Vientiane, Laos – The Sub-Sector Working Group on Agroecology (SSWG-AE) held its inaugural meeting on November 24, 2023, at the MAF’s Meeting Hall in Vientiane Capital. The meeting brought together key stakeholders from government agencies, development partners, and international organizations to discuss the importance of agroecology for sustainable food system transformation in Laos.
Established in October 2023 under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), the SSWG-AE aims to facilitate and coordinate the sharing of lessons learned on agroecology, formulate Laos’ vision of sustainable landscape management approaches, and disseminate this vision to the global community. Chaired by the Department of Agricultural Land Management (DALaM) and Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), the SSWG-AE brings together representatives from government agencies, development partners, and international organizations, fostering a collaborative environment for advancing agroecology in Laos.
The inaugural meeting served as a crucial forum for introducing the SSWG-AE, its objectives, and its mandate to its members. Participants delved into the concepts, practices, and challenges of agroecology in Laos, gaining a shared understanding of this transformative approach to sustainable agriculture. Stocktaking of policies related to agroecology and food system resilience provided insights into the current landscape and identified areas for further development.
Civil society organizations shared their experiences in implementing agroecology initiatives in Laos, highlighting the potential of this approach to empower communities, enhance livelihoods, and protect the environment. These experiences served as valuable case studies, demonstrating the feasibility and effectiveness of agroecology in the Laotian context.
In a consultative session, participants identified key action areas for agroecology implementation and suggested topics for future SSWG-AE meetings. This collaborative effort laid the foundation for a comprehensive strategy to advance agroecology in Laos, ensuring that it aligns with the country’s national development goals and contributes to a more sustainable and resilient future.
The inaugural meeting of the SSWG-AE marks a significant step forward in advancing agroecology in Laos. The meeting’s outcomes will inform the development of a national agroecology strategy and contribute to the implementation of the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (9th NSEDP 2021-2025).
The presentations are available for download below:
- Background, objectives, and mandate of the new SSWG Agroecology, presented by Dr Thatheva Saphangthong, Deputy Director General, DALaM [English version] [Lao version]
- Agroecology concepts, practices and challenges in Laos, presented by Andrew Bartlett, Senior Policy Advisor [English version] [Lao version]
- Stocktaking on policies related to agroecology and safe food system, presented by Mr. Somsamay Vongthilath, Deputy Director of Planning division, DOPC / MAF [English version] [Lao version]
- Civil society experience in implementing agroecology in Laos, presented by Mr Thongdam Phongphichith, Co-Director, SAEDA [English version] [Lao version]