Status of Community Based Forest Management in Lao PDR
This literature study, conducted under a collaborative framework between NAFRI and RECOFTC, was developed to analyze the status of community contribution to forest resource management in Lao PDR and the modes and extent that communities are or have been involved in the different applied models. The report aims to give an overview of community based forest initiatives up to now, analyze lessons, challenges and opportunities and give guidance for future work. The report can be used to guide the development of community based forestry programs within the country as well as in other countries in the region.
In this report, the various forest management initiatives have been broadly distinguished according to degree of involvement of villagers in forest management. Ownership types, functions of the forests, arrangement of responsibilities of partners and benefit sharing systems are other factors that have been looked at. From this, the report classifies forest management in Lao PDR into the following types:
1) Participatory forest management;
2) Collaborative forest management;
3) Traditional forest management systems;
4) Community based forest management for ecotourism;
5) Smallholder plantations; and
6) Industrial plantations. Under each of these types, the report gives an overview of the different initiatives - such as the Forest Management and Conservation Project (FOMACOP), the Lao-Swedish Forestry Programme (LSFP), the Sustainable Forestry and Rural Development Project (SUFORD) etc. - draws out the main components of each initiative and analyses strengths, weaknesses and lessons regarding people’ participation.