Around 49 ethnic groups and four language families also call it home. The way these cultures relate to nature is often coloured by beliefs and traditions that have been practiced for centuries.
Eighty per cent of Laos’ 6.5 million people, over half of which is under 20 years of age, live in rural areas making a living from natural resources mainly in the form of fisheries, agriculture, wildlife hunting and the harvest of non-timber forest products, such as honey or rattan.
Balancing Development & ConservationUnprecedented economic development is underway in Laos and across the Greater Mekong region. The building of major roads, hydropower dams and growing natural resource extraction are just some of the activities that need to be planned and managed in an appropriate way if biodiversity and socio-economic development are to exist in a balanced manner.
WWF-Laos projects and day-to-day work is run with people in mind. Without the support and encouragement of communities, it would not be possible to reach success. However, WWF always understands that where people derive benefits from nature conservation, the best result is possible.
Why not read a little more about our projects that seek to improve local livelihoods while also protecting nature.