WWF-Laos and NAFRI Close Phase-5 of the Sustainable Rattan and Bamboo Project, Discuss Expansion in Phase-6
On 26 February 2021, the World-Wide Fund for Nature in Laos (WWF-Laos) and the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) met in Paksan district, Bolikhamsay province to close Phase-5 of the Sustainable Rattan and Bamboo Production and Harvesting Project.
WWF-Laos and NAFRI were joined by representatives from the Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office (PAFO) of the three provinces covered by the project and other partners to review the achievements and project implementation to date.
This phase of the project was implemented in Bolikhamsay, Salavanh, and Sekong provinces between 2018-2020, with activities conducted in 28 villages. The overall objective of the project is to expand and strengthen sustainable forest management and certification in both natural forests and plantations for improved livelihoods, forest cover, and biodiversity.
The meeting was co-chaired by Loris Palentini, Country Director of WWF-Laos, and Ms. Chay Bounphanousay, Director General of NAFRI.
The conclusion meeting highlighted the PROJECT’S KEY ACHIEVEMENTS, WHICH INCLUDE:
- 10,949 ha of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified rattan forest in two villages in Bolikhan district, Bolikhamsay province maintained.
- Over 50,000 rattan seedlings produced by the villagers and over 30,000 rattan seedlings provided by the project to villagers for cultivation and rattan forest enrichment.
- A total of 30,578 ha of rattan and bamboo forest placed under community forest management across the three provinces.
- Almost 300 households benefited from rattan nursery and plantation.
- The rattan harvesting quota process supported.
- 24 tons of FSC certified rattan sustainably harvested and supplied to the CoC certified rattan SMEs.
- Eight village handicraft groups established for woven rattan and bamboo products.
- Six business links created between the handicraft groups and traders.
- 28 villages trained on forest conservation and management.
- Five villages involved in land-use planning.
- 3,740 households deriving benefits and income from rattan (665 households receiving direct financial benefit).
- Around 1,610,000,000 LAK (about 161,000 USD) in income generated across 3,740 households through the sale of handicrafts, sustainably harvested rattan cane, rattan seeds and seedlings, and rattan and bamboo shoots throughout the course of the project.
THE KEY ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT UNDER PHASE-5 INCLUDE:
- The development of a bamboo and rattan policy framework in Lao PDR to enable the growth of FSC-certified bamboo and rattan businesses that benefit local livelihoods.
- Empowerment of communities in sustainably managing forests rich in bamboo and rattan in target villages.
- Capacity building for rattan and bamboo producers, processors, and traders to match international standards and promote FSC certified products internationally, regionally, and locally.
The meeting also included a discussion on the expansion of the project in Phase-6 to two new provinces - Champasak and Attapue - over a 5-year period between 2021-2025.
WWF-Laos is looking forward to working with NAFRI and the PAFO of the five provinces in promoting the sustainable use of rattan and bamboo for the benefit of communities and biodiversity.
The project is supported by IKEA, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).