The government plans to ensure that the Bolaven Plateau in the southern province of Champassak remains a clean agricultural area and maintains its green culture and tourist attractions in the face of development threats.
According to a government media release on Wednesday, a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith advised the Lao Economic Research Institute, which is in charge of the Bolaven Plateau integrated development plan, to improve the draft of the plan before resubmitting it to the government .
The key points that the cabinet meeting wanted the institute to include in the plan are that any development of the Bolaven Plateau must ensure that its natural beauty is sustained and protected.
The plateau should be the home of organic crop plantations, especially coffee, nature-based tourism, and organic crop processing plants.
While the government wants to encourage real estate development, it says building designs must incorporate Lao architecture, the media release stated.
The cabinet also urged the Lao Economic Research Institute to include in the plateau development plan a restriction on mining, saying the development of green areas should not include mining operations.
The plateau contains valuable mineral deposits including bauxite. A number of mining companies have expressed interest in extracting these minerals but coffee growers and local villagers are against such operations.