South East Asia Hub
Landscapes providing bundles of ecosystem services
Countering illegal resource extraction through local stewardships, and maintaining multifunctional landscapes to benefit agriculture, development, biodiversity, and society.
Different landscapes in southern and northern Laos
The entire country of Laos has 7.5 million inhabitants
Laos is a biodiversity hotspot of global relevance. It is home to many endangered species, pristine forests, untouched rivers, and an exceptionally rich agrobiodiversity.
Laos has been isolated from the international community for decades. The recent economic and political opening has accelerated economic growth, which relies largely on the extraction of natural resources. Weak governance, poor law enforcement, uneven power distribution, and extremely rapid social transformations are posing tremendous challenges for protecting the environment and the rights of local communities. Local livelihood systems are increasingly undermined by the loss of biodiversity and by the erosion of the capacities of degrading landscapes for providing multifunctional services.
Main achievements at Hub level 2021
- Clarification of legal setup of the Wyss Academy Hub Southeast Asia in Vientiane, Laos (hosting by the Lao office of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) agreed in principle and to be formalized in early 2022)
- Identification of different challenges and related solutionscapes in which the Wyss Academy and partners co-design further activities
- Compilation and sharing of current state of knowledge on the region in a Regional Appraisal Report