VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN): The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment recently issued a notice to suspend certifying and rechecking the documents for using forest land by individuals, legal entities or organisations in areas of preserved, protected and production forests throughout the country.
The notice, No 1423 was issued on March 25, following the observation of individuals, legal entities and organisations that have invaded or are illegally occupying land in the country’s important forest areas which are causing issues with forest management.
These are not only to the detriment of the state and society as a whole, but also to the effect of deforestation as well as the reduction of forest areas.
As a result, the ministry has informed the Department of Natural Resources and Environment across the country to suspend certifying the use of land in forest areas for conservation, protection and production.
Only issuing certification for locals who are living and producing nearby the forests, before the designation is to continue in some of the agreed areas. However, the implementation must be in accordance with Article 44 of the Land Law, revised in 2019.
Relevant authorities should conduct a survey, data collection and resettlement in the forest areas and then issue a land use certificate in accordance with the law which involves local protection of the forests.
It is prohibited to issue land use certificates to all persons or organisations without being subject to the law as defined in Article 160, section 6 of the land law.
For issuing certificates for forest land use before or after this notice, Provincial Departments of Natural Resources and Environment can issue state land titles to tenants or forest land concession as stipulated in Article 84 of the land law, revised 2019.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment and provincial authorities in relevant sectors should review the registration and certification of land titles, then report to the Prime Minister Office in aims to continue solving these issues in accordance with Article 84 of the land law, revised 2019.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Laos has a large number of protected forest areas which provide a habitat for the country’s many endangered species.
The government has a clear policy to increase forest coverage to 70 per cent of the country’s terrain in the near future. - Vientiane Times/Asia News Network