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Emerging tensions from village relocation Emerging tensions from village relocation in Sopchia Kumban, Phonxay District, Luang Prabang Province, Lao PDR in Sopchia Kumban, Phonxay District, Luang Prabang Province, Lao PDR Bounthanom BOUAHOM 1 , Jeremy BOURGOIN 3 , Bounthanom BOUAHOM , Jeremy BOURGOIN , Guillaume LESTRELIN 2 Jean-Christophe CASTELLA 2, 4 Guillaume LESTRELIN , Jean Christophe CASTELLA 1 NAFRI, National Agriculture and Forestry Research Centre Vientiane, Lao PDR 2 CIFOR, Centre for International Forestry Research - Bogor, Indonesia 3 School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, University of Queensland, Australia 4 IRD, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France IRD, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France In partnership with The Agro-Biodiversity Initiative (TABI, SDC) B k d Background In the Lao PDR poverty is mainly concentrated in upland areas populated by ethnic minorities Subsistence agriculture through slash and In the Lao PDR, poverty is mainly concentrated in upland areas populated by ethnic minorities. Subsistence agriculture through slash and b i d i t i th t I d t f t i i d l t d ll it t th L ti t burn is dominant in these poor remote areas. In order to foster socioeconomic development and alleviate poverty, the Laotian government has used different land policy levers. Relocation is expected to facilitate the provision of services to remote communities, such as roads and an improved access to market, education, water and sanitation, health and administrative services, etc. Moving villages closer to main roads and clustering small villages into larger units is also a means to increase government control over remote communities into larger units is also a means to increase government control over remote communities. Study area Study area Ph i th 47 t di t i t f th t d i it t t f th t Phonxay is among the 47 poorest district of the country and a priority target for the government. Within Phonxay district, the kumban of Sopchia is experiencing land conflicts because of village relocation. Relocation history Relocation history Ban Mok La Harn Ban Houaypot In 2003, under the ‘Village Relocation and Consolidation’ programme [village needs at least 50 households], the district authorities merged 3 villages in one. Ban Houaysinyeua New Ban Houaysinyeua = Ban Houaysinyeua (#34 families) + Ban Houaypot (#37) + Ban 3 37 22 New Ban Houaysinyeua Ban Houaysinyeua (#34 families) + Ban Houaypot (#37) + Ban Mok La Harn (#22) [#13 families from Mok La Harn moved to Phakhok] 13 34 Mok La Harn (#22). [#13 families from Mok La Harn moved to Phakhok]. New location within the boundaries of Ban Sopchia but did not provide the production Ban Houaysinyeua New location within the boundaries of Ban Sopchia, but did not provide the production area that newcomers expected in their new location Ban Sopchia Ban Houaysinyeua area that newcomers expected in their new location. Ban Ban Houamuang Ban Phakhok B D land conflicts between the two villages for the use of parcels in the vicinity of the Ban Donxay new settlement: Houaysinyeua houses were moved close to the paddy fields of Sopchia where no land was made available for the newcomers. where no land was made available for the newcomers. Figure 1. Diagram map of Sopchia From Parkxeng District Parkxeng District Kumban in 2003 Ban Mok La Harn Ban Houaypot Ban Mok La Harn Ban Houaypot Defying the policy stipulating Ban Houaysinyeua Ban Houaysinyeua that people are not allowed to Ban Houaysinyeua Ban Thathong Ban Houaysinyeua move back after being 2 move back after being resettled 2 Houaysinyeua resettled, 2 Houaysinyeua households relocated near B H B H households relocated near hi ld ill i fh B S hi Ban Houaysinyeua B S hi Ban Houaysinyeua their old village arguing of the Ban Houamuang Ban Sopchia Ban Houamuang Ban Sopchia scarcity of arable land. But in Ban Phakhok Ban Phakhok the meantime, their former Phakhok Ban Donxay Phakhok Ban Donxay lands in Ban Thathong had lands in Ban Thathong had been reallocated to new been reallocated to new villagers from Pakxeng Figure 3 Figure 2 villagers from Pakxeng. Figure 3. Sopchia Kumban in 2009 Figure 2. Sopchia Kumban in 2006 Sopchia Kumban in 2009 Sopchia Kumban in 2006 Then as the villagers who remained in Houaysinyeua could not find any compromise Then, as the villagers who remained in Houaysinyeua could not find any compromise ih S hi ill h di i ll d h f i hi f l d with Sopchia villagers, the district allowed them to return farming their former lands. Relocation impacts: discontent of villagers because it creates conflicts and they now have to walk several kilometres to access their former fields kilometres to access their former fields depletion of natural resources with the slash and burn of former parcels (e g Ban depletion of natural resources with the slash and burn of former parcels (e. g. Ban Houaypot in 2003 and 2009) Houaypot in 2003 and 2009) Ban Houaysinyeua Conclusions Conclusions The study suggests that an effective landuse planning process could enable villagers to preserve the integrity of their territory and retain their forests for continued swidden as well as planting commercial crops on their own land. Moreover, land use planning integrating multiple levels i e village kumban and district may also help overcoming land issues related to housing and production areas being spatially scattered i.e. village, kumban and district may also help overcoming land issues related to housing and production areas being spatially scattered. Further research: Spatially explicit visualization tools are needed in order to facilitate multi level negotiations among stakeholders during Further research: Spatiallyexplicit visualization tools are needed in order to facilitate multilevel negotiations among stakeholders during l i Th l k l i (i) hi hli h i i li f d ill i i d di i b relocation processes. They can play a key role in: (i) highlighting potential issues of scattered village territories and disconnections between residential and agricultural areas and, (ii) enhancing local participation and facilitating a collective definition of ‘conflict resolution pathways’.

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Emerging tensions from village relocationEmerging tensions from village relocation in Sopchia Kumban, Phonxay District, Luang Prabang Province, Lao PDRin Sopchia Kumban, Phonxay District, Luang Prabang Province, Lao PDR

Bounthanom BOUAHOM1 , Jeremy BOURGOIN3,Bounthanom BOUAHOM , Jeremy BOURGOIN , Guillaume LESTRELIN2 Jean-Christophe CASTELLA2, 4Guillaume LESTRELIN , Jean Christophe CASTELLA

1 NAFRI, National Agriculture and Forestry Research Centre – Vientiane, Lao PDR, g y ,2 CIFOR, Centre for International Forestry Research - Bogor, Indonesia, y g ,3 School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, University of Queensland, Australiag p y, g g , y Q ,4 IRD, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, FranceIRD, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France

In partnership with The Agro-Biodiversity Initiative (TABI, SDC)B k d

p p g y ( , )BackgroundIn the Lao PDR poverty is mainly concentrated in upland areas populated by ethnic minorities Subsistence agriculture through slash and

gIn the Lao PDR, poverty is mainly concentrated in upland areas populated by ethnic minorities. Subsistence agriculture through slash andb i d i t i th t I d t f t i i d l t d ll i t t th L ti tburn is dominant in these poor remote areas. In order to foster socio‐economic development and alleviate poverty, the Laotian governmenthas used different land policy levers.Relocation is expected to facilitate the provision of services to remote communities, such as roads and an improved access to market,education, water and sanitation, health and administrative services, etc. Moving villages closer to main roads and clustering small villages, , , g g g ginto larger units is also a means to increase government control over remote communitiesinto larger units is also a means to increase government control over remote communities.

Study areaStudy area

Ph i th 47 t di t i t f th t d i it t t f th tPhonxay is among the 47 poorest district of the country and a priority target for the government.Within Phonxay district, the kumban of Sopchia is experiencing land conflicts because of village relocation.

Relocation historyRelocation historyBan Mok La HarnBan Houaypot In 2003, under the ‘Village Relocation and Consolidation’ programme [village needs at

least 50 households], the district authorities merged 3 villages in one.Ban Houaysinyeua

], g gNew Ban Houaysinyeua = Ban Houaysinyeua (#34 families) + Ban Houaypot (#37) + Ban

3

3722

New Ban Houaysinyeua Ban Houaysinyeua (#34 families) + Ban Houaypot (#37) + BanMok La Harn (#22) [#13 families from Mok La Harn moved to Phakhok]13

34Mok La Harn (#22). [#13 families from Mok La Harn moved to Phakhok].

New location within the boundaries of Ban Sopchia but did not provide the productionBan Houaysinyeua

New location within the boundaries of Ban Sopchia, but did not provide the productionarea that newcomers expected in their new location

Ban SopchiaBan Houaysinyeua area that newcomers expected in their new location.

BanBan Houamuang

p

Ban Phakhok

B D⇒ land conflicts between the two villages for the use of parcels in the vicinity of the

Ban Donxay new settlement: Houaysinyeua houses were moved close to the paddy fields of Sopchiay y p y pwhere no land was made available for the newcomers.where no land was made available for the newcomers.

Figure 1. gDiagram map of Sopchia

From Parkxeng DistrictParkxeng DistrictKumban in 2003

Ban Mok La HarnBan Houaypot

g

Ban Mok La HarnBan HouaypotBan Mok La HarnBan Houaypot Ban Mok La HarnBan HouaypotDefying the policy stipulating 

Ban Houaysinyeua Ban Houaysinyeuathat people are not allowed to  Ban Houaysinyeua Ban Thathong Ban Houaysinyeuap pmove back after being

2move back after being resettled 2 Houaysinyeuaresettled, 2 Houaysinyeuahouseholds relocated near

B H B Hhouseholds relocated near h i ld ill i f h

B S hiBan Houaysinyeua

B S hiBan Houaysinyeuatheir old village arguing of the 

Ban HouamuangBan Sopchia

Ban HouamuangBan Sopchiascarcity of arable land. But in 

Ban Phakhok

an H uamuangBan

Phakhok

an H uamuangthe meantime, their former  Phakhok

Ban DonxayPhakhok

Ban Donxay,

lands in Ban Thathong hadlands in Ban Thathong had been reallocated to newbeen reallocated to new villagers from Pakxeng Figure 3Figure 2villagers  from Pakxeng. Figure 3.

Sopchia Kumban in 2009Figure 2. Sopchia Kumban in 2006 Sopchia Kumban in 2009Sopchia Kumban in 2006

Then as the villagers who remained in Houaysinyeua could not find any compromiseThen, as the villagers who remained in Houaysinyeua could not find any compromisei h S hi ill h di i ll d h f i h i f l dwith Sopchia villagers, the district allowed them to return farming their former lands.

Relocation impacts:‐ discontent of villagers because it creates conflicts and they now have to walk severalg ykilometres to access their former fieldskilometres to access their former fields‐ depletion of natural resources with the slash and burn of former parcels (e g Ban‐ depletion of natural resources with the slash and burn of former parcels (e.g. BanHouaypot in 2003 and 2009)Houaypot in 2003 and 2009)

Ban HouaysinyeuaConclusionsConclusionsThe study suggests that an effective land‐use planning process could enable villagers to preserve the integrity of their territory and retain theiry gg p g p g p g y yforests for continued swidden as well as planting commercial crops on their own land. Moreover, land use planning integrating multiple levelsp g p , p g g g p‐ i e village kumban and district ‐may also help overcoming land issues related to housing and production areas being spatially scatteredi.e. village, kumban and district may also help overcoming land issues related to housing and production areas being spatially scattered.

Further research: Spatially explicit visualization tools are needed in order to facilitate multi level negotiations among stakeholders duringFurther research: Spatially‐explicit visualization tools are needed in order to facilitate multi‐level negotiations among stakeholders during l i Th l k l i (i) hi hli h i i l i f d ill i i d di i brelocation processes. They can play a key role in: (i) highlighting potential issues of scattered village territories and disconnections between 

residential and agricultural areas and, (ii) enhancing local participation and facilitating a collective definition of ‘conflict resolution pathways’.