IUCN Lao PDR aims to bring together the private sector and the conservation community in long-term partnerships to deliver conservation results and enhance sustainable development. These partnerships work towards:
- Mainstreaming conservation in business;
- Improving knowledge of how market forces affect and contribute to biodiversity conservation;
- Bridging communication gaps between different sectors and actors.
IUCN engages with business in a number of sectors important to both conservation and economic development in Lao PDR.
Plantations and forestry – IUCN Lao PDR works with the private sector to promote sustainable forest management and to bring together business, government and civil society actors for improved forest governance. For example, IUCN carried out a “rapid biodiversity assessment” of a Stora Enso eucalypt plantation in southern Lao PDR in Nov. 2007, and co-organised a roundtable on forest certification with the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Sept. 2007.
Water-related business, including finance, mining and hydropower – IUCN Lao PDR is utilizing its convening power to bring together the government, business and civil society sectors in the multi-stakeholder Mekong Region Water Dialogues from 2008-2011. The Dialogues will include national and regional business roundtables to engage private sector actors that depend on and utilize the region’s water resources. MRWD website: http://cms.iucn.org/about/union/secretariat/offices/asia/regional_activities/mekong_dialogues/
Non-timber forest products – building on previous research and work on NTFPs, IUCN Lao PDR will conduct market analysis and help to improve marketing of NTFPs under the Landscapes and Livelihoods Strategy (LLS).
Research – IUCN Lao PDR collaborates with national and international partners to carry out research on the impact and contribution of commercial activities on environmental protection and natural resource management in Lao PDR. This includes research into the development of rubber plantations in Lao PDR in 2008, and collaboration with the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) for the Rapid Trade and Environment Assessment for Lao PDR in 2007.