The Agro-biodiversity Initiative (TABI)

Projekt abgeschlossen
Hand made Non-Timber Forest Products made possible by sustainable land use planning introduced to farming communities.
Villager with her agro-biodiversy products. © Touravanh/SDC. © SDC/Touravanh

Since 2009, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is implementing The Agro-Biodiversity Initiative (TABI), which supports the conservation and sustainable economic use of agro-biodiversity in Lao PDR project for Smallholder Agricultural-market.

Land/Region Thema Periode Budget
Landwirtschaft und Ernährungssicherheit
Landwirtschaftliche Entwicklung
Landwirtschaftliche Nutzflächen
01.07.2012 - 31.03.2017
CHF  8’478’337

Lao PDR is ecologically rich with an abundance of natural resources, but due to population growth, land use changes, government sanctioned land allocation and village consolidation policies, the biodiversity has eroded during the past ten years. By allowing an influx of commercial resource extraction and large scale commercial agriculture, there has been significant negative impact on poor upland farming communities such as decreased availability of Non-Timber Forest Products, soil degradation, increase water and land scarcity.

These threats to agriculture and food security have adverse effects to the population’s livelihoods where more than 80 percent of the country’s inhabitants live in rural areas and depend mainly on wild plants, forest products and domesticated crops.

Recognizing these challenges, Lao PDR is a signatory to the International Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The government has developed a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan to meet its obligations under the Convention. In 2009, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) launched The Agro-biodiversity Initiative (TABI), to support the Lao government’s effort to implement the CBD and to promote agrobiodiversity (ABD) conservation overall.

The current phase of the TABI project will continue to focus on the sustainable use of ABD, Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) marketing and forest land use planning. The project will look to strengthen partnerships with potential project partners, including NPA, INGOS, Private Sector and GoL Agencies involved with village based development linked to improving community livelihood in the uplands of Lao PDR.


TABI aims to contribute to poverty alleviation and improved livelihoods of upland communities through sustainable management and use of agrobiodiversity in multifunctional landscapes.


Erwartete Resultate:  

Going forward, TABI will place emphasis on further scaling up the initiative and on strengthening the link between knowledge and policy-making.

It is anticipated that TABI will play a central role in facilitating an increased awareness of agrobiodiversity issues in agriculture and natural resource development in Lao PDR.

Resultate von früheren Phasen:  

TABI has shown good results by combining a variety of tools, approaches, and activities to improve the livelihoods in the uplands of Laos. One of tools developed is a digital data  management system to link high-quality spatial information at the national level for participatory land use planning at the local level to meet national development goals.

Others include Fifty sub-projects (SPAs) that have been introduced to new methods of production, processing, improving market access or diversification of markets, awareness such as the value of indigenous knowledge. TABI has engaged 15 primary and secondary schools in developing ABD-based curricula. Forest and Land Use Planning (FLUP) activities that involve understanding current land and forest use from villagers’ perspectives have been performed in 37 villages (in 4 districts).

Furthermore, A wider audience has been reached through the development of the TABI newsletter (TABI-Update), voices from the field videos, subproject information sheets, mass media coverage, and Exhibitions on the role of agrobiodiversity for livelihoods at national and provincial events have helped promote Indigenous knowledge sharing.

Finally, TABI has gained official approval from two district governors for inclusion of rotational shifting cultivation in official land use planning zones. TABI has also worked to revise and update the land categories used across Laos to include a more sensitive classification for forest types that accommodates upland rice cultivation and provides a better framework for land titling. 

Verantwortliche Direktion/Bundesamt DEZA
Kreditbereich Entwicklungszusammenarbeit
Projektpartner Vertragspartner
  • Ausländischer Privatsektor Norden
  • SDC Field Office

Andere Partner

Department of Planning of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, with technical support of NIRAS.

Budget Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF    8’478’337 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF    8’535’997
Projektphasen Phase 4 01.04.2017 - 30.09.2020   (Completed)

Phase 3 01.07.2012 - 31.03.2017   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.01.2009 - 30.06.2012   (Completed)