VIENTIANE (Aug. 18, 2008) – Executive Director of the Global Environmental Institute (GEI), Mme Jin Jiaman, signed a Memorandum of Understanding of the Lao-China Cooperation Center for Sustainable Land and Natural Resources Management Project with Mr. Akhom Tounalom, the Vice Minister of National Land Management Authority (NLMA) of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Mme JIN (left) at the MOU signing event – GEI 2008
Both sides reached a consensus on the project, which will enable the Lao government to effectively manage land concessions for sustainable economic development while also balancing needs of social equality and ecological conservation.
“GEI has provided suggestions on sustainable environment development policies. Our projects in China have made great impact. … ”Laos and China are both developing countries, we share similar environmental problems in economic development. Therefore, GEI is able to help the NLMA strengthen its capacity building, and formulate environmentally sustainable policies that are appropriate for Laos as a country.”- Mme JIN Jiaman
Located in Southeast Asia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic has a large land area, relatively small population and many biodiversity resources. For these reasons, the country has been increasingly attracting foreign investment and is facing unprecedented challenges to its natural resources management and environmental protection.
Attending to these challenges, the project has several main goals, namely:
- to carry on the spirit of the Third Summit of the Greater Mekong Sub-region; to set up a mechanism of human resource development and regular training for the sub-region;
- to help and support the NLMA in making land and natural resources’ development plans by strengthening its capacity building;
- to set up a Lao-China Cooperation Center for Sustainable Land and Natural Resources Management that can enable the Lao government to effectively manage land concessions for sustainable economic development while also balancing the needs of social equality and ecological conservation.
The next steps of the project are to create a project proposal and make a general development plan for the center, which will be delivered to the NLMA. The NLMA then will submit the plan to the National Assembly of Laos, which will determine the priority of the project among others pending aid from the Lao government. GEI will help by seeking funds and in the implementation after receiving funds.