At the request of the governor of the Province of Khammouane, the NGO Tétraktys has been working in Laos since 2008 to protect and enhance the underground heritage of the province of Khammouane.

During these years of collaboration, the actors of Khammouane have regularly come to discover and be inspired by the Ardèche model, its methods of protection, enhancement and management of natural spaces.

To continue and expand this cooperation, the Province of Khammouane, SMERGC and Tétraktys have decided to co-build a decentralized cooperation program both for the protection and enhancement of the Phou Hin Poun landscapes. Supported by the French Development Agency (AFD), the KARST project, Khammouane-ARdèche Territorial Strategy, began on January 1, 2020.

KARST is a decentralized cooperation program between the Ardèche and the Province of Khammouane supported by the FICOL funding mechanism, (Facility for financing local authorities) of the French Development Agency. The SMERGC (Syndicat Mixte de l’Espace de Restitution de la Grotte Chauvet) and the Province of Khammouane have signed a partnership agreement for the implementation of the KARST program.

The SMERGC is a French public establishment which has carried out a territorial development project articulated around the prehistoric heritage of Ardèche. In particular, he compiled the dossier for the inscription of the Chauvet cave on the UNESCO World Heritage List, of which he is now co-manager with the French State before the World Heritage Committee.

In addition to the skills of SMERGC, the Ardèche has other know-how related to the enhancement of heritage and landscapes. Thus, the Joint Syndicate of the Regional Natural Park of the Monts d’Ardèche successfully obtained the labeling of its territory as a Geopark in 2014, having many points in common with the Province of Khammouane.

The work undertaken by the NGO Tétraktys since 2008 for the shared enhancement of the Konglor-Natane cave has notably resulted in the creation of an association bringing together the inhabitants. Thus, the AEKN (Konglor Natane Ecotourism Association) has more than 400 members, and allows local communities to take up the theme of tourism in the valley, particularly focused on the preservation of the natural environment as a whole around an ecovalley. It is also the first ecotourism association in Laos for the management of natural sites and is a real success today.

Tétraktys continues its action in the valleys of Konglor and Natane, epicenter of the KARST project.