The government of Laos has set a goal of restoring forest cover to over 70 percent by 2025, to ensure long-term environmental protection and reduce the risk of natural disasters.
According to a report by Pathet Lao news agency, the government has set the target of restoring forest cover to over 70% by 2025, up from 62 percent in the previous five-year plan.
The new Prime Minister of Laos, Dr. Phankham Viphavanh, said in the session of the 9th National Assembly, the government had originally established a plan to restore forest cover to 70% of the country’s terrain by 2020, but it had been able to achieve forest cover at only 62 percent.
The government will work harder to achieve the 9th Five-year Plan goal of restoring forest cover to over 70% by 2025, as well as to develop a sustainable plan for natural resource conservation and usage, says the new Prime Minister.
“Authorities will strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation by about 30 million tons in order to address climate change and plan for natural disasters,” said Dr. Phankham Viphavanh.
Socio-economic development, and the associated infrastructure development, have led to land clearance for projects such as roadways, dams, railways, and mines.
Additionally, poor people living in rural areas continue to clear forested areas for agricultural production and subsistence farming.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Committee said Laos experienced 235 natural disasters between 2016 to 2020, according to a report by Vientiane Mai.
Over 1.8 million people had been affected by these disasters across the country over the last five years, with 121 deaths and 45 people still listed as missing persons.
The total cost of damage as a result of disasters reached LAK 5.5 billion.