The central province of Thanh Hoa and the Lao province of Houaphan have worked extensively together in forest protection since signing an agreement on this field in 2009 and are preparing to step up their cooperation further.

The programmes were implemented based on the principle of equality, respect, consensus and friendly cooperation, for the benefits of both provinces and countries, following international and national laws.

In the 2013-2015 period, more projects will be realised at provincial, district and communal levels for people living in the shared border areas between the two countries.

Thanh Hoa and Houaphan will share experience about how to keep their forests safe and persuade local people to stop deforestation, wild animal hunting and illegal trade of wood from the forest.

They will also expand several forest farming models which could bring high economic benefits.

A total of 54 local groups will be responsible for protecting the public forest and 16 groups of militia will support them in ensuring legal regulations on forest protection and development, fire fighting and prevention are upheld at all times.

In July, key communal officials from the two provinces will attend a training course on the two countries’ law and regulations on forest protection and how to respond to forest fires.

Since the agreement was signed in 2009, nine intentional fires (for the purposes of cultivation) have been extinguished and 71 violations of forest resources have been successfully uncovered.-VNA