Ministry, German firm team up for biodiversity conservation
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the German consulting company GITEC Consult GmbH have agreed to partner in biodiversity conservation in southern Laos under a project set to run until 2018.
A cooperation contract was jointly signed yesterday by the ministry's Department of Forest Resource Management Director General Mr Khamphanh Nanthavong and the company's Agriculture and Rural Development Department Director Mr Peter Keil-Bruder.
The conservation initiative, named the GMS Biodiversity Conservation Corridor Project, is being implemented from 2011 to 2018 under grant funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) of US$20 million.
The project covers Dong Hua Sao, Xe Pian, Dong Ampham, and Xe Xap National Protected Areas in Champassak, Xekong and Attapeu provinces.
The project is the second phase continuation of the Biodiversity Conservation Initiative approved by the Greater Mekong Sub-Region leaders in 2005 in Kunming, China, and was piloted in these countries from 2006-2009.
In Laos, the project has been piloted in a corridor linking the Dong Hua Sao and Xe Pian National Protected Areas, covering 11 target villages in Pathoumphon district, Champassak province. The pilot was implemented under technical assistance from ADB.
According to a document from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the pilot was successful and effective.
The villages involved actively participated in land planning, marker pole installation in the corridor, forest restoration and conservation, livelihood improvement, small-size infrastructure provision, and farming activities.
The second phase of the project covers 69 villages in five districts. These are Pathoumphon district in Champassak province, Sanamxay and Phouvong districts in Attapeu province, and Dakcheung and Kaleum districts in Xekong province.
GITEC Consult GmbH will be responsible for providing consultancy services during the project.
GITEC is one of Germany's leading consulting companies in development projects. It has a history of more than five decades of professional experience in more than 120 countries and over 750 projects.
The company has already undertaken development projects in Laos, mostly related to vocational training programmes.
By Somxay Sengdara
(Latest Update May 29, 2012)