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The struggle over Lao PDR’s forests: New opportunities for improved forest governance?

The forests of Lao PDR have dramatically diminished in recent decades. The main drivers of deforestation are changes in land use with forests being converted to agriculture, hydropower, mining and plantations. The main drivers of degradation are legal and illegal logging, especially salvage logging and pioneering shifting cultivation. Underlying drivers are poverty, weak governance and corruption, poor law enforcement and limited capacities as well as unclear, often contradictory legislation and the international demand for timber, rubber, food, electricity and minerals. The situation regarding forest governance, however, seems to slightly improve starting in early 2016. After years of little or no progress in terms of REDD+ the country prepared a proposal to receive performance-based payments which has been accepted into the FCPF Carbon Fund. Lao PDR also entered into the EU-FLEGT negotiations. A new government, which has been in office since early 2016, is increasingly trying to combat illegal logging and timber exports.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Reports, journal articles, and research papers (including theses and dissertations)
Language of document
  • English
  • Climate change
  • Deforestation drivers
  • Ethnic minorities and indigenous people
  • Forest cover reporting
  • Forest policy and administration
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
Copyright Yes
Access and use constraints

The Pacific Geographies (PG), ISSN 2196-1468, is the peer-reviewed semi-annual publication of the Association for Pacific Studies (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Pazifische Studien e.V., APSA). From 1992-2012 it was labelled Pacific News (ISSN 1435-8360). It is published through the Department of Human Geography of Hamburg University, Germany. It is an open access journal, all articles can be downloaded for free. PG is listed at the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). There are no submission or APC charges. The authors retain copyright. Copyright & Licensing: CC BY-NC-ND.

Version / Edition 2017
License CC-BY-NC-ND-4.0

Corresponding author: Sebastian Koch [] received his PhD in Geography from Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in 2012. Since early 2013 he is working with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH as a REDD+ advisor to the ‘Climate Protection through Avoided Deforestation (CliPAD)’ project in Lao PDR.

Author (individual) Sebastian Koch
ISSN number 2196-1468
Publication place Hamburg University, Germany
Publisher Pacific Geographies
Publication date 2017
Pagination 10
Keywords REDD+,FLEGT,forest governance,shifting cultivation,timber trade
Date uploaded July 24, 2018, 17:06 (UTC)
Date modified August 1, 2018, 03:07 (UTC)