Outputs and Impacts/ Benefits
The principal outputs can be summarised as follows:
- Baseline and ongoing characterisation of the smallholder planted tree resource base
- A simplified system for legal registration of smallholder trees, and more appropriate standards for sustainable smallholder tree growing
- More effective organisation and coordination of smallholder tree growers.
- Detailed knowledge of the current wood recovery rate and production efficiency in primary and secondary wood processing companies.
- Recommendations for best options for improving primary and secondary processing value recovery for plantation grown wood for different products and market segments.
- Set of specifications on quality and performance requirements for various wood products for different market segments.
- Recommendation about best strategies for improving product design.
- Market development strategy for the Lao wood processing industry.
- Recommendations for developing most efficient training programs and University curricula including strategy for collaboration between existing providers.
- Improved research capacity through improved research facilities (laboratory equipment and testing procedures), teaching and learning resources, research skills and expertise.
The main impacts and benefits arising expected form the project are:
- Scientific impacts will be: improved knowledge of the extent of planted teak and the measures needed to enhance log quality; simpler system for demonstrating legality, increased knowledge of optimal utilization of small dimensions, inferior quality plantation grown timbers; and increased scientific capabilities of Lao participants.
- Economic impacts will be: (i) improved returns to smallholders; more secure market access to higher-value markets for the plantation-based sector; increased value-adding of plantation-grown timbers; and improved competitiveness of Lao industry on domestic and international markets, (ii) greater returns to smallholder growers from reduced transaction costs and improved market access.
- Social impacts will be: improved livelihoods of smallholder growers; greater and more secure opportunities for employment in the plantation wood processing sector; improved skills base in the wood processing sector in Lao PDR;
- Environmental impacts will be: the recognition and mitigation of any adverse environmental impacts, due to the more widespread adoption of forest certification and development and implementation of a forest practices code.
Within Australia, the major benefit will be new knowledge on value added processing for plantation grown teak and the potential to facilitate greater access to Australian markets for smallholder plantation timber which can demonstrate that it has been produced legally.
Midgley, S. et al 2011. Scoping Study: Payments for Environmental Services and Planted Log Value Chains in Lao PDR. Part 3: Opportunities for R&D across the value chain for plantation-grown wood in Lao PDR. Report for ACIAR. Pp 53-90.
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