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Center for People and Forests targets sustainable forest management

This article was originally published in the Vientiane Times and was authored by Vientiane Times staff writers.

The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) in cooperation with the Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, is continuing to push forward its 2018-2023 strategic plan towards sustainable forest management.

The strategic plan will focus on forest governance, forest landscape restoration, village forestry and climate change. 

The Center also seeks to engage issues at the landscape level by promoting multi-stakeholder discussions, improving governance systems, engaging with the private sector and emphasising equity and public action. 

By 2023, the plan is expected to help 4.8 million people in and near forest landscapes across the Asia Pacific to live more equitably and with greater empowerment to protect themselves against the injustices of poverty and environmental degradation. 

RECOFTC’s Country Programme Director, Mr Bounyadeth Phouangmala, said since 2011, the Center has been working to strengthen the capacities of local authorities and communities, enhance local livelihoods, supporting and contributing to policy formulation, planning, and implementation of the government’s strategy, which has produced substantial results.

Consequently, the new strategic plan would help to enhance the capacities of local communities as well as Lao government strategies and programmes in ensuring landscape forest management is equitable and sustainable.

RECOFTC has worked with the provinces of Xayaboury, Luang Prabang and Bokeo on a pilot model to encourage communities in response to a sustainable forest management strategic plan, Mr Bounyadeth said.

Senior Strategic Advisor of RECOFTC, Mr Ronnakorn Triraganon, said Laos has seen tremendous growth in regards to people-centred forestry, including a village forestry programme, but with the ever evolving issues of the region’s environmental predicament, more innovative approaches were needed.

SP Launch photo

The need and demand for sectoral collaboration and partnerships among various stakeholders is now crucial to ensure sustainable development goals for all.

Mr Triraganon believed the Center's new strategic plan for the next five years would be a good start in an expansive approach including landscape collaboration with multiple stakeholders which would allow for effective and novel approaches between RECOFTC and its partners.