Germany funds forestry protection project
The German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) has provided 4 million euros to the Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) project in Laos.
The project will run for seven years, from 2010-2017, with a focus on the national protected areas of Nam Pouy in Xayaboury province and Nam Et Phu Loey in Huaphan province.
A project agreement was signed in Vientiane on Friday by Department of Forestry Director General Dr Silavanh Sawathvong and GIZ Country Director Dr Petra Mutlu at a ceremony also attended by Ambassador of Germany to Laos Dr Peter Wienand and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Mr Sitaheng Rasphone.
The purpose of the project is to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of pro-poor REDD approaches in national protected areas in Laos, said Dr Silavanh.
Climate Protection through Avoided Deforestation has two cooperation modules. One is the financial module, amounting to 10 million euros, for which an agreement was signed in December last year.
The project is in line with the national forest policy and national socio-economic development plan, Dr Silavanh said.
“This will contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic living conditions of the resident rural populations.”
“We will do our best to make use of the funds as efficiently as possible,” he said.
Dr Silavanh said forestry development goals aim to increase the nation’s forest cover to 70 percent by 2020.
One effect of climate change is forestry resource reduction in hot areas, according to a report from the ministry.
Each year forested areas around the world decrease in size by about 14 million hectares, creating about 20 percent of total carbon emissions.
In Laos, expanding land use, logging and forestry degradation accounts for 70 percent of all emissions.
One goal of the project is to protect forests by promoting forestry allocation and forestry land for sustainable use, while improving local people’s living standards and reducing logging.
At present, industrialised countries are encouraging developing countries, particularly those with rich forestry resources, to implement initiatives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
Laos receives funding from several different countries to implement the REDD project, including US$20 million from the Japanese government and 14 million euros from Germany.
Laos is a member of the Forestry Carbon Partnership Facility and one of eight countries in the world selected to join the Forest Investment Programme.
Through the programme, Laos receives a budget of about US$33.4 million to address deforestation and forest degradation.
Source: Vientiane Tims
By Khamphone Syvongxay
April 4, 2011