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Swiss government funds Laos land management project

ANN/VIENTIANE TIMES – The Swiss government has committed USD4.5 million for the sustainable land management project in Laos.

As part of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Laos and the Swiss Confederation, the Swiss government officially pledged the investment for the project. The initiative aims to advance sustainable land management practices and support investments fostering climate-resilient livelihoods. The project agreement was formalised during a signing ceremony in Vientiane recently.

The Sustainable Land Management and Investment for Climate-Resilient Livelihoods project will be executed by Switzerland’s Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern, in collaboration with the Laos government.

The Centre for Development and Environment has been a longstanding partner of Switzerland in Laos. The project’s mission is to assist the Laos government in enhancing land management, advocating for quality investments in sustainable land management and strengthening knowledge, capacities and processes for the benefit of the most vulnerable communities.

Current land use practices, driven by private investors and individuals, have contributed significantly to economic growth and revenues.

However, they also carry the risk of unsustainable practices, including loss of land use rights for rural populations, large-scale monocropping and excessive agrochemical inputs.

These practices have resulted in challenges to the livelihoods of rural farmers, environmental pollution and a sharp decline in soil fertility, primarily due to their short-term focus.

The Sustainable Land Management and Investment for Climate-Resilient Livelihoods project aims to provide vital information to the Lao government regarding unsustainable land investments and their combined impact with climate change, which poses a threat to the livelihoods of rural populations.

Dr Phet Phomphiphak representing the Lao government sign the project agreement with the representative of the Swiss government in Vientiane, Laos. PHOTO: VIENTIANE TIMES