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SEM II Project Overview
Written by Amkha VAYAPHATH   
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 13:14
Article Index
SEM II Project Overview
Lao Policy on Environment
Illustration of Project
All Pages

Background to the SEM II Project

The Strengthening Environment Management through STEA Project – Phase II (SEM II) is supported by the Swedish International Cooperation Development Agency (Sida), through a Specific Agreement between the Science Technology and Environment Agency (STEA) and Sida signed on 9 June 2005.
The Goal of SEM II is strong environmental management in Lao PDR to support national goals of sustainable development and poverty eradication. The Lao Government clearly recognises that its central goals of poverty eradication and long term sustainable development are dependent on a clean, healthy and productive environment. Maintaining and protecting the country’s natural resource base through effective management is indeed essential to the realisation of poverty eradication. This Project Goal therefore recognises the challenges faced by the Lao Government to alleviate poverty and develop its economy through the sustainable use of its rich natural resources.

Environmental Challenges

Despite the relatively good state of the environment in Lao PDR, economic and demographic changes are placing increasing pressure on the country’s resource base. Biodiversity is declining, forest cover and quality decreasing, erosion remains a serious problem and environmental problems associated with urbanisation and industrialisation (e.g. solid and liquid waste, air pollution, noise, and toxic and hazardous materials) are increasing. Plans to exploit Lao PDR’s substantial hydropower and mineral potential also place additional pressure on poor rural communities who are dependent on natural resources for their livelihood.
The government in its National Environment Strategy to the Year 2020, 2010, has identified a number of underlying causes to these environmental challenges, including:
  • Increasing pressure on land and forests from increasing population;
  • Industrialisation, urbanisation and modernisation without due consideration and management of environmental impacts;
  • Increased consumption of goods and services placing further pressure on the use of resources and the creation of waste; and
  • Limited development and accessibility of markets (e.g. for more environmentally sustainable goods and services) and inadequate access to information (e.g. sustainable production technologies etc.).


Last Updated on Thursday, 08 December 2011 07:12