Laos, Germany continue support to biodiversity protection

(KPL) The governments of Laos and Germany have agreed to implement the 2nd phase of the project “Protection and Sustainable Use of Forest Ecosystems and Biodiversity (ProFEB)”.

This agreement entails a German contribution of up to EUR 6.2 million with the aim to promote good forest governance, effective management of protected areas and environmental education.

The signing of the technical implementation agreement by the Department of Forest Inspection and Department of Forestry (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry), Department of Heritage (Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism), Department of Environmental Quality Promotion (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment), Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office of Khammuan Province, Governor Office of Boualapha District and GIZ took place in the presence of Mr. Thongpath Vongmany, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Jens Lutkenherm, German Ambassador to Laos and representatives from the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Thongpath Vongmany emphasized: This agreement reflects our on-going commitment and strengthened bilateral cooperation between the governments of Laos and Germany.

During the first phase from 2017 to 2019 supported by the project, Laos made tangible progress towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals especially with respect to biodiversity protection. Working together, authorities and non-state actors have improved conditions for the sustainable management of forest resources and biodiversity”.

Ambassador Lutkenherm said: “We congratulate the Lao government on how much progress has been made towards our joint goals, which Germany supports. The project will continue strengthening the capacity of the Lao government, private sector and civil society actors to use the country’s forests more sustainably and protect them more effectively. This will help to establish conditions that allow the people of Laos to benefit from intact ecosystems”.

This second phase of the project builds on the results of the predecessor project which has laid the foundation for the negotiations on a partnership agreement on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) between Laos and the EU, for the implementation of a participatory management system and World Heritage nomination of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam as well as for improvements in capacity for environmental awareness raising for the project’s government and civil society partners.

The project focuses on the following areas: 1) Supporting the Government of Laos in negotiating a partnership agreement on FLEGT. The agreement sets out the legal obligations and the measures to be taken by both parties to combat illegal logging and improve governance in the forestry sector:

2). Supporting the UNESCO transboundary World Heritage nomination of Hin Nam No in joint with Vietnam, and collaborative management and sustainable tourism sector development of the Hin Nam No region as a model for other protected areas in Laos and beyond;

3). Increasing knowledge of and fostering more positive attitudes towards the environment and biodiversity among the local population and representatives of authorities. The project links capacity development support in the field of environmental education at national level through dissemination of information and ‘training-on-the-job’ in the provinces, districts and villages. While the lead executing agency is the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the project is working in close collaboration with MONRE, MICT, and the government offices of Khammuan province and Boualapha district.

The project is implemented together with the Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German government.

This second phase of the project will be implemented through March 2021.

Source: Lao News Agency