The Annotated Ramsar List: Lao People's Democratic Republic


The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Lao PDR on 28 September 2010. Lao PDR presently has 2 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 14,760 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Beung Kiat Ngong Wetlands.16/06/2010; Champasak Province; 2,360 ha; 14°45'N 106°03'E. Within Xe Pian and the Dong Hua Sao National Protected Areas. This important wetland complex includes swamps, lakes and marshes and is the only place in Lao where peatland areas are found. This tributary of the Xe Khampho River supports up to 200-300 fish species and is important for fish spawning (e.g Channa sp.) and moving upstream during the wet season. During the dry season it acts as a sanctuary for the Walking catfish (Clarias batrachus) and some 20 other fish species. Aquatic habitats are home to freshwater tortoises such as the vulnerable Malayan snail-eating turtle (Malayemys subtrijuga), and the site is important as a feeding area for waterbirds that may occasionally also nest there. The site is important for flood control and maintaining ground water, and local people engage in subsistence and commercial fishing, harvesting of wild vegetables, rice and non-timber products, as well as over 350 species of medicinal plants. Threats include peat extraction for fertilizer, unsustainable fish harvesting, and conversion of marsh areas into rice-paddy. The Agriculture and Forestry District Office and the Water Resources and Environment Agency are responsible for the management of this site. Ramsar site no. 1941. Most recent RIS information: 2010.

Xe Champhone Wetlands. 16/06/2010; Savannakhet Province; 12,400 ha; 16°23'N 105°13'E. A large plain consisting of marshes, swamps, and flooded woodland forest. The site is an outstanding example of a river with many oxbow lakes, deep pools and mats of dense floating vegetation, rare in Lao. It supports the largest population of the critically endangered Siamese Crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis) in the country and protects other species such as the endangered Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata). As the water level recedes during the dry season, crocodiles and fish migrate to permanently flooded deep ponds and marshes. Fish use the site as a spawning area and as a migration path during the wet season. Local people engage in rice paddy farming, communal fishing, and cattle and water buffalo raising. Traditional management systems such as sacred areas and local taboos play an important role in the protection of some parts of Xe Champhone Wetlands and its resources. Threats to the site include conversion for agriculture, collection of crocodile eggs, and disturbance to crocodile hatching areas due to flooding caused by the construction of weirs. Ramsar site no. Most recent RIS information: 2010.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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