Since the launch of our community handicraft program in November 2019, we have seen a tremendous progress in the program’s activities through the engagement and commitment of the local community in the pilot villages. The villagers have seen the direct benefit that the program provides with an alternative income. Indeed, since the beginning of the program, local communities have sold their handicrafts for a total of over 53 million Lao kip (~5500 USD). This is a welcome alternative source of income for the local communities, who rely heavily on natural resources for their livelihoods and still face annual rice shortage for their local consumption.
As part of our program, we are now beginning a Natural Resources Management plan. In August 2021, this phase of the program started with a first field visit with our technical advisor Dr. Patrick d’Aquino from The French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) to develop the plan.
The handicrafts produced are made of bamboo, rattan and pandanus leaves collected in the forests surrounding the villages. The Natural Resources Management plan is a crucial part of the program to ensure its sustainability. The Natural Resources Management plan will involve several steps over the next few years, including:
We aim to involve the different generations of the community in all these activities, notably by engaging with the local schools and teachers.