The Office of Agriculture and Ministry in Aed District, Houaphanh Province, issued a notice on 23 August to curb the unregulated production of bamboo shoots due to concerns about their scarcity.
This directive applies to all 77 villages within Aed district and instructs a complete halt to all unauthorized activities related to bamboo shoots, from their collection to sale.
The order says, “The collection and processing of bamboo shoots into dried products for buying and selling purposes are strictly prohibited for workers, soldiers, policemen, and residents of Aed district.”
Nevertheless, not everyone is prohibited from engaging in bamboo shoot-related businesses. The order clarifies, “Individuals intending to establish points for purchasing and selling dried bamboo shoots must obtain the necessary permission from the Agriculture and Forestry Office by submitting the required documents.”
The move came at a time when the district authorities are also addressing the wider issue of deforestation, which increases the chances of floods and droughts in the country.
In July this year, Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone issued an order aimed at enhancing forest conservation efforts nationwide in response to growing apprehensions about higher deforestation rates in Laos.
The order outlines several measures that will be taken to achieve this goal, including increased inspections of forest areas, stronger enforcement of existing laws, and the promotion of sustainable forest management practices.
In 2021, the government set an ambitious target of restoring forest cover to over 70 percent by 2025 to bolster long-term environmental protection and mitigate the risk of natural disasters.
Over the past five decades, Laos has witnessed a substantial reduction in its forest cover, primarily due to factors like agricultural expansion, mining activities, and infrastructure development.