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FEATURE STORY

Lao PDR: Q & A - Scaling-Up Participatory Sustainable Forest Management Project

June 3, 2013

What is SUPSFM?

SUPSFM is the Scaling-Up Participatory Sustainable Forest Management Project. The primary objective of this project is to reduce carbon emissions through participatory sustainable forest management in priority areas and to pilot forest landscape management in four northern provinces in Lao PDR.

SUPSFM is a continuation and expansion of the Sustainable Forestry and Rural Development Project (SUFORD), which was implemented from 2003 to 2012. SUFORD covered 9 of Lao’s 16 provinces and 16 of the 51 Production Forest Areas (PFAs) of the country. SUPSFM will expand the coverage of PSFM from 16 PFAs under SUFORD to a total of 41 PFAs out of the 51 PFAs in the country. The 41 PFAs covered by SUPSFM have a total area of 2.3 million ha, or almost three-quarters of the total area of PFAs in Laos.

What does the project aim to achieve?

The project aims to achieve in the expansion of areas under approved Participatory Sustainable Forest Management (PSFM) plans, development and piloting of a Landscape approach to forest management, an increase in the number of people with monetary and non-monetary benefits from forest, decreased rate of forest cover loss, enhanced carbon storage from improved protection and forest restoration, and reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in project areas.

Who will benefit from the project?

The main project beneficiaries will be the communities involved in the implementation of PSFM in PFAs and Village-use forests in the forest landscapes covered by the Project. These communities will benefit from improved tenure security and expanded livelihood opportunities. District, province, and national forestry and other relevant government institutions and their staff will receive training and support from the Project. The Government will further benefit from improved quality of forest management, strengthened forest law enforcement and improved revenue collection.

How will the project be financed?

The total cost of the project is US$ 39.39 million. It will be financed by a US$ 19 million IDA grant, a US$ 12.83 million grant from the Forest Investment Program (FIP) under the Strategic Climate fund (SCF), and a contribution of US$ 7.56 million from the Government of Lao PDR (GoL). The Government of Finland is providing parallel financing for technical assistance in the amount of US$ 14.5 million.

What does the project consist of?

The project is comprised of four components, including (i) strengthening and expanding Participatory Sustainable Forest Management (PSFM) in production forest areas, (ii) piloting forest landscape management, (iii) enabling legal and regulatory environment, and (iv) project management.

How will the project be implemented?

The Department of Forestry (DoF) at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will be the implementing agency for the project. DoF is responsible for managing Production Forest Areas, village forests and non-timber forest products; designating areas for forest regeneration and commercial plantation and contributing to the monitoring of forest cover. DoF has responsibility for implementation of production related forest-sector policies and manages most of the forest sector technical data and expertise.

A National Project Steering Committee chaired by Vice Minister of Agriculture and Forestry will be established to provide policy guidance and enhance inter-ministerial coordination. The National Project Management Office (NPMO) will be established at DoF and will be responsible for overall project coordination and management, at the national and province level including financial management, procurement, monitoring and reporting. The NPMO will also be responsible for implementation of national level project components related to policy, legal issues, and forest sector monitoring. Provincial Project Management Offices will be established at province level under the Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office Chief.

The project teams supporting forest management and livelihood development will facilitate establishment of Village Forestry and Livelihood Committees (VFLC) in participating villages which will become the key institutional mechanism for all project activities. The VFLC will be led by the Village Head as Chairperson and will include a Deputy Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and representatives of women, elders, youth, and other village sub-sectors as members.

Where can I find official documents about this project?

In accordance with the Bank’s Access to Information policy, the full project paper was made available on our website immediately following approval by our Board.  All other relevant project documents have also been posted on our website, in accordance with all applicable policies. Upcoming project documents will continue to be made available on the Scaling-Up Participatory Sustainable Forestry Project webpage. Translations into Lao language may take a bit longer to be published compared to the corresponding English originals.