Environment and Energy

Rapid economic growth, primarily driven by natural resource extraction, is putting new pressures on the environmental assets on which rural communities traditionally depend. Strengthening human and financial capacities to manage natural resources at the community level and enforcing relevant laws is critical to ensure sustainable development.

Our Goals

We support growth that does not harm the environment. Our work focuses on three priority areas: encouraging all national development planning to recognize links between environmental harm and poverty; strengthening the response to climate change; and improving environmental governance and promoting community-based natural resource management. more

Pro-poor development planning

UNDP in Lao PDR works at the policy and community level to ensure that growth does not harm the environment and brings benefits to all. more

Our Stories

Village girl bathing
The new water tower in Kamkok provides water year-round directly to the houses of 336 people from 46 families. Photo: UNDP Lao PDR/Jim Holmes
Steady flows

First come the rains. They make lakes and rivers rise, flooding villages and fields. “In my 20 years here in this village, I have never seen six consecutive days of relentless rain. But last year, that’s what’s happened”, says Bounchang Jingkalieng, inhabitant of Kamkok Village in the southern province of Sekong in Lao PDR. The floods destroy harvests, sweep the fish out of ponds and erode riverbeds where women wash clothes and children play.more 

 Man with leaf hat
Products from the forest are vital to local communities. Photo: UNDP lao PDR/Lou Sensouphone
Forest Supermarkets

The smell of diesel hangs in the air as the ‘iron buffalo’ tractor grumbles to life, breaking the serenity of the cool morning underneath the green forest canopy and signaling to the gathered villagers it is time to set off. The shopping trip has begun. Read our photo story on community harvesting of non-timber forest products in the dry forests of Southern Lao PDR.more 

Read more stories

Projects and Initiatives

  • The people of Lao PDR are particularly vulnerable to climate change because 80% of livelihoods are associated with some form of agricultural activity.more 

  • Poverty Environment Initiative: Phase II

    Building on the first phase, this project is part of a global programme and represents a joint effort by UNDP and the UN Environment Programme to help the Government increase the proportion of 'quality investments', with the most benefits for Lao people and the least impact on the environment. more 

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