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Welcome to the Lao PDR pages of the protected areas review


The Lao People's Democratic Republic has one of the youngest and most comprehensive protected area systems in the world. Established in 1993, the system of National Biodiversity Conservation Areas was based upon sound scientific principles, rather than an ad hoc basis which is the case in most countries, and now covers 12-14% of the land area.

Lao PDR National Report on Protected Areas and Development

Now in both English and Laotian

The Lao PDR National Report explores ways for integrating economic planning processes and institutional arrangements with those for protected areas and biodiversity conservation at national and local levels. It defines practical strategies to enhance the contribution of protected areas to national and regional development and in doing so:

  • Establishes the important role protected areas play in socio-economic
  • Identifies the problems protected areas are facing in providing these benefits; and,
  • Sets out policy options for each sector to recognise and help maintain the protected area development services and products they receive.

Field study in Nam Et - Phou Loei National Biodiversity Conservation Areas

Nam Et and Phou Loei are covered by mainly hilly and mountainous terrain playing host to the richest biodiversity in Northern Lao PDR. The field study focussed on the economic benefits yielded by these protected areas to the villages, districts and provinces located in and around them.

The results of the field study demonstrate that Nam Et and Phou Loei NBCAs have a demonstrably high economic value for many groups and sectors.

Lessons learned: Protected areas and development in Lao PDR

This paper relates a series of lessons - in terms of achievements and challenges - on protected areas, their management and their role in national and community development in the Lao PDR. It was the one of the first steps in the review and the basis for the development of the national report.

14/06/02 Second national round table

As a follow-up to the first round table, this meeting presented the findings of the review so far and served to involve protected area managers and economic planners in the development of a national report on protected areas and development in Lao PDR.

12/11/01 First national round table

A forum to introduce the review, discuss the past lessons from protected area management and define the benefits of protected areas to local communities and key development sectors in Lao PDR.

Review of the National Protected Area System of Lao PDR [PDF 588KB]

This report was developed by IUCN Lao PDR, the Lao-Swedish Forestry Programme and the Department of Forestry between 1999 and 2001. It provides detailed information on a wide range of protected area issues in Lao PDR, including their current status, biogeography, policy and legal framework, management models and pressures, as well as an analysis of future options for funding, design and management.