The Plain of Giant Jars in Laos (Lao PDR) houses the most mysterious megalithic structures in Southeast Asia. There are over 90 sites, each with up to 400 jars. There purpose is not known. Now a new study reveals they were put in place between 240 to 660 BCE.
Protected areas perform many functions; conserving biodiversity as well as delivering vital services that contribute to human wellbeing. Protected landscapes embody important cultural values; some of which reflect sustainable land use practices.
However, now they face many challenges, such as threats associated with pollution and climate change, irresponsible tourism, infrastructure development and ever increasing demands for land and water resources. Over the years funding for protected area management has declined, while the requirement for funding has increased.
In 1993 Lao PDR became a leader in national protected area system design. After many years of research and establishing baseline biodiversity surveys, Lao PDR sought to protect 5-20% of every ecosystem present in Laos. The result was the national designation of 20 National Protected Areas, plus two corridors and the adoption of a number of laws and regulations pertaining to NPA management. Following the addition of one NPA site to the system increases the total to 21 NPAs nationwide covering almost 15% of the land area.
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