Twenty trucks loaded with timber wait at the Cambodian border post of Bavet for clearance to cross into Vietnam last December. The logs appear to be 'unprocessed,' and export would be illegal under Cambodian law. Photo: AFP/Stew Magnuson

Dramatic forest degradation and loss in the Greater Mekong region have both their causes and potential solutions rooted in forest governance, according to a recent publication by researchers from the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC), the University of British Columbia, and WWF. (The full publication can be found here.)

The authors found that while there are bright spots in existing forest policies and legislation, countries in the Greater Mekong have a long way to go in implementing them and reversing the trends of deforestation and forest degradation.

The existing laws and policies in these countries give reason to hope because they are generally supportive of forest protection and sustainable resource use. There is a need to work together more closely, not just between governments but also engaging and empowering non-state actors every step of the way, to ensure that these laws are being implemented and enforced to protect forests, as well as the communities and wildlife that call them home.

Forested area in the Greater Mekong decreased by 5.1% from 1990 to 2015, and although it is now increasing in Laos and Vietnam, all countries in the region are still consistently losing primary forest and facing forest degradation from agricultural expansion, infrastructure development, mining operations, forest fires, and civil conflict.

The report is a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the perceptions of national and local stakeholders on the state of forest governance in the region. The five countries – Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand – were assessed based on three criteria: policy, legal, and institutional framework; planning and decision-making processes; and implementation, enforcement and compliance. While there are reasons to be optimistic about the first criterion for all five countries, the subsequent two exemplified the main challenges including the lack of transparency in decision-making and implementation at the local level.

Participants in the assessment – spanning across government agencies, civil society, news media, and rural communities – were generally concerned about the overall forest governance. Those in Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam considered their state of forest governance “weak with definite problems,” while Cambodia’s stakeholders rated theirs as “failing.” Only Laos received a “fair, with room for improvement” evaluation.

Although the focus of the study was on perceptions within the different countries regarding national governance, the importance of taking a regional approach was also emphasized, especially in regards to the transboundary issue of illegal logging and timber trade

Although the focus of the study was on perceptions within the different countries regarding national governance, the importance of taking a regional approach was also emphasized, especially in regards to the transboundary issue of illegal logging and timber trade.

While Thailand and Vietnam are considered major hubs for trade in illegally sourced timber – with one-fifth of Vietnam’s timber imports suspected of coming from illegal sources – Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar are also sources for the illegal trade. This is especially important as Vietnam has recently concluded negotiations with the European Union to ensure that illegal logs will not be exported from Vietnam to the EU.

“Forest governance is a sensitive and complex issue in the Greater Mekong, and one of the most promising solutions we see for directly improving forest governance at the local level is strengthening the ability of community groups, with the support of civil society and news media, to advocate for themselves,” said David Gritten, senior program officer at RECOFTC and the lead author of the report.

“This report is part of the Voices for Mekong Forests Project, which works towards this goal. It’s also important to recognize that the public making informed decisions when they buy wood and forest products can go a long way to tackle illegal timber trade.”

The report identified solutions such as developing a forest-governance monitoring system to help address the limited access to forest-governance information by civil-society organizations, news media and government officials. The report also recommended setting up a capacity development program for these actors to support efforts to strengthen forest governance.

The authors suggested that consumers can have a role in protecting forests in the Greater Mekong. They found that each country was suffering from a lack of consumer awareness about unsustainable forest practices and products that may contribute to them. More public information and awareness are needed to connect products that consumers are buying with the sustainability and legality – or lack thereof – in their forest supply chains.

Karen Mo was one of the authors of the researchers’ report.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

Karen Mo

Karen Mo leads the monitoring, evaluation and research for WWF Global Forest Practice, responsible for managing WWF’s global research agenda and partnerships for forest conservation. One of her primary focuses is to advance the conservation community’s understanding of the impacts of forest-conservation interventions by leading impact-evaluation research and building partnerships with the broader science, policy, and business communities. Prior to joining WWF in 2012, Karen was trained in development...

Join the Conversation

1121 Comments

  1. Los profesionales del sector deben adaptarse al CTE y al nuevo RITE y encontrarán en este manual todo lo necesario para el diseño, instalación y mantenimiento de los sistemas de calefacción y agua caliente sanitaria ACS. Adaptada al Código Técnico de la Edificación (CTE) y al nuevo RITE (haga click sobre el título del libro subrayado para ver todo el índice del libro) Autor: José María Fernández Salgado. El Código Técnico de la Edificación (CTE) exige que los nuevos edificios dispongan de instalaciones térmicas solares para la producción de energía limpia.

  2. Ponte en contacto de inmediato con nuestro Servicio Técnico Especializado en la Reparación de Lavadoras, Frigoríficos, Lavavajillas, Cocinas, Vitrocerámicas y Hornos de la marca Sauber a través del teléfono: 929 883. Reparamos cualquier avería en su electrodoméstico Hitachi, aún no siendo un servicio técnico Hitachi oficial de la marca. Nuestros clientes reciben un servicio técnico integral, amable, eficiente y con rapidez !

  3. El Ministro de Industria, Sr. Sebastián, ha confirmado su asistencia a la jefa de secretarias de D. Anselmo, y una demostracion con Loeb y Sordo se hará con la calle Dr. Esquerdo previamente cortada en sus extremos. En mi opinión el c es un vehículo púramente testimonial en cuanto al número de ventas en España y si venden algunas unidades es por que siempre tienen un espectacular decuento hasta fin de mes… (citorén dixit).

  4. Pues de tener menos de dos años, se deriva al servicio técnico oficial en Mòstoles, que son los que cubren la garantía de la lavadora. Una vez que el técnico de reparacion de lavadoras urgente de Mòstoles, llega al domicilio del cliente, lo primero que hace es localizar el tipo de problema que tiene la lavadora, una vez localizada la avería se le da al cliente el presupuesto de la reparacion.

  5. Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and internet and this is really frustrating. A good site with exciting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this web site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  6. Nunca olvidaré cuando me monté en el helicóptero y, valle abajo, dejé de ver la vertiente sur del Gasherbrum 1. El sentimiento es de dolor, de que ya se acaba, se acaba de verdad, vuelves de alguna manera a la civilización dejando mucho, dejando mucho en el campo base, en la montaña. Pasé un día en Islamabad, cogí un vuelo hasta Qatar y de allí ya a Madrid donde estaban esperando Leire Giarte, Sebastián Álvaro, Mariano Izquierdo, y Hanif, que vinieron a recibirme. Han construido una bota menos técnica de lo que puede ser una Sportiva, una Scarpa pero sin lugar a dudas es una bota caliente.

  7. Tengo una heladera General Electric No Froost y el mismo problema, a los 5 dias se llena de hielo el radiador y no enfria mas la parte de abajo, Compre un interruptor timer de corriente, lo supe que la heladera, corta la corriente de 3 a 5 am. Si resulta despues les comento. Vino el tecnico de Fagor y dijo que el problema estaba en el DAMPER (una pieza que va en la parte inferior que regula la cantidad de aire fro que entra en esta parte, por lo tanto la temperatura). También impedía la salida de agua hacia el evaporador, con lo que el bloque cada vez se hacía más grande. Quisiera hacerles una consulta por un problema que tengo con una heladera General electric que fue comprada nueva en el 200 .

  8. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  9. En nuestro servicio técnico, disponemos de técnicos con los conocimientos y habilidades técnicas para poder reparar sus electrodomésticos. Las principales averías no son un problema para nuestros profesionales, porque conocemos todas las marcas de lavadoras y sabemos cómo reparar electrodomésticos. Si no es así, se ha de pedir las piezas averiadas y el plazo para reparar se puede alargar hasta dos tres días, pero depende del stock en esos momentos de los recambios y piezas de sustitución. Espero que la próxima vez tengan un poco más de cuidado al contratar al personal.

  10. We’re a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with helpful info to paintings on. You’ve performed a formidable activity and our whole group can be thankful to you.

  11. Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the excellent work!

  12. El Just in Time, obliga y condiciona a la industria auxiliar y a las empresas de transporte, de disponer de almacenes propios alquilados de logística, almacenaje y distribución para dar un servicio rápido y evitar el paro de los procesos productivos en la industria en general.

  13. Los mecanizados CNC en Sevilla se ajustan a las habilidades de los trabajadores modernos. En la producción de muebles de la empresa Riedinger se han utilizado tanto una chapadora de cantos AURIGA 1308XL, como un centro de mecanizado CNC de 5 ejes PRO-MASTER 7225.

  14. That is the fitting weblog for anybody who needs to search out out about this topic. You realize so much its virtually exhausting to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *