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Environment Sector Partnerships Still Essential for Nation, Minister Tells

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Laos is still in need of support from partners to push progress in the natural resources and environmental management sector, representatives from development partners, line departments of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment heard yesterday in Vientiane.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr. Sommad Pholsena delivered the message yesterday in Vientiane at a meeting of the natural resources and environment working group.

Considering contributions to successful implementation of policies for the sector nationwide, the meeting was held in the presence of German Ambassador to Laos, Mr. Michael Grau and Country Manager of the World Bank to Laos, Ms Sally Burningham.

Minister Sommad said the meeting would be the first of Natural Resources and Environment Sector Working Group for 2016 which is set to contribute to the first year for the implementation of the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan.

The purpose of meeting was to cover various points regarding environment sector including “Resource Mobilisation for the implementation of Natural Resources and Environment Sector plan 2016 – 2020”, officials confirmed.

“The results from our discussion today will help to shape and harmonise future cooperation. Therefore, it is obvious that this particular sector will have extensive support from both government and development partners,” Mr. Sommad said.

“We encourage your interventions, and your views on the mentioned sub-sector with respect to its effectiveness and efficiency are highly appreciated.” He also welcomed amendments on the role of some Sub Sector Working Groups. Environment is considered one of the national development priorities in the country’s 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (2016-2020) in assisting the accomplishment of the SDGs, he said.

The group shared insights on approaches to several goals related to environment and natural resources in SDG’s Direction and Implementation, as well as the 8th National Socio- Economic Development Plan of Laos for 2016-2020, the 5- year plan of Ministry for 2016-2020 on priority projects of the sector, 8 principles of the Vientiane Declaration while updating on progress on a monitoring and evaluation framework, he added.

“I hope our meeting becomes successful with effective discussions and outcomes which will further contribute to sustainable development in the Lao PDR,” Sommad said.

Despite the fact it is a national development priority area with various forms of financial assistance, the large size of the sector as well as the high number of projects means Laos will continue to require significant support both technically and financially, Sommad said.

Source: Vientiane Source