of the Forest

Supporting Local Communities


Developing sustainable livelihoods.

Working in the logging industry is unsustainable for the environment and is a dangerous job for both elephants and mahouts. It is however the only industry that hundreds of Sayaboury mahouts know, and their families were reliant on this much-needed income it provides. With the ban on logging declared by the Lao Government in 2018, we need to offer different means of income for these people through ecotourism, scientific study groups or through direct policing of the forest. This will make local communities place value on their natural resource while an income can be derived from sustainable management of the Forest.

Our programme spans 10 years. It includes several Income Generating Activities aimed at the 55 villages neighbouring the Nam Pouy National Protected Area.

Scientific Tourism will allow small groups of researchers and amateurs alike to penetrate into the Protected Area with local guides to visit elephant habitat and collect data (photography, dung samples etc…) that will be further analyzed at the ECC laboratory or at the Rangers’ office.

Alternative Agriculture: We will discuss selection of plants, trees and crops that can be produced by villagers and help them develop a market for their harvest. Rattan, Bamboo, Moringa, Pomelo are among crops that have been discussed. ECC will help develop this “cash crops” market by identifying outlets and marketing the products. Deriving an income from these crops should lower the pressure on the National Protected Area where villagers traditionally collect non-timber forest products and wildlife.

Education: We will continue to inform local villagers about the importance to protect elephants and their habitat through an anti-poaching campaign and outreach education activities at village level.