The paper describes in detail the complex policy environment and how it evolved. Then, focusing on Luang Prabang Province, it examines the reality on the ground. The teak plantations were mapped using aerial photography, and the team carried out action research with grower groups to understand the real challenges they face in harvesting and marketing their timber, and to work with them to find solutions.
The province has over 15,000 hectares of teak plantations. The Luang Prabang Teak Program (LPTP), a partner in this project, has been supporting the local teak sector, and participation by smallholders, since 2008. Registration of plantations, and accreditation from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), are examples of the challenges facing smallholder growers which the LPTP is trying to address. The paper concludes with a recommendation that policymakers do not treat smallholders as a homogeneous group, but recognise their individual motivations and aspirations.
Reference: H.F. Smith, S. Ling and K. Boer (2017) Teak plantation smallholders in Lao PDR: what influences compliance with plantation regulations? Australian Forestry, Vol. 80, No. 3, pp. 178–187. DOI: 10.1080/00049158.2017.1321520
The open access publication of the above paper is part of wider initiative by ACIAR to disseminate the results of its projects as widely as possible. The move towards supporting open access is in line with ACIAR’s thinking on free and fair knowledge sharing in pursuit of more productive and sustainable agricultural systems.