South-East Asia and East Asia › Lao PDR


Lao PDR

SCP Context

Lao PDR National Context for SCP and Connection to the Global Agenda

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) is already connected to the global agenda for sustainable consumption and production, having recently completed the Voluntary National Review of the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a review of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 on SCP. Progress on SDG 12 for the Lao PDR will mean fortifying the long-term results for progress on other SDGs, which depend strongly on the efficient use and sustainable management of natural resources. The National Green Growth Strategy of Lao PDR is in the consultation phase and will aim to guide the country’s response to SCP. Ultimately, this will extend across several SDGs while serving as a means to achieving SCP. As Lao PDR moves forward with the National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) and sectoral strategies, collaboration and coordination across line ministries as well as between central and local authorities will be essential for interventions to reach to the whole population, mainly the poorest communities. 

Challenges

  • Measurement of progress is difficult as most targets under SDG 12 lack robust measurement systems, especially those that can been implemented locally.
  • Existing policy frameworks are not fully aligned with SCP, while the National Green Growth Strategy is still being developed. 
  • While Lao PDR has done substantial efforts to localised SDGs, the awareness of policymakers and public understanding of the SDGs is weak, in particular SDG 12, and their relationship to the long-term development of the country. 
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Government entities lack sufficient access to the best available technologies, environmental practices and innovations. 
  • Insufficient financing raises the risk of inefficient and ineffective sustainable development strategies and activities.

Priorities

In addition to responding to the challenges, there are key sectors that require attention and are crucial for the overall effectiveness of efforts on SCP and thus the long-term success of the SDG implementation. 

  • The efficient use and sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable land management, has been identified as a priority for Lao PDR and is a cross-cutting issue linked to biomass and livestock power generation, food and agriculture processing, energy and other sectors that are resource-dependent and contribute to Lao PDR’s GDP growth. Inadequate use and management of these resources may exacerbate social and economic inequalities, thus slowing progress on sustainable development.
  • Ecotourism has been defined as a national priority in the Eighth NSEDP. It is part of at least two Green Growth indicators while SWITCH-Asia currently has one grant project operating in this high-impact and rapidly growing area. 
  • Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) and Eco-labelling tools are needed to improve supply chain management and consumer decisions, in particular with regard to resource efficient SMEs in textiles and garment sectors. 
  • Waste management, specifically with regard to including food, plastics and pollution control, is another cross-cutting issue that overlap with the same sectors affected by sustainable natural resource management, including at the individual/household level. 
  • The forestry industry, and in particular timber processing, is set to become an increasingly important sector in Lao PDR. The development of this industry should promote efficiencies in the in terms of inputs/output flows and of the sustainable management of timber resources. 

Opportunities

  • Pursuing innovative finance, including introducing government to hybrid business models e.g. subsidized service delivery by entrepreneurs; Public-private Partnership can help bridge the gap for decentralized systems, e.g. those used for small-scale energy and safe drinking water.
  • Enhanced integration of SCP into government agendas is both important and possible with numerous supporting mechanisms available to aid building of coordination bodies. Engaging with regional green growth initiatives such as those by ASEAN or the Asian Development Bank can also provide resources to support these activities. 
  • Education and training activities can support both general and technical capacity needs around SCP, tailored to support different audiences such as rural residents, SMEs and policy makers; multistakeholder engagement can help identify the most effective platforms. 
  • The upcoming launch of the Green Growth Strategy and its subsequent rollout at sector level present good opportunities for stimulating line ministries to uptake SCP policies.
  • Expansion of labelling and standards will not only improve safety but also resource efficiency, particularly with regard to energy, which is crucial as Lao PDR’s energy needs continue to grow with its economy.

SWITCH-Asia Activities

2018

SCP Facility 

  • Preliminary assessment of SCP related policies, activities, needs/gaps, and opportunities.

Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC)

Facilitated the participation of Laotian key-stakeholders in the following regional/ sub-regional activities:

2019

SCP Facility

  • A multi-stakeholder consultation was organised on 28 March 2019.
  • Demand was received from the National Focal Point of the Ministry of National Resources and Environment for: 1) mainstreaming SCP into the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan; and 2) preparing a policy report mapping related to plastic waste. 
  • A concept note is currently being prepared. 

Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC)

Facilitated the participation of Laotian key-stakeholders in the following regional/ sub-regional activities:

2020-2021

SCP Facility and RPAC

Implementation of the following activities with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Lao PDR, the SCP Facility, and the Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC) with guidance from EU Delegation:

  • Led by RPAC, Development of the National Roadmap on SCP and facilitate mainstreaming of SCP into the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP);
  • Led by the SCP Facility, preparation of a policy analysis report addressing the minimization, reduction and prevention of use of single-use plastics in selected priority sectors and collaboration of work through the joint partnership initiatives with the World Bank on developing the national plastic action plan.

2020

Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC)

  • The RPAC has provided technical support to Lao PDR in developing policy supporting documents i.e Scoping Study on SCP and the National SCP Roadmap to advocate and mainstream SCP into the national development plans.

Facilitated the participation of Laotian key-stakeholders in the following regional/sub-regional activities:

2021

Facilitated the participation of Lao key-stakeholders in the following regional/sub-regional activities:

2022

SCP Facility 

  • Ongoing collaboration with World Bank in building the capacity of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to prepare the National Plastics Action Plan in Lao PDR and ensuring multi-stakeholder engagement in policy consultation processes.

Grants Projects


SuPER WE Coffee
Sustainable Production and Ethic Responsible & Women Empowered Coffee Value Chains in Lao PDR
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SUSTOUR Laos
Promoting Sustainable Tourism by Integrating MSMEs into Sustainable Supply Chains and Raising Consum...
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Eat Greener
Changing food consumption patterns, A sustainable approach towards economic development in Lao PDR
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Sustainable Rattan
Establishing a Sustainable Production System for Rattan Products in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam
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SPIN-VCL
Sustainable Product Innovation in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos
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Improved Cook Stove Programme Lao PDR
Improving the health of households in Lao PDR through low GHG-emission cook stoves
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AEMAS
Establishment of the ASEAN Energy Management Scheme
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Sustainable Freight and Logistics
Sustainable Freight Transport and Logistics in the Mekong Region
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Luang Prabang Handle With Care
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