As is the norm throughout the majority of the world’s nations, the population of Laos is growing. In many rural areas, people depend on the immediate natural resources for subsistence and ultimately survival. However, it is these communities that are often the most affected by biodiversity loss and environmental degradation.
WWF is committed to integrating these communities into the workings of our projects, for it is only with their support that successful conservation actions can be achieved.
But just partnering with people is not enough? What about their future?
In the Community Fisheries project, WWF works with local people to create and manage Fish Conservation Zones (FCZs), river areas where fishing is prohibited. Because of these zones, the fish population increases and the general health of the river ecosystem is improved all around the FCZ, meaning communities have more fish to catch in the greater area. These fish can then be used to feed families or sell at the market.
WWF’s Rattan Project too seeks to support communities through the sustainable harvest of rattan from the forest, which can be turned into craft goods for sale nationally and internationally. Therefore, we see sustainable forest management improving the livelihoods of the adjacent population.