A report released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry last week said that Laos plans to plant trees covering at least 25,000 hectares this year.
This is a part of the bigger plan to reforest covering up to 53% of Laos by the year 2010 and at the same time Laos also plans to restore forests in the area of 2.5 million hectares damaged by heavy deforestation. Authorities have launched effort to reclaim the forests by urging cooperation from all sectors.
However, an international NGO, Global Witness said it’s very difficult for Laos to achieve this goal because in reality, Lao forest density have decreased steadily from around 47% in 1992 to less than 40% in 2008 due to heavy logging.
The Global Witness also said one of the reasons of the decrease in Laos’ forests is the illegal trade of timbers, especially in the border areas. It is estimated that around 500,000 cubic meters of illegal timber is exported to Vietnam every year.
Listen to our report for more details in Lao.