The context of REDD+ in the Lao People's Democratic Republic: drivers, agents and institutions

Lestrelin Guillaume, Trockenbrodt Michael, Phanvilay Khamla, Thongmanivong Sithong, Vongvisouk Thoumthone, Pham Thu Thuy, Castella Jean-Christophe. 2013. The context of REDD+ in the Lao People's Democratic Republic: drivers, agents and institutions. Bogor : CIFOR, 52 p. (CIFOR Occasional Paper, 92) ISBN 978-602-1504-12-3

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Abstract : This report explores the drivers (both direct and indirect) of deforestation and forest degradation and discusses the political, economic and social opportunities and constraints that will influence the design and implementation of REDD+ in Laos. The government of Laos has long sought to curb deforestation and forest degradation, and the country is receiving considerable international attention and support to implement REDD+. However, agricultural expansion, the development of industrial tree plantations, and large hydropower, mining and infrastructure projects continue to result in deforestation, with shifting cultivation and selective logging (legal and illegal) largely blamed for forest degradation. At the same time, indirect drivers of deforestation and forest degradation are rooted in a national agenda of economic growth, characterized by incentives for foreign and domestic investment in forest management and timber harvesting. As a result, Laos is becoming an important resource frontier for transnational capital and large-scale land and natural resource investments. The consequent intensification of competition for resources poses a challenge not only for forest governance, but also for the development of REDD+ policies and initiatives. In an examination of the institutions and policies defining Laos� forestry sector and REDD+, the report reflects on lessons to be learned from past forestry and economic development policies. The government of Laos has demonstrated strong political interest in REDD+, but REDD+ implementation faces major obstacles, particularly unclear carbon rights and weak governance, with the latter attributable to poor local capacity, weak coordination among stakeholders, and minimal involvement by local communities and civil society. The report makes several recommendations for achieving effective, efficient and equitable outcomes of REDD+ in Laos: capacity building of administrative and technical staff, especially at the subnational level; clarification and harmonization of land-use planning and land allocation processes; and stronger monitoring and law enforcement in areas under high threat of deforestation and forest degradation. Furthermore, an accountable and transparent mechanism for sharing the benefits of REDD+ across levels and fully accountable consultation processes must be implemented, with the participation of not only elite and powerful actors such as domestic and foreign businesses but also local groups and civil society. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Politique de l'environnement, services écosystémiques, Déboisement, protection de la forêt, forêt tropicale, Forêt, Aménagement forestier, Abattage d'arbres, Politique forestière, Utilisation des terres, gestion des ressources naturelles, approches participatives, Communauté rurale, Montant compensatoire, Exploitation forestière

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : République démocratique populaire lao

Classification Agris : K10 - Forestry production
K70 - Forest injuries and protection
P01 - Nature conservation and land resources
E11 - Land economics and policies
E50 - Rural sociology

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 6 (2005-2013) - Agriculture, environnement, nature et sociétés

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Lestrelin Guillaume, IRD (LAO) ORCID: 0000-0001-6207-218X
  • Trockenbrodt Michael, National University of Laos (LAO)
  • Phanvilay Khamla, National University of Laos (LAO)
  • Thongmanivong Sithong, National University of Laos (LAO)
  • Vongvisouk Thoumthone, National University of Laos (LAO)
  • Pham Thu Thuy, CIFOR (VNM)
  • Castella Jean-Christophe, IRD (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0003-3532-0728

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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