A native species of Laos, teak is one of the world's most sought after timbers and Laotian teak only comes from this region. The high demand for teak wood, coupled with significant shortages of supply from natural forests in recent years, has stimulated the development of plantations in many tropical countries including Laos. You can make a donation to this project by clicking the Donate button.
There are now over 10,000 hectares of Laotian teak plantations around Luang Prabang, predominantly owned and managed by local farmers with average holdings of 2 to 3 hectares. Unfortunately, local farmers generally receive little training on responsible management practices for teak plantations and rely heavily on roadside traders to sell their logs. As a result, the financial return for farmers falls well shy of the real market value. Further, plantation management is often not practiced sustainably.
In partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Japanese International Development Agency (JICA), WWF Laos, the Department of Forestry (DOF) and the Luang Prabang Provincial Department of Agriculture and Forestry (PAFO), TFT is working to overcome these problems. The Luang Prabang Community Teak Program, which started in 2007, aims to promote the sustainable management of teak plantations according to the standards and criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
The project is located in Ban Kok Gniew, a small village in Northern Laos approximately 10 km out of the UNESCO Heritage town of Luang Prabang. Local community residents also benefit economically from the jobs that are created in plantation management and in the higher price they are able to sell the teak for.
This pioneer project for Laos will lay the foundation for future collaboration with other communities in the region. With your support and donation we can help many more teak plantations to be managed responsibly providing livelihoods and environmental protection for local communities.