Laos has a system of 24 National Protected Areas (NPAs) covering almost 14% of the country. Four of these – Xe Sap, Dong Amphan, Xe Pian, and Dong Houa Sao – fall within our Southern Laos Landscape. One more – Nam Pouy NPA – is a project site for law enforcement and elephant conservation activities.
Species found inside our focus NPAs include Asian elephant, clouded leopard, sun bear, white-crested gibbon, serow, and perhaps even saola, one of the world’s most threatened mammals.
Protected areas go beyond the highest level of designation and also include community-managed sanctuaries, such as the Eld’s deer sanctuary in Savannakhet, and Fish Conservation Zones, which are a part of our Community Fisheries and Siphandone projects.
However, as the population and demand for natural resources continues to grow, these areas and the biodiversity within comes under constant pressure.
WWF works with government, provincial and district authorities, and communities to improve or develop protected area management plans, support law enforcement activities and conduct biological surveys. So too we evaluate the attitudes and needs of communities through socio-economic assessments. The latter allows us to identify potential avenues for locally based conservation initiatives that benefit both people and nature.