Impacts of Forest-related Policies on Local People in the Phou Xang He Protected Area, Savannakhet Province, Laos

Policy Report

This report is one of the results of research conducted jointly by the Faculty of Forestry, the National University of Laos and the Forest Conservation Project, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (Japan) between September 2001 and March 2004. It aims to contribute towards developing effective village action guidelines (VAG), local policy guidelines (LPG), and sustainable forest management practices in national biodiversity
conservation areas (NBCA) in Laos. Field research was conducted on the land and forest use practices of the local people, and the impacts of implementing new forest policies were observed in three of the villages connected with the protected area. The progress of the
government’s land and forest allocation (LFA) program is very advanced in these areas, because it was implemented with local participation. Unfortunately, insufficient budget resources as well as low levels of capacity for implementation, including follow-up, have hindered proper implementation, and these are problems that need to be solved.
On the other hand, some beneficial impacts can be observed, such as a decrease in the land area used for swidden agriculture and a high awareness of the NBCA among the local people. It was found that effective forest management can be accomplished by implementing policies with consideration of existing land and forest use of the local