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By Silavanh Sawathvong


The abundant natural resources of Lao.PDR, especially land, water, and forests, \ud provide a strong foundation for national development. While much of the forests in \ud the region have already been seriously degraded or destroyed, about 4 7 percents of the \ud total land area in Lao.PDR is still under forest cover. It provides critical habitats and \ud important refuges for many threatened and endangered species and also provides a \ud vital source of subsistence and cash income for an impoverished rural population. \ud In an effort to tackle the issue in a holistic manner, a protected areas system was \ud established in 1993. In the Lao context it is called "National Biodiversity \ud Conservation Areas"(NBCA). Under this strategy, protection efforts in the field are \ud linked to land use planning (LUP), land allocation (LA), and livelihood improvement \ud with communities residing adjacent to or within the protected areas. In general a \ud procedure for LUP and LA at the village level has been developed and adopted by the \ud government. It involves the delineation of village management areas and forest-land \ud use zones for which management rules are prepared with the community. \ud The need to develop appropriate LUP and LA procedures and methods for NBCA \ud management has therefore increased in importance. The main objective of this \ud research is to identify and test feasible approaches for implementation of NBCA \ud program that could balance the objectives of the government, local villagers and other \ud stakeholders. \ud The case study was undertaken in Nam Pui NBCA which is located in the northern \ud part of Lao.PDR. Two villages were studies e.g. Ban Vangphamone, 6379 ha with \ud 236 inhabitants situated inside and Ban Phongsack, 4914 ha with 594 inhabitants \ud situated adjacent to the NBCA. \ud In order to obtain holistic and accurate data and information, different types of \ud techniques we are applied such as Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA), Participatory Rural \ud Appraisal ( PRA), local knowledge, point sampling, village dialogue. Finally, a \ud simulation model called "Area Production Model"(APM) was used for historical and \ud future period scenarios on future development and conservation . \ud The integrated approach for capturing data and information was flexible and the \ud different techniques complementary to each other which brought the planner close to \ud the reality. APM was found to be a suitable tool for land use planning as well as land \ud use monitoring. The output was a base document to be used by villagers and other \ud stakeholders in a dialogue to agree on NBCA management practices. \ud The finding of the study supported the idea that sustainable natural resource \ud management must be economically viable, ecologically viable and socially \ud acceptable. Thus, during all steps in the land use planning and land allocation process, \ud care should be taken to use approaches and methods which involve the people in \ud decision-making. The village agreements and conservation rules developed must \ud therefore contain management activities which the people understand and can manage \ud as well as activities which support government policy and objectives

Topics: Forest, Land, Planning, Nam Pui National
Publisher: SLU/Dept. of Forest Resource Management
Year: 2000
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