WASHINGTON, May 31, 2013 – Today the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved a grant from the International Development Association to support the Scaling-Up Participatory Sustainable Forest Management (SUPSFM) Project. This project will build on progress achieved by the Government of Lao PDR in implementing participatory approaches to sustainable forest management.
Lao PDR is developing its strategy and program for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) to avoid the unnecessary loss of forests and increase carbon storage. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will implement this project in close partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Both agencies contribute to the Government of Lao's strategic vision to reduce emissions and conserve biodiversity in the nation’s forests, whilst simultaneously employing 75 percent of the Lao population in the forestry and agricultural sectors.
“The financial support approved by the World Bank’s Board of Directors today will help Lao PDR to further strengthen sustainable forest management and improve livelihoods for rural communities,” said Keiko Miwa, World Bank Country Manager in Lao PDR.
SUPSFM Project aims to support REDD+ related activities in Lao PDR by expanding community participation in forest management in priority areas and piloting forest landscape management in four northern provinces.
The project will be coordinated with a US$12.83 million grant from the Forest Investment Program’s Strategic Climate Fund. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Finland is also expected to provide parallel technical assistance worth approximately US$14.5 million. Together with the World Bank, the MFA will help establish internationally accepted systems to monitor, report, and verify reductions in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
“With support from the World Bank as well as other donors, the Government aims to extend Participatory Sustainable Forest Management (PSFM) to cover all remaining production forests by 2015,” said Peter Jipp, Sr. Natural Resources Management Specialist. “These efforts are designed to contribute to reducing emissions, strengthening tenure, and increasing community engagement in the management and planning of Lao’s forests.”
The Government's Forestry Strategy to the year 2020 aims to improve the quality and quantity of forested areas, and to generate a sustainable stream of forest products. SUPSFM will support these efforts by promoting payment for ecosystems services and will work closely with other Development Partners including the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility to develop environmentally sound and sustainable growth opportunities.