What we do

TABI – The Agro-biodiversity Initiative- is a joint program of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Government of Lao PDR and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

TABI’s mission is to contribute to poverty alleviation and improved livelihoods of upland communities through the sustainable management and use of agro-biodiversity in multi-functional landscapes. TABI does this by working with partners to facilitate opportunities to integrate agro-biodiversity and agro-ecosystems approaches into relevant programmes and policies by providing funding and technical support. TABI’s initiatives will contribute to reduced poverty, and increased food security and resilience in these communities.

TABI began in 2009 and now entering its third and final phase (April 2017 – September 2020). The third phase aim to complete on-going processes, consolidate the achievements, capitalize and disseminate the knowledge generated under the previous two phases. It will work with and through government line departments to ensure results are sustained after the project ends. There will be a focus on developing sustainable models for small scale farmers, sustainable enterprises of unique Lao products and ensuring policies recognize the importance of ABD.

The project goal for Phase 3 is “to contribute to poverty alleviation and improved livelihoods of upland communities through the sustainable management and use of ABD in multi-functional landscapes.”
  • Outcome 1 – Livelihood; “Developed options and systems for ABD-based livelihoods are sustainably applied by upland farming communities in TABI target provinces, enhancing their resilience”.
  • Outcome 2 – Forest and Land-Use Planning; “pFALUPAM procedures provide increased production, equitable benefits, secure tenure, good land and forest governance and sustainable management”.
  • Outcome 3 – Knowledge generation; “ABD data, information, knowledge, tools and concepts are capitalized and disseminated to local, national and international levels, verifying and documenting TABI findings and impact, and advocating for the integration of ABD in planning, decision making and policy development.”

The project is managed jointly by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), and a TA team through NIRAS, who are also responsible for financial management. The project is led by the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute which has a mandate to implement the Government’s Agro-Biodiversity Strategy Most field activities are undertaken by GoL staff (and some by NGOs/Non-Profit Associations). The Center for Development and Environment, University of Berne provides research support and mapping capacity development.