Overview of TABI

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). The two main goals of the program are to:

(i)     to conserve, enhance, manage and sustainably utilize the biological diversity of farming and forest landscapes to improve the livelihoods and incomes of upland farming families in northern Laos.

(ii)    to integrate, to raise the status of Agro-Biodiversity as a key component in the development policies, practices and scenarios of the country.

TABI is an “initiative” that develops and facilitates opportunities to developed agro-biodiversity activities, and also to integrate ABD into relevant programmes and policies by providing funding and technical support to on-going programmes and especially to new 'initiatives' in agriculture, environment, livelihood, education health etc. with the intention of embedding agro-biodiversity issues in decision making processes at the national and local levels.  It does this by:

  • field level demonstrations and support to ABD subprojects, 
  • facilitation of the planning, and recognition of ABD eco-systems , and land and resource access/tenure, information exchange and
  • capacity building in both government and civil society.  

Implementation of TABI is through a phased approach.

  • Phase 1 began in 2009 and finished in 2012 (total budget 4,535,031 USD).
  • Phase 2 began in July 2012 and will continue through to June 2016 (total funding 6,358,000 USD).
  • Phase 3 is anticipated to begin in 2016.

TABI implementation is organized around 5 Outcome areas, as follows:

Outcome 1:  Options and systems for ABD-based livelihoods are designed, demonstrated and applied by upland farming communities and other stakeholders.


Outcome 2:  Participatory forest and land use planning ensures village agricultural land and forest resource tenure and sustainable management. 


Outcome 3: Integrated spatial planning and ABD knowledge management and exchange tools support evidence based decision making. 


Outcome 4:  Government policies promote ABD conservation and sustainable use, and land management, for improved food security and livelihoods in upland communities.


Outcome 5:  Partner institutions incorporate and use ABD tools and concepts for uplands livelihoods development.




   TABI Offices and Staff

TABI has 4 offices in Laos, The Vientiane Coordination Unit and Support Office (CU/SO), and Provincial Coordination Offices (PCO) in Luang Prabang, Xieng Khouang and Houa Phanh. Details of office locations and staff can be found on the contacts page, and the TABI staff page


   Project Management

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. Most field activities are undertaken by GoL staff (and some by ngos/npa), with technical and management support provided by NIRAS TA, the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), UoB, and a range of local TA.


   Government of Lao Partners

Many other  GoL Ministries and Agencies are partners, especially at the local level, dependent on the requirements of each activity. These include MONRE, LWU, LNFC, MoH, MoE, MIC