The Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has developed new legislation, policies, and plans to promote economic development through socially and environmentally sustainable forest management but illegal logging remains a challenge. There are risks associated with the land allocation process in Lao PDR and corruption persists, though this risk has been diminished by recent legal reforms around granting of concessions and management of conversion timber.
Lao PDR has introduced numerous bans on the exports of unprocessed logs and sawn timber which has dramatically reduced trade with Vietnam and China. There remains a risk of unsustainable and illegal trade in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)-listed species, but a recent (September 2021) Order has prohibited imports and exports of goods protected via international conventions, including CITES. Enforcement is improving but is still weak and lacks sufficient resourcing.