Why Important?

Laos is a country replete with an incredible biodiversity. From the banks of the Mekong River to the forests of the misted Annamite Range, a living palette of natural wonder runs the length and breadth of this landlocked nation.
Around 49 ethnic groups and four language families also call it home. The way these cultures relate to nature is often coloured by beliefs and traditions that have been practiced for centuries.

Eighty per cent of Laos’ 6.5 million people, over half of which is under 20 years of age, live in rural areas making a living from natural resources mainly in the form of fisheries, agriculture, wildlife hunting and the harvest of non-timber forest products, such as honey or rattan.

Balancing Development & Conservation

Unprecedented economic development is underway in Laos and across the Greater Mekong region. The building of major roads, hydropower dams and growing natural resource extraction are just some of the activities that need to be planned and managed in an appropriate way if biodiversity and socio-economic development are to exist in a balanced manner.

WWF-Laos projects and day-to-day work is run with people in mind. Without the support and encouragement of communities, it would not be possible to reach success. However, WWF always understands that where people derive benefits from nature conservation, the best result is possible.

Why not read a little more about our projects that seek to improve local livelihoods while also protecting nature.

For People & Nature

© Bounheaung Khampa / WWF-Laos
WWF's rattan project assists people to earn an income from sustainable forest management.

The Mother River

© Fletcher &Baylis / WWF-Greater Mekong
The Mekong River, and many of its tributaries, are the lifeblood of over 60 million people in the Greater Mekong region. WWF-Laos works to ensure communities become stewards of healthy and biodiverse waterways.

Critical Places & Species

WWF’s work in Laos is based on a landscape approach. This model has been hailed as a comprehensive driving force towards conserving a large, safe and sustainable habitat for wildlife, with strategies for land use change, livelihoods and development policies implemented across its range.
We currently have several projects running in our Southern Laos landscape, more in central Laos, and one in Nam Pouy National Protected Area. You can read about them here.
© WWF-Laos
Map of our focus areas.
© WWF-Laos