A three-day regional training on forest restoration, held July 8 – 10 by the USAID-funded Lowering Emission’s in Asia’s Forests (USAID LEAF) Program in collaboration with the Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU) at Chiang Mai University, Thailand, concluded with hands-on experience for 13 Laos farmers and forest officers from Houaphanh and Attapeu Provinces.

The farmers and officers joined Thai villagers from local communities, who shared their successes with improving natural resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through their 15 years of experience restoring degraded forest ecosystems.  Other local villagers, in addition to sharing their experiences, also received training.

Dr. Stephen Elliott, Director of FORRU, said, “Apart from reducing the emissions, forest restoration also helps absorb carbon dioxide from outside sources.  The successes of local community efforts here in Thailand in acting to reduce global warming can be fostered in neighboring Laos through this unique regional collaboration.”  The learning and sharing session connected communities from the two countries in an exchange of knowledge, experiences and plans on how to revive local biodiversity.

Thai students also joined the event, which sent all participants home with techniques on how to stimulate the natural growth of trees through a planting exercise that resulted in over 600 trees of 25 different species being added to the local landscape.

Source: USAID/RDMA Regional Environment Office Weekly Update


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