When we first came to Bokeo in 1997, there was only thick jungle – no tree house, no zipline and no tourism activity whatsoever.
The first step of our project was to put together a team of 5 forest guards, selected among the best tribal hunters living in the forest. Funded with occasional donations, the team was experimental and the first of its kind in the Lao PDR.
In 2014, the patrol team had grown to 15 local villagers working on a full time basis under the supervision of 5 staff from the Provincial Department of Natural Resources. The Provincial Department of Forest Inspection controls their work.
The team’s primary focus is on illegal logging, hunting, bomb fishing and land use.
The patrol is jointly run by The Gibbon Experience and the Lao Government, and GE covers nearly all of the related expenses: salaries, food, cars, bikes, petrol, uniforms, environmental awareness campaigns, and special law enforcement operations.