Mekong Region Land Governance Project


ASEAN chairmanship spurs dialogue on Responsible Agricultural Investment in Laos

Small-scale agriculture plays a pivotal role in driving Laos’ rural economy, with vast untapped potential for growth. Realizing this potential requires proper investment and protecting agricultural land resources and the communities that rely on them. The Third National Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Responsible Agricultural Investment (RAI) was held at the Lao Plaza Hotel in Vientiane from September 28-29, addressing these critical issues and advocating for necessary policy reforms.

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Sustainable practices and community engagement key to new conservation initiative

In the picturesque village of Thuan Hoa, Dong Hoa commune, Tuyen Hoa district, Quang Binh province, an innovative conservation initiative was launched in April 2023. The Agriculture Forestry Business Production and Trachypithecus hatinhensis Conservation Cooperative aims to protect the endangered Trachypithecus hatinhensis, commonly known as the white langur, and their habitat in the region.

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Large scale cassava production

“Shifting Regulatory Regimes in Southeast Asia’s Agribusiness: From RSPO to ASEAN-RAI” – article explores the move towards sustainable investments in the region

The article on ARI Scope by Helana Varkkey, co-authored by MRLG’s Robert Cole, et al., discusses the shifting regulatory regimes of Southeast Asia’s agribusiness and plantation investments, specifically the shift from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to the ASEAN Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture, and Forestry (ASEAN RAI). The authors investigate the reasons for this shift and argue that the ASEAN RAI provides a more comprehensive and inclusive framework for promoting regional sustainable agribusiness and plantation investments. They compare the two regimes and highlight their respective strengths and weaknesses. The authors also discuss the difficulties encountered in putting the ASEAN RAI into action, such as a lack of institutional capacity and the need for effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. They conclude that the ASEAN RAI is a positive step toward encouraging sustainable and responsible agribusiness and plantation investments in Southeast Asia, but that more work is needed to ensure its effective implementation.

Download it on the ARI Scope website here:

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