FAO in Laos

UN-REDD Programme

The United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries – or UN-REDD Programme – is a multilateral body. It partners with developing countries to support them in establishing technical capacities through a country-based approach that provides advisory and technical support services tailored to national circumstances and needs. The UN-REDD Programme is a collaborative initiative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Environment Programme.

SUSTAINABLE FOREST TRADE IN THE LOWER MEKONG REGION

Introduction

The UN-REDD Programme supports countries in the Lower Mekong Basin and China to strengthen their forest governance, and to ensure that trading of wood products is legal and sustainable. By helping to reduce illegal logging and illegal conversion of forests, the Sustainable Forest Trade in the Lower Mekong Region initiative seeks to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation, while boosting sustainable forest management across the region.

The Sustainable Forest Trade in the Lower Mekong Region Programme is working with key institutions across the five LMR countries and China to strengthen forest governance and the systems designed to ensure legal and sustainable trade in timber. The project supports countries to create standards and systems that can effectively and sustainably regulate forest products’ trade in the LMR and reduce the share of illegal, unsustainable products in regional and international value chains.

Goal

To increase countries’ capacity to improve forest governance and achieve legal and sustainable trade and investments in wood products across the Lower Mekong Basin and China.

Effective Governance

Fighting illegal logging and trade calls for effective governance systems. They will not only improve law enforcement, but also support transparent tracking and proof of legal and sustainable timber production, processing, and trade.

Tracking Wood Products

Wood-exporting countries and businesses relying on forest wood products increasingly recognize that their supply chains must use only legal and/or sustainable sources of wood. Key importing countries now ask for proof of legality and/or sustainability. This means that wood export hubs depend more and more on meeting higher standards of legal and sustainable forest use.

Promoting Responsible Investments

Investing in wood-related products and industries must abide by the law and support sustainable trade. Understanding regional trade and investments in raw wood and forest products, as well as regional cooperation are critical to turning around illegal forest exploitation and to boost financial support for sustainable projects.

Project Results

  • Stronger regional cooperation supports legal, sustainable forest-products trade across the Lower Mekong Region and China
  • Improved forest governance ensures legal and sustainable production of forest related products
  • Improved monitoring of forest and land use due to better data accessibility and management

Partners

  • National Governments: Forest Administrations, Ministries of Agriculture and Environment, Ministries of Planning, and others. The programme will promote dialogue, coordinated policies, and boost dialogue and cooperation between LMR countries and China.
  • Private and public companies: All companies along wood products supply chains, from harvesting all the way to processing and sellers, plus actors in the finance sector.  Forest related companies will be critical to ultimately drive the change needed.
  • Forest-dependent communities: Improvements in forest governance will lead to more secure, transparent, and consistent tenure and use rights, and will also provide opportunities for local communities to engage in forest product value chains for livelihood improvement. The project partners with RECOFTC (The Centre for People and Forests) at regional level.