Project Inception Meeting between AFoCO and Lao PDR

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Following the signing of the MOU between the AFoCO Secretariat and Lao PDR regarding project AFoCO/025/2021, Integrated Village-Driven Forest Rehabilitation and Livelihood Improvement in Viengthong District, Bolikhamxay Province, Lao PDR’ on September 17 2021, an online- Project Inception Meeting (PIM) was arranged between AFoCO and Lao PDR.

This project aims to 1) develop, refine and make further replication available for a set of technically appropriate, economically viable, and socially acceptable “Village-Driven Forest Restoration Model (ViDFoRM)” for degraded protection forest areas; 2) restore degraded forestland and protection of Phou Khaen Protection Forest Areas; 3) improve the livelihood of forest-dependent community in Phou Khaen Protection Forest Areas through income generation from implementing forest restoration activities and NTFPs; and 4) manage the project in an effective manner in compliance with project implementation guidelines and AFoCO related guidelines.

The meeting was commemorated by the AFoCO Secretariat and Department of Forestry of Lao PDR including Mr. Bounpone Sengthong, Acting Director General of Department of Forestry (DOF), and Mr. Orlando A. Panganiban, Director of Cooperation and Project Division of AFoCO.

Mr. Bounpone Sengthong thanked the Secretariat for its support and expressed that this project will contribute to restoring degraded forestland and improve livelihood of forest-dependent communities in Phou Khaen Protection Forest areas through the development and application of different forest restoration measures and income generation from implementing forest restoration activities and Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs). 

On behalf of the Secretariat, Mr. Orlando reiterated his anticipation for the inception and progress of project AFoCO/025/2021, and expressed hope that the project will be initiated very soon with the transfer of the first budget request following the finalization and adoption of the RoD of the PSC Meeting.

The Meeting also introduced the AFoCO Project Management cycle and Guidelines on COVID-19 Coping-up Measures and finalized the Logical Framework (LF), overall Work and Budget Plan (WBP) and the proposed 2021 WBP. The Meeting was then proceeded by a back-to-back Project Steering Committee (PSC) in order to approve the 2021 WBP and Rules of Procedures for the PSC.

Submitted by Cha Jiyea, Team Assistant

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