Our Landscapes | WWF

Our Landscapes

Central to WWF-Greater Mekong’s and indeed WWF-Laos’ vision for the country is working through a ‘landscape approach’. Landscapes are defined as large areas of land or water that share similar or interrelated ecological processes and characteristics, and together represent the most important areas for biodiversity in the world. Conservation here involves joining these areas of land together to maintain and improve ecological integrity for the benefit of wildlife and people.
 
WWF-Laos’ Strategic Plan for 2015-2020 includes two landscapes and three project sites. Read the information boxes below to learn a little more about them.
 
© WWF-Laos
WWF-Laos Landscapes and Priority Sites
© WWF-Laos

Mekong Flooded Forests Landscape

The Mekong Flooded Forests Landscape covers 18,848 km2 of Champassak and Attapeu provinces. It is a transboundary landscape shared with Cambodia and its most distinctive natural feature is the Mekong River, which runs through its centre. In Laos, this landscape provides the highest amount of fish consumed in the country and is home to the globally vulnerable Irrawaddy dolphin. WWF-Laos will work towards securing the integrity of the region by diversifying local livelihoods, building environmental awareness, and improving river management plans to guide sustainable, long-term planning.
 
© Adam Oswell / WWF-Canon
Mekong River within the Mekong Flooded Forests Landscape.
© Adam Oswell / WWF-Canon

Central Annamites Landscape

The Greater Annamites mountain range is an area of high biodiversity, unique endemism, and includes one of the largest continuous natural forest areas in continental Asia. It is also a place where deforestation and illegal logging are rife. The Central Annamites Landscape, shared with Vietnam, is therefore an attempt to bring successful conservation efforts over 10,858 km2 of core forest that is home to both humans and rare and threatened species such as the duoc and saola. WWF-Laos will bring partners together, including local communities, to rehabilitate, restore, and protect the forest through science-based conservation and livelihood improvement.
 
© Thomas Calame
Xe Sap NPA, the heart of the Central Annamites Landscape in Laos.
© Thomas Calame

Central Laos Priority Site

WWF’s Central Laos Priority Site covers areas of Bolikhamxay and Khammouane provinces. Here, community-based rattan forest conservation and fisheries co-management are carried out to ensure that biodiversity protection is balanced with equitable access to natural resources. Both FLEGT and GFTN projects also focus on this area to reduce illegal logging by strengthening sustainable and legal forest management, improving governance and promoting trade in legally produced timber.
 
© Simone Stammbach / WWF-Switzerland
Rattan forest in Bolikhamxay Province.
© Simone Stammbach / WWF-Switzerland

Savannakhet Priority Site

The Lower Mekong Dry Forests, spanning eastern Thailand, southern Laos, northern Cambodia and western Vietnam, form the largest continuous tract of dry forest remaining in mainland Southeast Asia. The landscape is home to a diverse range of threatened species including Eld’s deer, a globally endangered species endemic to the region. Habitat conversion and unsustainable land use is a threat to the ecological integrity of the sanctuary in which the deer lives. WWF-Laos seeks collaboration in land use planning, villager-led patrolling of the sanctuary, and the development of sustainable livelihood opportunities to reduce impacts to the deer and its habitat.
 
© Phaivieng Vongkhamheng / WWF-Laos
Eld's deer within the dry forest.
© Phaivieng Vongkhamheng / WWF-Laos

Nam Pouy Priority Site

Nam Pouy National Protected Area (NPA) occupies 1,912 km2 of montane evergreen forest in Xayabouly Province, northern Laos. Within its forest are between 40-60 Asian elephants, making this one of the most important populations in the country. Human-elephant conflict, illegal activities including poaching, and encroachment into the protected area are acute threats to elephants. WWF-Laos’ partnership with the Government of Laos seeks to restore and maintain the wild elephant population in Nam Pouy NPA.
 
© WWF-Laos
A lone elephant within Nam Pouy NPA.
© WWF-Laos