Integrated Conservation of Biodiversity and Forests - ICBF
Lao PDRs rich biodiversity and abundant natural forests are threatened by forest destruction and degradation, poaching and illegal wildlife trade, use of illegal hunting equipment, and infrastructure development.
For this reason, ICBF has been supporting the effective management of two large protected landscapes since mid-2015. The landscapes are located in northern and central Laos and cover a total area of more than 900,000 ha, including four national protected areas and three corridors. The ICBF is a joint project of the Government of Lao PDR and the Federal Government of Germany through KfW with a contribution of 15.5 million Euros. It is implemented by the Department of Forestry of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), in close collaboration with relevant line agencies and partners, including Non-governmental Organization and the private sector.
GFA assists the Department of Forestry in overall project design and detailed annual planning, project management and procurement, financial management, project monitoring and evaluation, and supervision and coordination. GFA also provides technical advice and training in (1) protected area planning and management, (2) law enforcement, and (3) promotion of sustainable and participatory land and forest management.
The ICBF has largely achieved its objective of conserving biodiversity in forest ecosystems within the two protected landscapes, while improving the livelihoods of 148 forest-dependent communities. It has also strengthened the capacity of stakeholders to sustainably manage the protected areas by securing future funding to continue their conservation efforts.
The project applied a collaborative, adaptive and integrated conservation approach, supporting capacity building, targeted field activities and investments in protected area infrastructure, as well as providing logistics and equipment. Activities funded by the project include management planning, sustainable financing, zoning and demarcation, ranger patrols, biodiversity monitoring, community outreach, and human-animal conflict management. A multi-functional monitoring system has been established to support landscape level law enforcement efforts and land use planning and monitoring. Guardian villages cooperate in conservation efforts based on conservation contracts and have received various benefits, including access to vocational training, funds for livelihood and conservation activities, and technical advice on various livelihood activities, including the use and marketing of non-timber forest products.
ICBFs success story has been widely recognized and is documented in several videos (see links on this page).