Program Highlights: Village Livelihood Development in Houaphan
The main threats to forest areas in Houaphan Province in Laos are encroachment by upland farming, shifting cultivation, unsustainable methods of non-timber forest product extraction, and unplanned logging. However, awareness raising about these issues is not sufficient when local communities are in poverty, and have no other viable options for their livelihoods. USAID LEAF, with implementing partner SNV, went beyond traditional REDD+ project activities to seek solutions to strengthen stakeholder resilience and ease pressures on forest areas.
To strengthen livelihood outcomes, USAID LEAF focused on an integrated approach to livestock health and management and participatory land use planning with four villages. Previously there had been no clear differentiation between zones for raising animals, agriculture, timber extraction, and for conservation. The lack of community land use plans had resulted in forest encroachment, unsustainable harvesting, and conflicts between villagers and authorities.