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Laos receives 3.6 mln grant for forest protection


Laos receives 3.6 mln grant for forest protection

VIENTIANE, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Lao government has received a 3.6 million U.S. dollar grant to strengthen forest protection and management, according to a World Bank press release Friday.

The grant agreement was signed by the Lao government and the World Bank while the 3.6 million U.S. dollar grant was provided by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).

The grant will support the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 's Department of Forestry, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and other stakeholders who support sustainable forest management.

Since the FCPF Participants Committee approved Laos' Readiness Preparation Proposal in 2010 the government has been working on institutional framework for implementing Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) activities.

The grant is expected to catalyze work in the sector so that Laos will be increasingly eligible to participate in and benefit from future incentive payment programs. Such programs would further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the forestry sector.

According to World Bank, approximately 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation and degradation. Laos is already experiencing the negative impacts of climate change and loss of forests. Developing the means and strategic approach to save forests is crucial for mitigating the effects of climate change.

Reducing the loss of forestry resources is of vital importance for Asia and the Pacific where 780 million hectares of forests are found. In Laos, there are approximately 9.5 million hectares of forest.

The grant is part of the World Bank's continuing support to strengthen natural resource management though the Scaling-Up Participatory Sustainable Forest Management (SUPSFM) project.