Forests in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) cover about 40 percent of the country, the highest percentage in Southeast Asia. However, the total forest area has been declining dramatically in recent years—down from 70 percent of the land area in 1940. In addition to the decline in forest area, there has been a steady fragmentation of forest ecosystems and a decline in the average growing stock within the residual forest. This has reduced carbon stocks and had a negative impact on biodiversity and forest dependent people.
...the estimated tons of CO2 equivalent emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in 2010
The Government of Lao PDR recognizes its international responsibility to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as to conserve biodiversity and other forest resources. As a pilot country of the Forest Investment Program (FIP), Lao PDR aims to address the underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation. The FIP seeks to enhance a country’s ability to overcome barriers that have hindered progress on the sustainable management and protection of forest landscapes.
Lao PDR will use FIP resources to complement ongoing REDD+ initiatives such as focusing on strengthening legal and regulatory frameworks. Additionally FIP resources will be used to support actions at all levels (national, provincial, district) both in and outside of designated state forest areas.