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The Encroachment of Large Scale Land Acquisitions into National Protected Areas in Laos PDR

Authors: Garrett Cooper*, University of Alabama
Topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change, Qualitative Methods, Agricultural Geography
Keywords: land deal, spatial analysis, forest cover, land use change
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Over the past 2 decades, transnational agricultural corporations have acquired an increasingly large amount of forested land in the country of Laos. These land purchases are known as large scale land acquisitions (LSLAs). These large corporations clear-cut forests with the intent to develop large industrial farms in their place, often infringing upon local land rights in the process, which can force some local and indigenous peoples to either immigrate or change their livelihoods. Land acquisition and subsequent deforestation may occur despite local ownership and/or protection status, including National Protected Areas (NPAs) and heritage sites around the country of Laos. This study aims to investigate how indirect and direct land-uses change as a result of LSLAs infringing upon and impacting NPAs. It is important to understand these relationships in order to identify their effects on local or indigenous peoples and to determine what can be done to mitigate them. R statistical software and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) were used to analyze the relationships between several causal conditions - such as conflict, employment, compensation, etc. - that are associated with LSLAs in Laos. Our objective was to determine which combinations of conditions were most likely to create indirect or direct land-use change and deforestation within the boundaries of these NPAs and the common social impacts that were associated with these types of land deals.

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