Press Releases

RECOFTC's strategic plan addresses forestry challenges in Lao PDR

The Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) faces significant challenges in its forestry sector, including the lack of capacity for law enforcement  of forestry policies and strategies, increasing pressure on sustainable forest use and unsustainable livelihood development for ethnic communities in rural areas. 

The forest cover in Lao PDR, which was targeted to reach 70% by 2025, currently stands at only 62%. Deforestation and forest degradation have become pressing issues due to challenges in improving policy and regulatory frameworks to address deforestration, high market demand for forest and agricultural products and lack of local community participation in forest management.

In response to these challenges, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has prioritized the implementation of Decree No. 11/PM issued by the Prime Minister's office. This decree, formulated in response to violations of the law on forestry in many provinces, emphasizes the strategic importance of protecting and preserving the country's natural resources. It outlines several measures,  including the reduction of forest-clearing for agriculture and illegal logging and logging. It also prohibits the exchange of timber concessions for projects such as road construction, school, hospital and irrigation construction and village electricity supply, unless special government permission is granted.

RECOFTC, an international organization with seven country offices in Asia including in Lao PDR, has launched their five-year strategic plan that will help address these issues effectively. Their strategic plan focuses on four interlinked goals: enhanced climate change adaptation and mitigation, improved gender equality and social inclusion, improved governance and respect for rights and increased economic benefits to communities in forest landscapes. 

At the plan’s launch in Lao PDR held on 14 December 2023, Mr. Phavanar Sombanpheng, Acting Head of the Village Forestry Division, stated that RECOFTC's strategic plan aligns with a key priority of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, specifically addressing climate change impacts and forest fire prevention. 

Mr. Bounyadeth Phouangmala, Country Director at RECOFTC Lao PDR, added that the strategic objectives of their plan are designed to address the pressing challenges in the forestry sector. “We are committed to working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and other stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of these strategies,” Phouangmala said.

RECOFTC strengthens capacities, rights and governance to ensure that local people can maintain and benefit fairly from sustainable forest landscapes. They plan to achieve their goals through training, partnerships, research, demonstrating landscape interventions, convening, advocacy and outreach, building on their strong relationships with governments, communities, businesses, CSOs and the academe. 


For all media enquiries, contact:
Chinda Milayvong, national communication officer, RECOFTC Lao PDR,

Mary Ann Llanza, director, knowledge management, information technology and strategic communication unit,

RECOFTC’s work is made possible with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.