The Vision of the present cross-sectoral Forestry Strategy 2020 (FS2020) establishes that by 2020, the Government of the Lao PDR envisages a sizeable, vigorous and robust forestry sector continuing in its role as one of the leading sectors advancing national socio-economic development. A sector in which scientifically-managed natural production forests generate timber and non-timber products at sustainable levels with village participation, under supervision and technical support from well-staffed, well-trained local and national government units. Alongside the natural production forest system, large areas of commercial tree plantation in the hands of farmers, villagers and forestry companies will, through domestic wood and non-timber forest products (NTFP) processors, provide products for both export and domestic use. Furthermore, the Government has set two special major national development goals to be achieved by 2020. The first is to graduate from least developed country status, the second to eradicate poverty. Development of the forestry sector and implementation of sustainable forest management are key elements supporting these objectives. The National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy (NGPES) clearly recognizes the important roles of sustainable forest management for poverty alleviation through village forest management including NTFP processing and sales and water/soil conservation, small scale tree growing, participatory production forest management and so on.The overarching objective supported by improved forest policy and management is poverty eradication. A significant proportion of the Lao population live within or around forested (or previously forested) areas. Such people make up the majority of the poorest sections of Lao society, including many impoverished ethnic groups. A major part, if not all of their livelihood and income-generating activities are related to utilization of forest products for self-consumption or sale. Forestry is therefore crucial for improving their livelihoods.In particular, the major objectives of forestry sector development are: 1) to build capacity of government organizations and concerned parties for implementation of FS 2020; 2) to control and correct various actions which lead to deterioration of forest resources in terms of both quantity and quality and at the same time for livelihood improvement of poor farmers in rural areas and for protection of forest cover; 3) to develop and enforce laws and regulations related to forest; 4) to ensure sustainable management of production forests with participation of local people and to promote commercial tree planting by individuals, groups, organizations, small and medium scale companies and foreign and national investors with government providing policies; 5) to take a balance between wood processing industries and wood volume approved annually for harvest based on scientific calculation and to strongly promote domestic processing of finished products; 6) to contribute to conservation of forest ecosystems, habitat and all plant and animal species in danger of extinction; 7) to protect soil, watersheds and environment and to secure durability of important infrastructure by forest conservation; 8) to use revenue from forests in most effective ways for development of economy and other sectors according to government’s priority development plans to contribute to poverty eradication; 9) to ensure sustainable management of NTFP and their contribution to livelihood improvement of rural villagers.The major sector targets, which must be achieved to contribute to poverty eradication, are: 1) to improve quality of existing forested area, which are about 70% of the total land area, by naturally regenerating up to 6 million ha and planting trees up to 500,000 ha in unstocked forest area as an integral part of a rural livelihood support system encompassing stable water supplies and prevention of natural disasters. 2) to provide a sustainable flow of forest products for domestic consumption and to generate household income through sale and export, thus contributing to livelihood improvement, fiscal revenue and foreign exchange earnings whilst increasing direct and indirect employment. 3) to preserve the many species and unique habitats, which are, for different reasons, threatened both within the country and elsewhere; 4) to conserve environment including protection of soil, conservation of watershed and climate.Part 3 concerns Status and Issues and lays down provisions on Land use change and underlying causes. It suggests that the most basic factors are widespread poverty and rapid population increase amongst the rural population, who are, as a result, obliged to practice forms of cropping resulting in deterioration or destruction of forest. Moreover, Part 3 addresses Ownership of land and forest and establishes that the State ensures the right to use, transfer and inherit land owned by the national community in accordance with written law (Constitution, art. 17). In urban and peri-urban areas, land titles, ensuring long-term use rights, including transfer and inheritance, have been issued to residential, agricultural and commercial landowners. Part 3 contains also provisions on NTFP Sector Development arguing that currently, there are few government officials responsible for NTFP development and these are split among a number of agencies with limited capacity, in terms of both human resources and equipment, to undertake the tasks required. Therefore, implementation of policy regulating marketing and development of NTFP resources will require substantial capacity building both within Government and with respect to other stakeholders, including villagers, traders and processors. 3) Completing decentralization process or bottom-up planning and implementation system and capacity building, especially at local level.Part 5.2.9 on Village Land and Forest Management contains a section on Enhancement of Village Based Forest Management as an Integral Part of Rural Livelihoods (188.8.131.52.) promoting equitable use as follows: Assist villagers in formulating village land and forest management plans on the basis of overall land use plans and focussing on sustainable and equitable use of common land and forest resources, maintenance/rehabilitation of village watershed areas, income generation, etc.Part 5.3.5 addresses gender issues suggesting, inter alia, the following: 1) Promote gender-sensitive approaches in all activities related to management and utilization of forests and forest land; 2) Develop gender sensitive methodologies, technical guides and best practices regarding the management of trees and forests in fragile areas; 3) Carry out more socio-economic research and analysis of the impacts of forestry projects on Gender; 4) Ensure a more equitable share of responsibilities in natural resource management, equitable access to resources (education, extension, training and production inputs such as credit and financial services); 5) Enhance gender responsive training curriculum in the education system; 6) Increase opportunities on representation and participation of women in decision making at all levels, including the availability of appropriate technical knowledge and skills; 7) Support income generating activities for improving women livelihoods through forest related projects.Part 6 lays down provisions relating to implementation, monitoring and evaluation mechanism for FS 2020. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) shall be assigned as the lead agency for overall coordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of FS 2020 with the Forestry Department functioning as the Secretariat. It will be authorized to coordinate with concerned Ministries, local administrative authorities and other stakeholders for implementation of relevant proposed actions and to convene meetings of concerned Ministries and other stakeholders for facilitation of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of FS 2020. This Part addresses also the following aspects: Implementation framework for the proposed actions (6.1); Institutional arrangement for Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation .(6.2); Source of fund for implementation (6.3); International dialogue (6.4); Promotion of domestic and international investment in the forestry sector (6.5).The text consists of 6 Parts as follows: Introduction (1); Overview of Forests and Forestry (2); Status and Issues (3); Forestry Sector Objectives (4); Priority Policy, Programs and Action (5); Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism for FS 2020 (6).
Implemented by: Agriculture Development Strategy to 2025 and Vision to 2030. (2015-05)
Implements: Forestry Law, 1996. (1996-10-11)
Implements: Constitution of Laos. (1991)
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