Focus on Laos
UN adopts historic 'land grab' guidelines
The United Nations has adopted global guidelines for rich countries buying land in developing nations. The voluntary rules call on governments to protect the rights of indigenous peoples who use the land.
It is estimated that 200m hectares, an area eight times the size of Britain, has been bought or leased over the past decade, much of it in Africa and Asia. But aid agencies warn it will be very difficult to ensure the guidelines are implemented everywhere.
It is hoped this new agreement will secure access to land, fisheries and forests for millions of poor people who have historically used the land. The document took three years to draw up and calls on governments to be transparent about land deals, consult local communities and defend women's rights to own land.
The guidelines can be found here
FLEGT Asia, EFI