Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - AFD, EU strive to preserve Lao biodiversity




AFD, EU strive to preserve Lao biodiversity

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The initiative to protect biodiversity in Laos is being implemented by the WCS and financed thanks to a €5 million grant from the EU and a €1.5 million grant from AFD. Delegation of the European Union to the Lao PDR

AFD, EU strive to preserve Lao biodiversity

The EU in cooperation with Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) in Laos has agreed to provide €6.5 million ($7.7 million) in support to protect biodiversity and implement integrated management of biodiversity-rich areas in Laos.

This project is being implemented by the NGO Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and financed thanks to a €5 million grant from the EU and a €1.5 million grant from AFD.

The initiative will implement integrated management of three biodiversity-rich areas comprising Nam Et Phou Louey National Park, Huaphan province, parts of Borikhamsay province and the Xe Champhone Ramsar wetland in Savannakhet.

The agreement was signed at the Residence of France recently by EU ambassador to Laos Leo Faber and AFD director for Laos Matthieu Bommier, with French ambassador to Laos Florence Jeanblanc-Risler in attendance.

The ceremony was witnessed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s Department of Planning and Finance deputy director-general Dr Phommy Inthachack and the ministry’s Department of Forestry deputy director-general Santhong Southammakoth.

Bommier remarked that “The protection of biodiversity is a priority for AFD, particularly given the COP15 meeting [15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties] on biodiversity scheduled to take place in Kunming in early 2021”.

Further cooperation between the EU, AFD, WCS and the Lao authorities was in the interests of people and the environment, he said.

He noted that AFD has been financing a biodiversity protection project in the Nam Kading National Protected Area since the end of 2018.

Last year, AFD and the EU decided to extend their support to new areas distinguished by the richness of their biodiversity – Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park and Xe Champhone Ramsar wetland, he said.

He added that the project’s objectives include implementing an integrated landscape approach with communities and public administrations, but also supporting communities and farmers in their empowerment through the development of biodiversity conservation enterprises and involving the private sector in mitigating the social and environmental impacts of major investments and infrastructure projects.

Work will be carried out in parallel with local and central authorities to feed into national policies and strengthen the governance of protected areas in Laos, he said.

The EU ambassador said Laos is home to some world-class rainforests, with exceptional biodiversity, including hundreds of threatened species, making the country an evolutionary hotspot of diversity.

Faber added that Laos also boasts unique and globally significant biodiversity; the Greater Annamites has the highest concentration of endemic species for a continental area in the world and is ranked as one of the world’s 200 most important bioregions.

The establishment of Laos’ protected area system in the 1990s strongly represents the country’s unique biogeography, he said.

The network of National Protected Areas covers roughly 15 per cent of the country’s total land area, he said. Despite this extensive network of protected areas, the country’s forest estate and biodiversity have been strongly affected by human activities.

To promote better management of protected areas and secure the countries unique natural capital, he said, it is essential to develop technical, institutional and financial models that enable the enforcement of regulations, empower local communities to better steward natural resources, and engage private companies in green business practices that leverage conservation financing.

VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last