Preventing Illegal Logging and Trading Rose Wood in LAO PDR.
Mr. Khamphet KEOSOUVANHDEPARTMENT OF FOREST INSPECTION
Lao PDR shares its border with many countries
China in the north, Cambodia in the south,Vietnam in the east, Thailand in the west andMyanmar in the northwest.
Laos also has international border checkpointswith these countries. Laos is still abundant withForest resources and this causes an extremechallenge for Laos to protect valuable woodspecies such as rose wood.
II. Law Enforcement in Lao PDR.
In 2008 the Department of Forest Inspection(DOFI) and Provincial Office for ForestInspection (POFI) was created by theGovernment of Lao PDR to conductinspections and Investigations under the newForest Law and Wildlife-Aquatic Law.
DOFI and POFI number over 500 lawenforcement officers in 18 Provinces and 143Districts. The focus of law enforcement is onprevention, detection and suppression. Patrolsare strategically planned to focus on high riskareas.
Two examples of a high risks are the illegalencroachment in Salvage logging areas and theillegal transport of raw and cut forest products.
Rose Wood is one species that is at high risk.Provincial coordination of inspections andinvestigations has resulted in the seizure of 117,088cubic meters. Dalbergia species is also at agreat riskof illegal harvesting.
Currently, the Department of Forest Inspectionis supported through the SUFORD-SU Project,funded by the World Bank.
This project provides training and equipment toimprove law enforcement capacity building. Oneexample is the use of SMART Phone technologyto report and investigate forest crime in high riskareas to Provincial (POFI) and Central (DOFI)personnel.
All information is centrally managed in the DOFIIMS.
Organized Crime pays grand mother and her nephew to cut valuable Dalbergia spp
III. Law Enforcement partners.
1. International Partners.
- ASEAN WEN Liaison
- Interpol, CITES
- Protection of Forest Department, Vietnam
and other Law Enforcement agency Liaison.
2. National Partners.
- Department of Forest Inspection (DOFI).- Department of Forest Resource Management- Environmental Police.- Customs- Lao PDR Army- Industry and Commerce- Anti- Corruption agency- State Inspection
3. Public Prosecutor and Lao-WEN Partners
DOFI conducts annual bilateral cooperation meetingswith neighboring countries (especially Vietnam andThailand) to share best practices and lessons
The Public Prosecutor is included in all meetings.Other law enforcement departments within the 13Lao-WEN partners are also included as required.
Effective law enforcement requires national andinternational coordination and strategic planning.
DOFI is improving its capacity to be a string leader inForest Law Enforcement.
Thank you very much