Abundance, scarcity and the shifting role of natural resources

Authored by: Yayoi Fujita Lagerqvist

Routledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415625210
eBook ISBN: 9781315474892
Adobe ISBN: 9781315474885


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As Laos joins the global economy, natural resources have gained a new meaning and value as a source of investment capital and as assets to be realized as capital in their own right. This chapter reviews the ways in which natural resources have been portrayed and managed at different periods of history in Laos, and it highlights the increasing intensification of resource use for large-scale development. This, in turn, emphasizes the country’s growing resource scarcity, as the government prioritizes resource developments for national economic growth. Finally, the chapter reveals the detrimental effects of resource development on food production and rural livelihood.

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