A progressive part of protected area management program in Lao PDR is a land and forest allocation program which contains critical elements that delegate right of land and forest use to local people. This study analyzes the gap between the original intent of the program and its actual implementation by local officials in Phou Xang He protected area, and discusses policy issues that need to be addressed. It appears that several types of non-compliance with regulations by local people have occurred, with local officials tacitly ignoring infractions. By switching viewpoints, however, it appears that the local officials permit these infractions as a way of allowing local people to secure their livelihoods. As constraints on the realities of land and forest use vary widely in and around villages in different locales, there is a need for government to allow local officials flexibility in implementing policies.
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