Sunday, August 23, 2015
Handbook on Participatory Land Use Planning: Methods and tools developed and tested in Viengkham District, Luang Prabang Province, Lao PDR
Securing land tenure rights for village communities through participatory land use planning is a hot topic for policy makers, researchers and development practitioners. In Lao PDR, the government policy aimed at turning land into capital may well turn to land grabbing wherever local communities are not informed about their rights and are not involved in land use planning.
Participatory Land Use Planning (PLUP) is an empowerment process for villagers who get trained as land use negotiators. They learn the real value of their land and labour.
The proposed PLUP method helps them to visualize land related issues, to assess the potential impact of alternative scenarios before they make decision. While local people know well their own situation they often do not know how to collectively design a better future for the whole village through land use planning. ‘PLUP fiction’ is a learning device for land zoning and local development planning. Based on a virtual village territory visualized on a board, members of the village land management committee learn how to make informed decisions about land zoning according to the needs of different stakeholders.
Using the method learned during the landscape simulation game, they negotiate their own land use zoning on the 3D model representing their village landscape. They first design their current land use by using coloured pins and string on the 3D model. Then, land zones are digitized, analyzed and compared to the needs expressed by the villagers in their village action plan, i.e. village economic development, labour force availability, rice sufficiency, livestock carrying capacity, preservation of ecosystems services.
New land use plans are designed successively until all the committee members are satisfied. The iterative zoning process is facilitated by the use of a GIS software (QGIS) and an Excel based tool. On completion of the PLUP exercise, the 3D model painted with the new land use plan remains with the community.
The purpose of this PLUP Handbook is to provide practical tools and methods for PLUP implementation based on experiments conducted in Viengkham District, Luang Prabang Province. Lessons drawn from this experience have been gradually incorporated into the tools and procedures described in this Handbook and Toolbox as a reference guide for PLUP practitioners.
Download: Handbook on Participatory Land Use Planning: Methods and tools developed and tested in Viengkham District, Luang Prabang Province, Lao PDR
Authors: Jean-Christophe Castella, Jeremy Bourgoin, Lionel Cottet, Maëlle Drouillat, Khamla Nanthavong, Sangthong Phatsalin, Guillaume Lestrelin, Bounthanom Bouahom and Manithaithip Thepphavanh
Publisher: National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), Institute of Research for Development (IRD) and Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), May 2012