Lao People's Democratic Republic - Forestry



Timber is a major resource and one of Laos's most valuable exports. About 54% of the total area is forested, and about half of the forested area is commercially exploitable. The principal timber-producing areas are around Champasak, Savannakhét, Khammouan, and Vientiane. Muang Paklay, in western Laos, is noted for its teak. Exploitation is easiest in areas near the Mekong River, which facilitates transportation. Elephants and oxen are used in most forestry operations. Aside from timber, firewood, and charcoal, forestry products include benzoin and benzoin bark, bamboo, copra, kapok, palm oil, rattan, various resins, and sticklac. Production of roundwood totaled an estimated 5.5 million cu m (194 million cu ft) in 2000; over 80% of the annual output is burned as fuel. Sawn wood output in 2000 was about 350,000 cu m (12.4 million cu ft); wood-based panels, 125,000 cu m (4.38 million cu ft).

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