FAO in Laos

Moving from strategies to action on fisheries and aquaculture

02/09/2014

Vientiane. - Fish and other forms of aquatic life are extremely important sources of protein in the diet of Lao people with over 40% of meat consumed in the Lao diet coming from fish and aquatic animals. This year the Government has started a new project with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), that will enable national and provincial authorities to work together to help secure these resources for the future. The new project is led by the Department of Livestock and Fisheries (DLF) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and represents the most recent step in a long-term partnership, which now spans more than two decades.

The partnership between DLF and FAO will improve implementation of government fisheries and aquaculture strategies at provincial level. In line with the government’s Sam Sang (3-Builds) policy, the project aims to strengthen the capacity of provincial DLF staff to interpret and implement at local level government policies and strategies for the sector. Stephen Rudgard, FAO Representative in Lao PDR, stated "It is critical that the Government has the capacity at all levels to apply its policies to strengthen the fisheries sector sustainably."

To initiate this project, DLF and FAO organized two meetings 28th and 29th August 2013. During the first meeting, DLF representatives from 18 provinces as well as representatives from key departments in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Ministry of Energy and Mines. Following a discussion on the aims and scope of the new project, the workshop participants reviewed work currently being undertaken by DLF throughout the country at the local level, and participants identified ways in which collaboration between government agencies from different ministries could be improved, particularly in relation to the management and development of reservoirs.

Participants also discussed the format and outline structure of an implementation plan that will contain guidelines and information relevant to DLF provincial staff helping them turn government strategy into action at the local level. Key areas of guidance were identified in relation to government priorities, strategies and targets to improve provincial-level planning and implementation.