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Laos, China to strengthen natural resource management cooperation
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Technical staff from Laos and China have recently reached in-principle consensus on establishing a center for cooperation on land and natural resource management in Laos to exchange technical knowledge between the two countries, Lao newspaper Vientiane Times reported Thursday.

China has valuable expertise in requiring investors to take into consideration environmental issues when developing projects, the newspaper quoted Chanthaviphone Inthavong, acting director of Laos' Center for Research and Information on Land and Natural Resources, as saying.

China has faced similar problems to Laos, including deforestation for trade and agricultural purposes, but its officials have succeeded in introducing income-generating activities attached to forest preservation.

Jin Jiaman, executive director of Global Environmental Institute, a Chinese non-profit, non-governmental organization in Beijing, said China had implemented a number of environmentally friendly land development projects in such Chinese localities as Sichuan and Yunnan over the past 10 years.

Jin gave the example of a dam constructed in Sichuan province where the dam's investors established a fund to rehabilitate the forest and implement social and environmental activities to provide a preservation area for pandas.

"This shows the development process can be aligned with environmental protection for sustainability," she said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 22, 2008)

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