Laos is a country in transition to a market economy, and specific features concerning the forestry sector there include (1) the development of mechanisms to implement a new legal system governing forestry, and (2) recent actions and trends in efforts to transfer the responsibility of forest management to the local people.
The promotion of participatory forest management will support the efforts of the government of Laos, especially its programs to clarify the responsibility of forest management, to implement the forest law, and to conduct an integrated village resource management program, which includes forest and land allocation, land-use planning, rehabilitation activities, and sustainable management of non timber forest products (NTFPｓ).
Field research was carried out at two sites for the purpose of developing guidelines: one in Savannakhet Province, an area rich in forests; and the other in Oudomxay Province a forest-poor area where swidden agriculture is practiced. The research included examining local administrative efforts.
The aims of this interim report are to disseminate the results of activities of the first and second fiscal years of this phase's research on Laos, and to provide the basis for discussions on developing guidelines for participatory forest management.