The Agro-Biodiversity Initiative (TABI)


Maintaining high biodiversity in agro-ecosystems contributes to poverty reduction in rural livelihood. Better knowledge, tools and institutional arrangements are needed to support poverty alleviation and preserve biodiversity. Considering the current development context in Lao PDR, TABI supports the conservation and sustainable economic use of agro-biodiversity (ABD) in multifunctional landscapes, aiming at improving the livelihood of uplands farmers.

Country/region Period Budget
Laos
01.04.2017 - 30.09.2020
CHF 5'300'000
Background

Lao PDR is considered a “mega-bio-diverse” country where ABD is a key source of food and income security especially for the rural poor in the uplands. The country is undergoing a rapid tran­sition and sees a continued economic growth, with a forecasted GDP growth of nearly 7% for 2016 and 2017. The Government has determined agriculture development as a priority and has established guidelines to shift from subsistence agriculture to market-oriented agriculture, including homogenous plantation schemes. As a result, the biodiversity has severely eroded during the past ten years. But agriculture remains the main income source for nearly 70% of the population and contributes significantly to rural poverty reduction. The challenge is how to adapt the use of the country’s ABD and rice-based farming systems to meet the national development goals - including poverty reduction - to provide an attractive alternative to industrial commercial crops.

Objectives

To contribute to poverty alleviation and improved livelihoods of upland communities through sustainable management and use of agro-biodiversity in multifunctional landscapes.

Target groups

Direct beneficiaries are:

  • Upland farmers (30’000 Households - HH) and producer groups in the targeted geographical areas (Louangprabang, Xiengkhouang and Houaphanh provinces)
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF)
  • Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MoNRE)
  • National University of Laos (NUoL)
  • The 5 national Agriculture & Forestry Colleges (AFC) supported by SDC’s SURAFCO project

Indirect beneficiaries are:

  • Neighboring upland communities
  • Private sector - individuals and companies who provide support and marketing services for ABD products
  • Relevant Government of Laos (GoL) bodies (national assembly, ministries, research institutes, platforms)
  • General public and young generation
  • Civil society, non-government agencies and stakeholders involved in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) forum
  • International science-policy actors
Medium-term outcomes
  • Livelihood; Developed options and systems for ABD-based livelihoods are sustainably applied by upland farming communities in TABI target provinces, enhancing their resilience.
  • Land-Use Planning; pFALUPAM procedures provide increased production, equitable benefits, secure tenure, good land and forest governance and sustainable management.
  • Knowledge generation; ABD data, information, knowledge, tools and concepts are capitalized and disseminated to local, national and international levels, verifying and documenting TABI findings and impact, and advocating for the integration of ABD in planning, decision making and policy development.
Results

Expected results:  

  • Existing ABD activities are sustained and their benefits (income and nutrition) enhanced, based on identified opportunities, lessons learnt and sustainability analysis.
  • Promising ABD-products value chains or livelihood opportunities are further dissemina-ted/out-scaled through government agencies and the private sector.
  • Capacities are further strengthened at all levels regarding land use planning, including map production and database management.
  • In all villages where land use planning has been initiated, the process is finalized and maps are endorsed by District authorities, allowing for a long-term use of the approach.
  • Land tenure at village level is strengthened: surveys are conducted as precursors to land registration and the issuing of community land titles; taxation issues are considered and discussed.
  • Evidence-based information from TABI is presented through policy briefs and recommendations, influencing policy development and decision making at national and international levels. 
  • Local media are disseminating information and raising awareness of the general public on ABD and its importance for livelihoods, nutrition and ecosystem resilience.


Results from previous phases:  

  • 38.000 households benefit from Sub-Project Agreements (SPAs) on more than 25 ABD based livelihood options.
  • 19,134 households in 167 villages have participated in and are benefiting from Participatory Forest and Land Use Planning and Management process (pFALUPAM), which is a promising method to stabilize shifting cultivation.
  • Provincial and district level government staff have improved their knowledge and know-how.
  • Numerous databases are established, cleaned and analyzed, containing 1800 unique species of non-timber forest products (NTFPs).
  • ABD is incorporated into National, Provincial and District Strategies and Action Plans.
  • The three national forest categories are reviewed and re-delineated upon request of the National Assembly.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
  • Foreign private sector North

Implementing partner
Multiple Local Partners

Other partners

Individuals and entities involved in ABD development and land use planning activities

Coordination with other projects and actors

LURAS, SURAFCO, WWF, GRET, KfW, MoNRE, RECOFTC, SDC Regional Humanitarian Aid Unit (BKK)

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   5'300'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   1'300'000
Project phases Phase 4 01.04.2017 - 30.09.2020   (Current phase) Phase 3 01.07.2012 - 31.03.2017   (Completed) Phase 2 01.01.2009 - 30.06.2012   (Completed)