Updated National Data:  Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Total Population

6,580,000 in 2013 (based on 2005 census)

Rural Population

4,803,400 in 2013

73%  (based on 2005 census)

Total area

23,680,000 ha

Total land area (excluding inland water)

23,080,000 ha

Total forest area

15,751,000 ha

69 % of total land area

Total forest cover

9,550,000 ha (in 2010)

40% of total land

60% total forest area

Production Forest

3,100,000 ha

20% of total forest area

13% of total land area

Protected forest – soil and water

8,200,000 ha  (proposed area[1])

52% of total forest area    

34% of total land area 

Protected forest – biodiversity conservation

4,700,000 ha (proposed area)

30%of total forest area

20% of total land

Unclassified forest area

2,300,000 ha

14%  of total forest area 

Forest area with official CF agreements  


Carbon stocks

In above & below ground living biomass: 1107 Mt

In litter: Data not available

In soil: Data not available

Rates of deforestation (total forest cover)

Forest decrease during 2002 – 2010 =  277,200 ha

Average annual change   -34,650 ha/year

Annual change rate -0.36% of total forest cover / -0.15% of total land

Social/community forestry programmes/activities

Participatory sustainable forest management

Village Forestry

Collaborative Forest Management

Traditional Forest Management

Community-based forest management for ecotourism

Smallholder plantations/industrial plantations

Climate Change Mitigation programmes/activities

Natural regeneration of 6 mha and planting of 500,000 ha

CLiPAD – Avoided Deforestation

SUFORD – production forests and carbon financing

WCS project Bolikhamxay Province to reduce deforestation and degradation, conserve biodiversity, improve local livelihoods and assess options for carbon financing.

reductions in illegal logging through improved forest law enforcement

reduce shifting cultivation and improve agro-forestry

reduce burning and forest clearance

Climate Change Adaptation programmes/activities

NAPA - 45 proposals in agriculture, forestry, water and public health.


[1] Lao’s Second National Communication to the UNFCCC reports that as of 2010 there was a total of 13.5 mha of forest area, consisting of approximately 6.9 mha protected forest, 3.6 mha conservation forests and 3.1 mha production forest (Department of Environment 2013). 

[2] See explanatory notes in following section on Community Forestry Data.