The recently published FFRC e-book “Futures Horizon to Sustainability Challenges of the Lao PDR 2050. Adaptive Foresight Thinking and New Futures Perspectives to Energy and Natural Resource Planning in the Lao People´s Democratic Republic” by J. Kaivo-oja, S. Jusi, J. Luukkanen, J. Panula-Ontto and K. Kouphokham focuses on energy and natural resource planning in Laos. The book presents some futures oriented analyses and discusses key long-run planning challenges of Laos´s energy economy and natural resource use. In the e-book these questions are linked to the Adaptive Foresight methodology, which have been used as general framework in interactive and participative FFRC’s Mekong projects and has found to have a high potential to help sector ministries and agencies to collaborate and integrate many planning activities in Laos. Co-operative practices and participative workshops of public administration are helpful for many experts and public agencies in Laos.
Economic development of Laos is based on resource-based production, fuelled by hydropower development for energy exports and mining, while about 90% of rural population lives on farming and resources provided by rivers and forests. The Laotian natural resources governance and development faces major challenges in the future as hydropower and mining development are increasing fast, and climate change, population growth and urbanization are on the future horizon. These developments will have major implications for the Laotian economy, people’s livelihoods, and the environment. The e-book provides updated and future oriented data on different sectors – economy, energy and natural resources to better correspond to these continuously changing and complex management contexts in Laos.
The e-book familiarizes the reader with major planning issues related to key trends, urbanization, demographic change, industrialization and capacity development of Laos. The book holds interest for all those who are keen to know about the management of energy, economy and natural resources and key planning challenges in Laos. The extensive analyses and scientific data of the eBook can provide policymakers, development practitioners and the research community in Laos and even in the wider region valuable data and guidance to support planning and policy- and decision-making in order to manage economic development and natural resources in a sustainable and effective way.
Sari Jusi & Jari Kaivo-oja
Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku