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Germany continues support for Lao biodiversity protection

The government of Germany has agreed to continue financial support of EUR 6.2 million to implement the second phase of the Protection and Sustainable Use of Forest Ecosystems and Biodiversity (ProFEB) project in Laos.
Representatives of the Lao and German governments yesterday signed the technical implementation agreement to promote good forest governance, effective management of protected areas and environmental education.
The project will be implemented until March 2021 focusing on supporting the government of Laos in negotiating a partnership agreement with the EU on the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.

The agreement sets out the legal obligations and the measures to be taken by both parties to combat illegal logging and improve governance in the forestry sector.
Other aims of the project include supporting the UNESCO transboundary World Heritage nomination of Hin Nam No jointly with Vietnam, and collaborative management and sustainable tourism sector development of the Hin Nam Nor region as a model for other protected areas in Laos and beyond.
Increasing knowledge of and fostering more positive attitudes towards the environment and biodiversity among the local population and representatives of authorities are also on the agenda.
The project links capacity development support in the field of environmental education at national level through dissemination of information and ‘on-the-job-training’ in the provinces, districts and villages.
While the lead executing agency is the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the project is working in close collaboration with Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, and the government offices of Boualapha district, Khammuan province.
The project is being implemented together with the GesellschaftfuerInternationaleZusam-menarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German government.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Thongpath Vongmany emphasised the agreement reflected the ongoing commitment and strengthened bilateral cooperation between the governments of Laos and Germany.
“During the first phase from 2017 to 2019 supported by the project, Laos made tangible progress towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals especially with respect to biodiversity protection. Working together, authorities and non-state actors have improved conditions for the sustainable management of forest resources and biodiversity,” he said.
German Ambassador to Laos, Mr Jens Lutkenherm said the project would continue strengthen-ing the capacity of the Lao government, private sector and civil society actors to use the country’s forests more sustainably and protect them more effectively.
This also will help to establish conditions that allow the people of Laos to benefit from intact ecosystems.
This second phase of the project builds on the results of the predecessor project which has laid the foundation for the negotiations on a partnership agreement on FLEGT between Laos and the EU, for the implementation of a participatory management system and World Heritage nomination of Hin Nam Nor National Protected Area together with Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam as well as for improvements in capacity for implementing environmental awareness raising for the project’s government and civil society partners.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update December 12, 2019)

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