Laos Launches Forest Carbon Credit Initiative to Combat Climate Change

Laos Launches Forest Carbon Credit Initiative to Combat Climate Change
FILE: Phou Khao Khouay National Park (photo: A journey of thousands steps)

In a move to combat climate change, the Lao government, in partnership with AIDC Green Forest, is launching a forest carbon credit initiative (REDD+) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from forest destruction and degradation.

The initiative, announced at a signing ceremony on 5 May, follows international standards and is a crucial national strategy to combat climate change. While REDD stands for “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation,” the REDD+ program includes managing and protecting forests, building learning centers, patrolling, and enhancing people’s livelihoods. 

Under the agreement, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will work with AIDC Green Forest to implement the project. This initiative is not only about protecting and restoring forests but also improving the quality of life for local communities. However, despite the recent announcement, no other information regarding the practical approach of the project has been released.

According to Pheutsapha Phoummasak, President of AIDC Green Forest, the scheme aligns with global efforts to reduce forest destruction, a major contributor to climate change. He emphasized that it will also strengthen the national economy and contribute to the overall development of Lao society.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the project was signed in December 2022, which involved a feasibility study of 10 forests covering 1.7 million hectares. 

From these, eight forests were selected for the initiative, including Phou Khao Khouay National Park, the Nam Muan-Nam Ngoung National Protected Area, Nam Ngum National Protected Area, Phou Phanang National Bio-Diversity Conservation Area, Phoukhiew-Phouthan-Phouhai National Protected Area, Nong Ta Ngok National Productive Forest, Trans-Boundary Biodiversity Conservation in Protected Forests between Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, the Phou Hin Poun Protected Area

The project is expected to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.4 million tonnes annually, contributing to Laos’ Nationally Determined Contribution. This includes measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate resilience.