A two-day workshop by Lao National Radio and the Wildlife Conservation Association opened on March 16 in Vientiane Province to equip media professionals with knowledge of the action plan on the implementation of forest protection law and forest management.
Participants included journalists from provinces prone to forest exploitation and representatives of the FLEGT Standing Office.
“The objective of the meeting is to provide the media professionals with information on forest management, especially Decree No 15 of the Prime Minister, so that it can be disseminated to the public,” said Deputy Director of Lao National Radio Mr Vanxay Tavinyane.
In Lao PDR, deforestation and forest degradation are two main issues that the Government has prioritised and attempted to tackle for decades.
Forests are seen as invaluable resources to generate revenue for the state, support economic development, support livelihoods, mitigate climate change and protect wildlife and their habitats.
The drivers of forest loss in Lao PDR are illegal logging, the shifting of cultivation, forest conversions due to infrastructure projects, expansions of mining areas, plantations, and farming and settlements, among other practices.
In a response to these activities, the Lao PDR has recently joined the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, initiated by the European Union (EU) in 2003 to promote good governance in the forest sector. Furthermore, the EU FLEGT Action Plan aims to support economic development and the sustainable management of natural resources.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (via the FLEGT Standing Office under the supervision of the Department of Forest Inspection) leads the FLEGT process, partnering closely with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, as well as other government agencies, civil society organisations, academia, the timber processing industry, and other stakeholders.
Source: Lao News Agency