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Lao: Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development - II

       The Lao: Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development II (SUFORD II) is part of a 11-year program being implemented over two phases. Originally approved in June 2003, the closing date of the second phase of the project has been extended to December 31, 2011. SUFORD aims to achieve the sustainable management of natural production forests to alleviate rural poverty in the already existing Production Forest Areas (PFAs) of Khammouane, Savannakhet, Saravane, and Champasack provinces along with an additional eight PFAs in Xayabury, Vientiane, Bolikhamxay, Attapeu, and Sekong.  

     Lao PDR is the most densely forested country in mainland Southeast Asia with forests covering 41 percent of the total area. Forests are an important economic resource generating employment, local and national budget revenues, export earnings and inputs to domestic timber processing. They also protect a large part of the country's biodiversity which is of global importance. Since greater community involvement is needed to ensure quality forest resource management across the country, the project aims to transfer responsibility for management, control, and decision making to local communities and on choices between timber and non-timber products and services of forests. The additional financing of this project is funded by the World Bank and the Government of Finland.

paddy rice cultivation 

Paddy rice cultivation in front of karst rock formation in Bolikhamxay Province in Lao PDR. Rice production is the main agricultural activity in this country which is described as one of the poorest in the world.


hauling logs


Hauling valuable logs from the forest in an old truck. A common sight in the country's rich and diverse forests.

Low semi-green forest


Sustainable swidden agriculture in semi-evergreen forests in the southern uplands of Lao PDR.

Traditional Longhouse 1 Traditional longhouse of the Harak ethnic group in the Sekong Province. These longhouses are simply extended by lengthening the single room as the family expands.
 Longhouse 2 - Lao SUFORD Traditional longhouse of the Harak ethnic group in Sekong province . Designs vary, but the basic structure remains the same.
 Drying tobacco Drying fresh tobacco in the sun. One of the principal non-rice crops grown in the country.
 Valuable log - Lao SUFORD A valuable log, ready to be transported for sale . Illegal logging is widespread in Lao's lush forests.
 Intact dry forest Intact dry Dipterocarp-mixed seasonal forests in southern Lao PDR.
 Harvesting products Women harvesting forest products. Forests are an important resource generating employment. However, extensive harvesting of forest products is leading to an imbalance in its biodiversity. 
 Temporary settlement Temporary settlement of swiden agriculturists for upland rice cultivation. Rice is the main crop cultivated in this country.
 Hut - Lao SUFORD This charming hut-like residence on stilts is a traditional house of the Brao ethnic group in Attapeu Province.
 Women1 - Lao SUFORD Harak woman with baby. Agriculture employs about 80% of the total workforce, with women making up more than half (54%) of the agricultural workforce.
 Women 2 - Lao SUFORD 

Brao woman with baby. Women’s role and contribution in agriculture is often neither fully visible nor properly valued.  


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