiversity and agricultural and industrial production and has other impacts, the operators are obliged to provide notification of the situation.
In 2019, Lao environmentalist Houayheuang “Muay” Xayabouly was sentenced to five years in prison for speaking up for flood victims and criticizing the government’s response to the crisis on Facebook. In the same year, seven activists were detained for planning a pro-democracy rally in Vientiane.