The need for a comprehensive and integrated model for the sustainable management of protected areas in Southeast Asia, in Burma, Laos and Cambodia, which is financially viable and involves both local communities and the private sector, has been identified by governments, private sector operators engaged in a responsible process and local community groups.
The innovative project addresses four intrinsically linked problems, which are of major importance due to the fact that they are responsible for the lack of effectiveness of protected areas in Cambodia, Burma and Laos:
Restricted rights of local communities in the management of these areas;
Lack of alternative sources of income for these local communities;
Low level of private sector involvement in supporting protected areas, and limited financing in these areas.
The project focuses its actions on five landscapes of global importance for biodiversity conservation, and two protected areas considered as national models in terms of management (Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area in Laos and Thanintharyi Natural Reserve in Burma).
The project finances actions based on five thematic areas:
- Support local communities in order to have their rights to access and use natural resources recognized, and for their participation in the management of protected areas.
- Set up local income-generating and ecologically sustainable activities, including environmentally responsible agriculture and ecotourism.
- Establish innovative Public-Private Partnerships, which directly benefit communities and contribute to the conservation of forest ecosystems and biodiversity around and in the targeted landscapes.
- Support the authorities responsible for managing protected areas, in consultation with local communities and private operators.
- Contribute to the definition of national and regional conservation policies.
- Protect over 1,000,000 hectares of forests and wetland areas of global importance for preserving biodiversity, maintaining ecosystem services and for local communities.
- Safeguard populations of over 30 animal species in serious danger of extinction.
- Reduce poverty for over 2,000 households located in 40 villages in Cambodia, Laos and Burma thanks to the improvement in rights to access and use land and natural resources, Payments for Ecosystem Services, village conservation companies and sustainable agriculture models.
- Raise over EUR 5m to preserve biodiversity thanks to partnerships with the private sector.
At the national level in the three countries, the project encourages policies for protected areas to better include the rights and responsibilities of local communities and ethnic minorities, and a sustainable financing of the national network of protected areas. As a result, the synergy created by the project will strengthen the responsible commitment of the private sector in terms of its contribution to local development and the protection of the environment.
on the same region