Avoidance of deforestation and forest degradation in the border area of Southern Laos and Central Vietnam for the long-term preservation of carbon sinks and biodiversity

Initiative

Summary

The CarBi project aims to halt deforestation and conserve biodiversity in the Greater Annamites Ecoregion; an area of forest along a vital mountain range linking Vietnam and Laos.  In Vietnam, the project area includes two Saola Nature Reserves in Hue and Quang Nam, as well as the Bach Ma National Park, and in Laos, the Xe Sap National Protected Area. In total, the project region comprises an area of more than 200,000 hectares.

The CarBi project aims to improve the management of the four protected areas to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. One of the project’s main aims is to provide training and capacity building to provincial-level government officials in REDD concepts as well as assessing the carbon stocks of the forests. As well as promoting REDD+ as an effective solution, the project aims to support the development of alternative livelihoods so as to reduce pressure on the forests.

Species population surveys intend to demonstrate the benefits that improved protected area management can have on the region’s biodiversity. The project also hopes to help prevent illegal cross-border timber trade between Laos and Vietnam, by increasing cooperation and by piloting timber tracking systems for logging quotas associates with infrastructure development, thereby reducing trade from the project area in Laos to Vietnam by 40% by 2014.  The project aims to ensure that the sustainable use of natural resources benefits local communities

WWF and Forest Carbon, a Southeast Asian environmental consultancy, are conducting a technical feasibility assessment of the trans-boundary REDD+ project. Forest Carbon are carrying out the initial assessment looking at the feasibility of combining two contiguous forest conservation areas in different countries, into either single or joint project-level activities under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). If viable, such a project would present a major milestone for trans-boundary and regional collaboration between countries. After rapid forest assessments, Forest Carbon is examining the potential for the REDD+ project to be initiated (as of end of 2012).

The project is being supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety’s (BMU) International Climate Initiative (ICI) through the German Development Bank (KfW) with an investment of EUR 7 million, and WWF Germany, with a further EUR 1.2 million. WWF Laos and WWF Vietnam are working closely with governmental counterparts in each country, including the Vietnam Forest Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Laos Department of Forestry, the Laos Forest Inspection Department, and the Laos Minstry of Natural Resources and Environment.

For more information on the CarBi project, please click here for the project's page on WWF's website.