The Steering Committee of the project of Sustainable Forest Management in Northern Provinces of Lao PDR( SFM-NL) held its first meeting in Louang nam tha province, Lao on 14 November, 2014, with Thongphat Vongmany the Director General of Department of Forestry chairing. Over 50 officials and experts from the Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Nature Resources and Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and provincial project teams and Yunnan Forest Department as well as Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve of China attended the meeting.
The meeting announced the appointment of the Steering Committee, liaison officers at provincial level and district level were also assigned for the project. The Committee was composed of 14 members from the Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Nature Resources and Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute and Forestry agencies from three Northern Provinces. The members agreed to meet every year to provide oversight support and recommendations to the Project Management Office to ensure the smoothly implementation of the project.
The meeting heard the reports on the overall Work Plan along with the first Annual Work Plan, presented by the Project Management Office. Representatives from Oudomxay province, Louang nam tha province and Bokeo province, where three demonstration sites of the project located, were also reported on their Operational Plan for the first year. Discussion among the Committee revolved around the designing of activities, budget plans, expected outputs and communication methods, and guidance on the Work Plan revision was also given by the Committee.
The meeting noted that this project was proposed at the 9th ASEM Summit and successfully launched with support from China and Lao governments, and stressed that the project is of great importance for the enhancement of regional forestry cooperation and facilitation of transboudary biodiversity conservation. Members of the Steering committee hope the project would be a success and become a role model in terms of forest land use planning, effective forest restoration and forest management, law enforcement and transboundary conservation.
The project of Sustainable Forest Management in Northern Provinces of Lao PDR is funded by APFNet, with a aim to promote and facilitate the sustainable forest management in the three targeted provinces by exploring and demonstrating effective approaches on forest restoration and forest management, strengthening capacity on forest law enforcement, promoting trans-boundary cooperation on biodiversity conservation, and sharing the information and knowledge of best practices on forest restoration and rehabilitation.