More than 80 teak plantation certificates issued to villages in Xayabouly province, through FLOURISH project
The certification process was supported by The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) in Lao PDR under its FLOURISH project. FLOURISH is one of the main projects supporting the government’s policy of promoting commercial plantations. These policies work to reduce natural forest harvesting and increase forest cover, which is in line with Lao PDR’s strategic forestry goals.
The government has encouraged individuals, entities and organizations to invest in commercial plantations and raw materials. The government has recently issued policies and guidelines on the proprietary process, credit schemes, exemption or reduction of land tax, the tax on timber and plant species, plantations, leasing of concessions, and technical and legal regulations.
When a planted forest is registered, it receives a certificate of ownership, which allows for the systematic use of the forest. The certificate facilitates the management and protection of the forest in accordance with the government’s policy and legislation on tree plantations for commercial purposes. However, the registration of plantations does not endorse the right to use and occupy the land.
In the past, registering forests as commercial plantations has created benefits and generated income for local people and entrepreneurs, but the management of forest and tree plantations still lacks support. With no support, these plantations fail to perform well, since there is no uniformity across the country.
In order to support the management, monitoring and application of plantations, and to provide better access to markets, the FLOURISH project collaborated with the provincial and district offices of the Department of Agriculture and Department of Forestry in Xayabouly. The partnership has resulted in the surveying of teak plantations and the issuing of teak certificates in 3 villages across 2 districts, including 85 plots and 57 families across 55.76 hectares.
In the future, RECOFTC will organize a teak working group to strengthen the capacities of owners to monitor, manage, and market their plantations. It will also strengthen their capacity to negotiate with the private sector. RECOFTC in Lao PDR will also develop working agreements between the communities and the private sector on production management and marketing.