Communist Laos has come late to the Asian economic boom but it’s now open for business. Investment is pouring in and resources like timber and rubber are pouring out – transforming the country and turning virgin forest into fields and plantations. But Laos is one of the last biodiversity hotspots in south east Asia and commercial development is chipping away at the country’s natural capital. Originally from Laos, Sam Say is a successful Hong Kong businessman searching for investment opportunities that won’t destroy his country’s heritage. He’s teaming up with botanist Dr Sounthone Ketphanh — Director of Lao’s Forest Research Center. Together, they’re on a mission to find out if the price of economic development is the loss of unique and valuable species and ecosystems. In the UN’s year of Biodiversity tve’s new Earth Report programme, Gambling on Laos travels with them to see if there could be another way.