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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Lao Prime Minister Urges Action Against Forest Destruction Ahead of Environment Day

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As World Environment Day approaches, Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone has delivered a crucial message to the nation, emphasizing the need for heightened awareness and collaboration to safeguard natural resources and protect the environment.

This year, 5 June, also marks the 25th Lao National Environment Day. In his address, Prime Minister Sonexay highlighted the urgent need to combat deforestation, forest fires, and land degradation, which threaten ecosystems and human health while exacerbating the challenges of climate change, desertification, and natural disasters.

Recognizing the widespread issues of forest destruction and land degradation, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the government’s commitment to increasing forest coverage to 70 percent of the country’s area. He stressed the importance of restoring soil and ecosystems to mitigate climate change impacts and protect biodiversity. The Prime Minister also highlighted the necessity of balancing economic development with environmental conservation in a sustainable manner.

In his message, Sonexay further called on all sectors of society to prioritize the management and protection of natural resources. Sonexay urged individuals and organizations to adopt green and sustainable practices, including tree planting, waste reduction, and maintaining community cleanliness.

 In 2023, the Lao government reported that forest cover had dropped to a record low of 40 percent, a sharp decline from the over 70 percent coverage recorded in 1940. With this in mind, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Linkham Douangsavanh recently announced plans to plant 3,500 hectares of trees and prepare over 3.5 million seedlings in celebration of Arbor Day. Despite these efforts, deforestation remains a significant challenge for Laos.

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