The office of IUCN Lao PDR has released a new publication entitled “Review of Statutory and Customary Law in the Xe Champhone Ramsar Site, Lao PDR - Implications for a rights-based approach to conservation” which examines the under-researched issue of customary law governing natural resources, including its relationship with statutory law.
The report is based upon a desk study on laws governing natural resource use in Lao PDR as well as comprehensive field work with communities in and adjacent to Xe Champhone Ramsar Site. Information was collected on customary rights and to ensure the communities’ participation and involvement in the different outputs from the project.
The report summarizes and analyses the findings of the field work. It also provides recommendations on how to incorporate customary law governing natural resources into the governance of Ramsar sites in the country. On the basis of the recommendations and at the request of the government, the project also drafted two decrees – one national-level decree on management of Ramsar sites in Lao PDR generally, and one for the management of Xe Champhone Ramsar Site. This work complements Lao government research and opens the door for similar research in other parts of the country.