Teak is one of the world's finest timbers. The high sustained demand for teak wood, coupled with significant shortages of supply from natural forests, has stimulated the development of plantations in many tropical countries.
A pilot program in northern Laos is sowing the seeds of a sustainable teak plantation industry, improving local villagers livelihoods and reducing the timber industrys reliance on trees from native forest.
Western consumers might best know teak as a durable timber used for outdoor furniture, but for poor rural people in Laos, a small teak plantation means much more. It is a valuable cash crop that can make the difference between whether or not their children go to school.