Almost 100 Vietnamese and Lao representatives have attended a seminar on improving reserve area management and reducing illegal cross-border timber trade between Vietnam and Laos, in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

The Dec. 6 seminar is part of the project “ Avoidance of deforestation and forest degradation in the border area of southern Laos and central Vietnam for the long-term preservation of carbon sinks and biodiversity” that is being carried out by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Greater Mekong in three reserve areas in Quang Nam and Thua-Thien Hue provinces and Laos’ Xesap National Park.

At the seminar, participants shared experiences in managing protected areas and discussed cooperation between Vietnam and Laos in protection forest biodiversity and a trans-national action plan to prevent deforestation in the beneficiary region and stop the illegal trading of timber.

Experts said high demand for wood in Vietnam and a lax management of forests in Laos are the reasons of rising timber smuggling across the border./.