Department of Forestry and WWF-Laos Sign Agreement to Protect Forests and Biodiversity of Central Annamites Landscape
Officials from WWF-Laos and the Department of Forestry (DoF) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry kicked off the Laos side of an ambitious project to protect the forests and wildlife of Southern Laos and Central Vietnam during a ceremony on October 29, 2019 in Pakse City, Champasak Province.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is for a six year 3.3 million Euro (Laos side) project titled “Avoidance of Deforestation and Forest Degradation along the Border in Central Vietnam and Southern Lao PDR in Salavan and Sekong Provinces (Carbon and Biodiversity, Phase 2). It was signed at Alavanh hotel, Pakse City by Mr. Sangthong Southammakod, Deputy Director General of DoF and Mr. Somphone Bouasavanh, Country Director of WWF-Laos, in the presence of officials representing the central and the two provinces of Sekong and Salavan.
The Carbon and Biodiversity Phase 2 project (CarBi 2) is a transboundary project that contributes to the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of ecosystems and the conservation of biological diversity in the Central Annamites Landscape (CAL). Through innovative and transformational conservation interventions, CarBi 2 supports the governments of Laos and Vietnam to meet their obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The project area falls within the CAL mountain range, covering an area of about 300,000 hectares in the provinces of Salavan and Sekong in the South of Laos as well as in three Vietnamese provinces. Being one of the biggest contiguous natural forests in continental Asia, the region is a storehouse of rich biodiversity. In Laos, the project will help conserve the biodiversity and ecosystems in and around the forest complex of Xesap National Biodiversity Conservation Area. This will be achieved through improved natural resource management by key actors including civil society organizations and by reaching across borders to cooperate with Vietnam.
“The growing pressure from wildlife consumption, large-scale forest conversion, legal and illegal logging, poaching, overharvesting of natural resources and the impact of unsustainable infrastructure projects, threaten this world class landscape with widespread habitat and biodiversity loss,” said Somphone Bouasavanh.
“Our vision is to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature by supporting the Government of Laos to conserve forests and protect wildlife,” he added. “By implementing this CarBi 2 project, WWF-Laos hopes to bring not just effective nature conservation to the Central Annamites Landscape, but also improved livelihoods for the people who live there.”
The keys activities of the CarBi 2 include:
- Effectively expand and conserve the protected area network;
- Enhance the capacities of local actors to implement national policies and international regulations on illegal wildlife and timber trade, including CITES and Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT);
- Increase effective community engagement in sustainable natural resource management and protection;
- Develop sustainable financing mechanisms and promote to key decision makers.
The six-year EUR 3,309,877 project is funded by the German Development Bank KfW and is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) (established under a decision by the German Bundestag).
For more information, please contact:
Bounpone Sookmexay, Communications Manager, WWF-Laos
+856 20 5955 8034
About WWF-Laos: www.wwg.org.la