From August 9-11, 2010, Focus on the Global South, the Foundation for Ecological Recovery/TERRA, World Rainforest Movement (WRM), International Rivers, Bank Information Centre and the Thai Working Group on Climate Justice (TCJ), organised a workshop entitled “Food, Livelihoods and Climate Change in the Mekong Region”. The workshop was held at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, and attended by 52 representatives of local networks and civil society organizations from Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China.
This is a report of the workshop that was organised to widen the discussion on the concepts and critiques of the REDD programme (Programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) to coincide with meetings of the UNFCCC in Bangkok from 3-8 April 2011. Around 55 participants gathered together from Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, India, Nepal, and Japan. This included around 30 from local or regional NGOs, around 10 participants from indigenous peoples groups, and around 10 from peoples’ networks in Thailand.
For generations, the peoples of the Lao Peoples' Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) have practised locally-developed, diverse forms of agriculture and fisheries. The majority of the country's population depends directly on small-holder agriculture and the natural environment for their livelihoods. Over the past decades, the country's decision-makers have adopted a development strategy aimed at rapid expansion of the monetary economy through exploitation of the country's natural wealth—land, forests, rivers, minerals and biodiversity.