Environment Protection Fund gives boost to natural resource management

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Environment Protection Fund is providing 10.122 billion kip for the preservation of natural resources in six target areas.

The funding will support environmental protection activities in Vientiane, Borikhamxay, Khammuan, Xieng Khuang, Luang Prabang and Savannakhet provinces.

The one-year project will also work with the National Academy of Politics and Public Administration in Vientiane with the aim of enhancing natural resources and social impact management, along with capacity building in the field of environmental protection.

The funding agreement was signed on Tuesday between the Fund’s Vice President Ms Bounphama Phothisane and officials from participating provincial agriculture and forestry departments.

The project will focus on protected areas and enhanced protection measures to preserve upper-forested watersheds in the six target provinces.

Under the agreement, these projects will ensure the proper dissemination of information relating to their activities and operations among local people.

Project activities will improve environmental protection by providing relevant data and information, raising public awareness, and educating citizens so they recognise the importance of the environment in their daily lives.

The projects include community management of the Phou Meud-Phou San Kheuan Provincial Protection Area in Vientiane province.

Other initiatives involve the administration of communities in the National Protected Area of Nam-Moune in Borikhamxay province, which is home to ample natural resources and valuable preserved wildlife habitats.

Project objectives include supporting the strict implementation of policies, laws and regulations concerning the environment, as well as enforcing the environment law in Savannakhet province, and managing other forest protection schemes.

These initiatives support the government’s reform agenda towards improved environmental management.

A senior project official with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said the Environment Protection Fund provides funding for the management of trails and land, protection of natural resources and preservation of wildlife habitats, and makes critical capital improvements concerning conservation.

The Fund also works to strengthen biodiversity conservation in district protected area management and provides support for communities in sustainable environmental management activities.

The provinces involved will provide information on the administration and protection of the natural environment to environmental experts, he said.

The Environment Protection Fund was established in 2005 as a financially autonomous organisation to strengthen environmental protection, sustainable natural resources management, biodiversity conservation, and community development in Laos.