Certification of bamboo producers at Nam Ha ASEAN Heritage Park in Laos
On February 8, 2019, an awarding ceremony was held for the first One District One Product (ODOP) certification in Luang Namtha district in Northern Laos. The ODOP certification was given to bamboo producer groups of Sin Oudom village, one of the target villages under the ASEAN-German Biodiversity-based Products (BBP) project that is piloting related value chains in pilot sites in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
The ODOP certificate was handed over by the Governor of Luang Namtha District, Mrs. Viengphone Heuang Phaeng Ouane, to the Head of Sin Oudom village: "This is a very important step in the biodiversity-based value chain that helps to promote bamboo products from the buffer zone of Nam Ha National Park as it will create a channel for pro-poor market access to the local producer groups. This certification is a recognition of the local communities' hard work on sustainable production of bamboo furniture and handicraft and of the continuously improved quality of the bamboo products as a special product of Luang Namtha district."
Provincial and district offices related to Agriculture and Forestry as well as Industry and Commerce in Luang Namtha worked closely together to assess bamboo products for certification in accordance with the criteria developed by the Department of Trade Promotion and Product Development under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce for awarding the ODOP label.
The label ensures specific quality control and other characteristics that local products stand for. Most importantly, the raw materials to be used in the manufacturing process should be sourced locally and should be planted, raised and naturally grown under systematic protection and management. This goes hand in hand with the criteria for the development of biodiversity-based value chains under the BBP project. In addition, the production and design should be unique and related to local culture and the fine traditions of Laos. To ensure legal protection, the owner of the products will appear on the registration of the trademark with the relevant government sectors to identify the uniqueness of their products and to avoid product imitation.
As a side event of the ODOP awarding ceremony, a district trade fair was held at the premises of the governor´s office in Luang Namtha Town, where different products of Luang Namtha district were presented. Apart from products from all BBP bamboo-producing villages, local weaving handicrafts made by different ethnic groups were shown and sold. As a result of the trade fair, all bamboo products were sold out within a day.
The “Biodiversity-based products as an economic source for the improvement of livelihoods and biodiversity protection” or in short “BBP” project” is an ASEAN-German cooperation project funded by the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) through GIZ. On behalf of the German Government and in close cooperation with the respective national governments in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, the BBP project is implemented by GFA in cooperation with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) in the Philippines.
The main objective of the BBP project is to balance the need for economic development of local people living around protected areas and to improve the protection of biodiversity through the development of biodiversity-based products or biodiversity-based value chains.