Unprecedented economic development is underway within Laos and across the Greater Mekong. This development is designed to strengthen regional transportation, telecommunications, energy production and usage, and cross-border trade. Within Laos this is driving the construction of major roads and hydropower dams and attracting huge foreign investment in Lao's relative abundance of mineral, land and forest resources. If this economic development is not planned and managed in a sustainable way, it will exhaust the natural resources that supply local and national economies, and provide habitat to some of the world’s rarest creatures, causing irreversible biodiversity loss.
Today, rural communities in Laos earn almost half of their income from non-timber forest product harvesting and selling e.g Mr Kensy Milatit - a villager from Thaveng Village, Khamkeut District, Bolikhamxay Province - earned 250-300USD last year from weaving the rattan products during his paddy-field-breaking time.
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