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Laos Celebrates World Wetland Day 2023 with a Focus on Wetlands Restoration

The Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations celebrated the success of the Climate Change Adaptation in Wetland Areas in Laos project on World Wetland Day, February 2, 2023, with the theme “It’s Time for Wetlands Restoration”.

The event was held at the Sonkhone Secondary School and was attended by over 284 students who learned about the importance of wetlands and their rich biodiversity and natural resources.

The event was co-chaired by Mr. Vilaphonh Nuansengsy, Deputy Director General of the Department of Environment, Mr. Linthong Bounthamany, Songkhone Vice District Governor and Dr. Olayvanh Singvilay, Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The occasion marked the successful conclusion of 6 years of work of the Climate Change Adaptation in Wetland Areas in Laos project, supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which aims to promote the restoration and protection of wetlands in the Songkhone, Champhone and Xonnabuly district and beyond. This project has helped local communities in two important wetland areas of Laos, Xe Champhone Wetland in Savannakhet province and Beung Kiat Ngong Wetland in Champasak province, adapt to the impacts of climate change, disaster risk and contribute to the sustainability of their food security and livelihoods, by supporting the restoration and sustainable management of the broader wetland landscapes on which the community depends, and which also support the globally important Ramsar-designated wetland sites.

Wetlands are essential to our environment and provide vital ecological services such as native fisheries, water storage, carbon storage, wetland and forest products, grazing areas for livestock and habitat for many other species of plants and animals. Yet, they are being lost at an alarming rate due to human activities such as rice field expansion, deforestation, urbanization and other developments.

The World Wetland Day event at Sonkhone Secondary School aimed to educate students on the importance of wetlands and their role in community livelihoods. The activities included quizzes and games, with prizes awarded to participants, and a tree planting activity. The event provided a fun and interactive way for students to learn about wetlands and their significance, while also promoting reforestation and the restoration of wetlands.

This World Wetland Day event served as a celebration of the success of the Climate Change Adaptation in Wetland Areas in Laos project and the vital role wetlands play in maintaining a healthy planet. The project has provided support to local communities in Xe Champhone and Beung Kiet Ngong wetlands and promoted sustainable wetland management for a better future.

Source: Lao News Agency