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Published on Sep 21, 2011
The fast-growing economy of Lao PDR is largely based on its wealth of natural resources. Large parts of investments are in the natural resource sectors of hydropower, mining and agriculture. Foreign Direct Investments have been a key component for the economic development of Laos over the past decade. This has generated needed government revenues and helped to reduce poverty.
But this increasing demand has also put pressure on Lao PDR's natural resources and has led to a loss of natural ecosystems and in some areas to a dramatic change in land use. The large majority of rural Lao people depend on natural resources for their food and incomes and they are vulnerable to impacts from investments. Effective measures to prevent or mitigate negative social and environmental impacts are not yet in place or need to be strengthened.
The Poverty-Environment Initiative works with the Government of Laos to improve the management of investments. PEI supports institutional capacity building and helps developing practical tools for investment management. The aim is to ensure that private investments generate maximum benefits for local economies. But also that at the same time social and environmental safeguards are in place to minimize their impacts.