Laos discusses sustainable green development with Mekong countries

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Laos is hosting discussions with other Mekong countries on green and sustainable development initiatives and policies to enable the positive transformation of agricultural production.

Representatives of government agencies, farmers, the private sector, and development partners from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam are meeting in Vientiane from January 21-22 to discuss the national green growth strategy and draft the Green and Sustainable Agriculture Strategic Framework (GSASF).

The Regional Workshop on Green and Sustainable Agriculture is being chaired by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr Lien Thikeo, and co-chaired by the Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to Laos, Mr Muhammad Nasar Hayat.

The workshop is supported by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Department of Policy and Legal Affairs under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Speaking at the workshop, Dr Lien said the Lao government recognised green growth as offering opportunities to contribute to sustainable economic, social and environmental development.

The workshop played an important role in discussions among members of the GSASF, which will help further sustainable green development in the region.

The minister stressed that green development was part of the government’s policies to improve farmers’ incomes, national nutrition, and food security.

Workshop participants are presenting papers on the national green growth strategy and draft GSASF while panel discussions are sharing experiences and lessons learned from the perspectives of national and regional practitioners.

The GSASF is being developed to align with policies and strategies at the regional and international levels as well as the ongoing development of the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan and the next Agriculture Development Strategy for 2020-2025.

Stronger partnerships and continuous consultations around green and sustainable development are crucial to improving collaboration among stakeholders, especially the private sector and farmers, as key actors on the ground.

Participants are also exploring green agriculture in the field by visiting and interacting with farmers to learn about their production and marketing techniques at an organic farm in Thaxang village in Pakngum district, Vientiane.

In recent years, the government and development partners, particularly FAO, have expressed their commitment to work together to promote green and sustainable agriculture.

Such efforts can help maximise the production of safe and nutritious agricultural commodities and food products while being supportive of biodiversity conservation. 

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