Korean govt supports green development in Laos

The Republic of Korea has, for about 10 years, been supporting the Lao government’s efforts to expand green areas in the country through reafforestation and forest protection and has now committed to continue following the signing of a new agreement.

The signing was done at the 4th Dialogue meeting for the establishment of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organisation or Dialogue-AFoCO in Vientiane which took place on September 30 to October 1.

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Korea will support forest protection at an initial cost of about US$2 million in conducting works on rehabilitation, sustainable forest management and green growth development.

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Mr Vilayvanh Phomkhe mentioned at the meeting on Tuesday morning that the current situation for forestry in Laos, based on Food and Agriculture Organisation standards, showed that over 67 percent of the land area is covered in forest.

Forests have a very real value for both rural and national development, for the well being of the people through the provision of a constant and consistent flow of environmental goods and services and for the maintenance of natural biological diversity.

“However, we are facing many threats in terms of deforestation and degradation of forests and ecosystems,” Mr Vilayvanh added.

The two days of the Dialogue-AFoCO meeting in Vientiane have involved consulting on cooperation in forestry between Asia and Korea.

Asean members signed agreements with Korea to establish cooperation on AFoCO in 2011, with Korea providing some financial support for the Asean countries carrying out the project.

The programme covered by the project involves forest rehabilitation, forest plantation, sustainable forest protection, environmental management, forest personnel building and sharing ideas on how to strengthen the cooperation among Asean member countries and the Asian region.

Because of the success of the previous projects, particularly the rehabilitation and protection of forests, the Republic of Korea has expanded its involvement to running projects in Asean countries for two more years until 2016.

Both Asean and the Republic of Korea see that the amount of natural green areas in Asia have to become bigger, so the Dialogue-AFoCO partners have invited four more countries in the region to join, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Bhutan and Timor, who will become part of the green zone in the organisation’s logo and help to build Asia into a green zone as well.

AFoCO will strengthen its internal cooperation and will give an opportunity to other countries in Southeast Asia and Asia generally to explore practical ways for effective forest rehabilitation and help move towards sustainable forest management, which will help to address global environmental issues like climate change.

Source: Vientiane Times
Published on October 01, 2014