Creating incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation

Project description

Title: Climate Protection through Avoided Deforestation and Implementation of the Governance, Forest Landscapes and Livelihoods Project (CliPAD/I-GFLL)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Laos
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Department of Forestry
Overall term: 2020 to 2024

© GIZ / Sebastian Koch 2015


Laos is rich in natural resources such as water, minerals and forests. More than 70 per cent of the population lives near the forest and draws about 20 per cent of its livelihood from its use. While Laos still has one of the highest rates of forest cover on the Southeast Asian mainland (about 58 per cent in 2019), the forests have diminished dramatically in recent decades, having fallen from estimated 70 per cent of the overall land surface in the mid-1960s.

Among the causes of forest loss are the expansion of agriculture, shifting cultivation, infrastructure development and unsustainable logging practices. Consequences of forest loss include extensive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biodiversity loss, the lower availability of forest products, and a decline in the environmental benefits that forests provide (water and soil protection, etc.).

The people worst affected by these developments are those in the poorest sections of Lao society, and here especially women and ethnic minorities who depend on the intact forests for their livelihoods.


The programme provides a strategy to improve practices in the forest and land-use sector of the Lao PDR and to reduce emissions from land use change and forestry in Northern Laos.

Thomas Okfen GIZ_Primary Forest


To support the implementation of the Emission Reductions Program, CliPAD developed a full funding proposal (“Implementation of Governance, Forest Landscapes and Livelihoods/I-GFLL”) and submitted it to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The proposal was approved on 13 November 2019 during the 24th GCF Board Meeting (B24) and came into effect with a grant of 16.1 million Euros on 19 May 2020. Through government contributions (all levels) and the support by various development partners, the project mobilises an additional 50 million Euros of funding, and corresponding cooperation agreements with KfW, JICA, ADB and IFAD are in place or are currently being sought.

The management and disbursement of the GCF fund in Laos will be channelled through the Environment Protection Fund (EPF), as a financially autonomous organisation with the mission of strengthening environmental protection, sustainable management of natural resources, the conservation of biodiversity and the institution itself.

By promoting sustainable management of forests, landscapes and agricultural resources the project is expected to save 5.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent as well as to unlock REDD+ results-based payments of 23 million Euros from the FCPF Carbon Fund in the time from May 2020 until June 2024. The target groups of the project are the rural population in the three northern provinces (Luang Prabang, Sayaboury, Houaphan). The majority of the target group belongs to ethnic minorities (about 65 per cent) and is classified as very poor to poor (80 per cent). 49 per cent of the population are women. It is estimated that approx. 355,000 people in 17 districts and up to 240 villages benefit directly and indirectly from the results-based payments as well as from investments in sustainable agricultural production and sustainable forest management.

Working together, authorities at national and sub-national levels as well as non-state actors will improve conditions for the sustainable forest management and specifically for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).

The project focuses on the following areas:

  1. Creating a better enabling environment for REDD+ using three principal means: enhancing the availability of financing to transform the way Laos manages its forest landscapes; revising and tightening up the legal and regulatory framework for forestry; and improving the enforcement of the new regulatory framework.
  2. Supporting deforestation-free agriculture and agroforestry by enhancing productivity, increasing farmers’ integration into agricultural value chains, and improving access to finance and private sector participation in economic activities that reduce pressure on forests.
  3. Supporting the implementation of sustainable forest landscape management (SFM) and forest landscape restoration (FLR) on over 1.5 million hectares of degraded land.


The implementation of previous measures included creating the central institutional framework with the establishment of the REDD+ Division in the Department of Forestry (DoF), reorganising the REDD+ Task Force and the REDD+ working groups at national level, as well as the REDD+ Task Forces and REDD+ offices in all three programme provinces. The Emission Reductions Program Document (ERPD) was submitted to and accepted by the FCPF Carbon Fund, and the Lao Forest Law was completely revised and adopted by the National Assembly in June 2019.

At sub-national level, the project established viable structures for sustainable community forest management in 70 villages from two districts of Houaphan Province.

Last update: March 2021