The meeting to review the implementation of a memorandum of understanding between Vietnam’s Forest Protection Department and Laos’s Department of Forest Inspection (Source: baochinhphu.vn)
Da Nang (VNA) – Vietnam and Laos have reaped encouraging outcomes in their forestry cooperation but also need to make more efforts to address existing problems such as deforestation and wildlife trafficking along their shared border.

An annual meeting was held in the central city of Da Nang on August 30 to review the implementation of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Vietnam’s Forest Protection Department and Laos’s Department of Forest Inspection.

Do Trong Kim, Deputy Director of the Vietnamese department, said the MoU has been carried out effectively from the central to grassroots levels over the last five years. The two sides have shared information, conducted joint examinations, and dealt with a number of forestry-related violations.

As a result, they have substantially curbed forest fires, deforestation, and wood and wildlife trafficking, he added.

He also pointed out the complex cross-border wildlife trafficking with traffickers forming trans-national networks. While joint patrols haven’t been conducted effectively in certain areas, there is an insufficient financial and technical support for joint activities.

Kim asked both sides to ramp up patrols in border forests, timely address deforestation, increase the examination of cross-border timber trading, and press on with information sharing. They should also enforce new policies to improve border residents’ living conditions and their awareness of forest protection.

Echoing the view, Khamphout Pandanouvong, Director of the Laos’s Department of Forest Inspection, said more information exchanges will help control and prevent deforestation, timber smuggling, and wildlife poaching.

The two sides inked the MoU on July 12, 2012 with a view to boosting forest protection cooperation and enforcing forestry-related laws until 2017.-VNA