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On  30 August 2016 in Da Nang city, the Vietnamese Forest Protection Department (FPD) and Lao Department of Forestry Inspection (DOFI) hosted a meeting to review the implementation of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in 2015 - 2016, and develop a joint action plan for 2016 - 2017.

The two agencies signed the MoU on cooperation in forest protection, forestry law enforcement, and control of illegal trade and transportation of forest product and wildlife for the period 2012 - 2017. At this year’s meeting, participants also shared updates in timber import and export, temporary import for export and transit of timber from each country.

The two government delegations agreed on and highly appreciated the positive progress of the 2015-2016 period, which saw a number of cooperative activities of the two countries at all levels. Participants reviewed and assessed various joint-activities including the ASOF 19 in Vientiane, from 4-6 August 2016 and on-going exchange of information on the VPA/FLEGT negotiation process. 2015-2016 also witnessed high levels of cooperation and implementation of provincial forestry MoUs, especially of three provinces Bolikhamxay, Khammoune on the Lao side with Ha Tinh province of Viet Nam. Notably, two join-patrolling missions conducted in the forest areas located along the border line in December 2015 and August 2016 have strengthened the cooperation and awareness on forest law enforcement in these three provinces.

Representatives from both countries shared updates on policies related to timber import and export as well logging of each country. A topic of intense interest among the participants was the Prime Minister’s Order No. 15 of Lao PDR (13 May 2016) on “Strengthening Strictness of Timber Harvest Management and Inspection, Timber Transport and Business”, which could have significant impact in the timber trade between the two countries. The two government delegations agreed to explore more appropriate platforms to further discuss and identify joint-actions and solutions for controlling illicit timber movements between the two countries.

At the meeting, a number of obstacles and lesson learned from the past period were identified including inadequate levels of information exchange due to language barriers and limited implementation of joint-activities such as joint forest patrolling. Participants agreed on the importance of engagement and coordination with other sectors and agencies of the two countries to improve the implementation of joint action plans.

Representatives also agreed on the key action points for next cooperation period 2016-2017 which focuses on continuation of effective exchange of information, policies and regulations related to VPA/FLEGT, REDD+ and forest protection of the two Governments. It was also agreed to strengthen the implementation of existing MoUs in the bordering provinces as well as capacity building, multiagency task force for frontier officers on forestry law enforcement. The two delegations emphasized the importance of exploring potential donors and financial resources to successfully carry out these action points.

About 70 participants attended the meeting. The Lao delegation included 21 representatives from DOFIs at national and local levels. Forty-six Vietnamese participants represented VNFOREST/MARD, Ministry of Industry and Trade, General Department of Vietnam Customs and provincial FPDs of ten bordering provinces with Lao PDR.

More information, please contact Nguyen Trung Thong at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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