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Dr Phet Phomphiphak (right) represents the Lao government to sign the project agreement with the representative of Swiss government in Vientiane.

Swiss govt funds land management project

The Swiss government has agreed to fund a landmark project worth US$4.5 million to promote sustainable land management and investments for climate-resilient livelihoods.
The project agreement was signed in Vientiane recently to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Laos and the Swiss Confederation.
The Sustainable Land Management and Investment for Climate-Resilient Livelihoods project will be executed by Switzerland’s Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern, in collaboration with the Lao government.
The Centre for Development and Environment has been a longstanding partner of Switzerland in Laos.
The project’s mission is to assist the Lao government in enhancing land management, advocating for quality investments in sustainable land management, and strengthening knowledge, capacities and processes for the benefit of the most vulnerable communities.
Current land use practices, driven by private investors and individuals, have contributed significantly to economic growth and revenues.
However, they also carry the risk of unsustainable practices, including loss of land use rights for rural populations, large-scale monocropping and excessive agrochemical inputs.
These practices have resulted in challenges to the livelihoods of rural farmers, environmental pollution, and a sharp decline in soil fertility, primarily due to their short-term focus.
In addition, climate change, marked by floods, heavier rainfall, and extended drought periods, is exerting additional pressure on land.
The Sustainable Land Management and Investment for Climate-Resilient Livelihoods project aims to provide vital information to the Lao government regarding unsustainable land investments and their combined impact with climate change, which poses a threat to the livelihoods of rural populations.
The government is committed to fostering economic growth that is efficient, clean, comprehensive, inclusive, fair, and resilient to climate change as well as global economic uncertainties.
Consequently, they have sought Switzerland's assistance to build upon the successful outcomes of past projects, including Knowledge for Development and Lao Decide Info, to support the realisation of these goals.
The new Sustainable Land Management and Investment for Climate-Resilient Livelihoods project seeks to further support the government in its pursuit of a green growth strategy, including scientific research to inform decision-making for sustainable land governance and management.
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Dr Phet Phomphiphak said the project aligns with the government’s Agriculture Development Strategy to 2025 and its Vision for 2030.
The Ambassador of Switzerland to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, M. Pedro Zwahlen, reiterated Switzerland's commitment to supporting Laos on its path towards sustainable and inclusive development, emphasising that investments in sustainable land management and climate-resilient livelihoods play a crucial role in ensuring that no one is left behind.


By Times Reporters
 (Latest Update November 10, 2023)

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