Topic: Large-scale investments into land: FOSS-GIS technology in the land management sector of Laos
Since the early 1990\’s Laos has increasingly opened up for foreign investors interested into natural- and land resources of the country in order to develop its market economy. This has lead to a strong upsurge of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and consequently to dramatic land-use changes. To get more control of these developments and to tackle potential land conflicts, the Lao Government (with support from international donors) has set up a nationwide inventory on land concessions. The inventory was conducted using QGIS as a user-backend and a PostGIS database to manage the complex informations related to the land concessions. The programming and implementation of the concession database has shown that it is possible to setup a sophisticated database management system with zero license costs and, using QGIS as a backend, no need to develop additional user interfaces for data entry. Once setup, the concession database application can be used by governmental staff after a couple of days training and being used as a powerful tool to spatially visualize and analyse the current situation of land concessions countrywide.