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Laos welcomes from November 20 to 30, 2022 a French delegation within the framework of the KARST project which represents all the partners of the project

This delegation is made up of elected officials and technicians and led by Virginie Bonnet-Ferrand, regional councilor for the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region and vice-president of SMERGC in charge of international cooperation. She is accompanied by Jean-Yves Meyer, general councilor of the Ardèche and president of the Departmental Association of Tourism of the Ardèche as well as Patrick Bohle vice-president of the regional park and the Geoparc of the mountains of Ardèche in charge of international cooperation. Also taking part in the trip is the vice-president of the Tetraktys association, Gilbert Mantovani as well as its director, Raphaël Trouiller, Raphaël Torquebiau, director of the IFREEMIS association and Frédéric Sadorge Director of SMERGC.

This visit makes it possible to develop exchanges between the French partners and the Laotian partners of the project, as well as to meet the Franco-Laotian team of the project which works in the field.

A rich program of visits and meetings is planned, which will be punctuated by highlights:

– On Monday 28 in the morning, a steering committee which will make it possible to take stock of the progress of the project, to discuss the limits of the territory of the geopark and to lay the foundations for its future governance

– In the afternoon, the inauguration of the new equipment in the Konglor-Natane cave: electric boats, opening to visitors of a new concretion room. This equipment was produced under the aegis of the Tetraktys association as part of the NGO Initiative project, financed by the AFD, in close collaboration with the AEKN, the association of villagers of Konglor-Natale and the Laotian authorities.

– A meeting with Her Excellency the Ambassador of France to Laos is scheduled for Tuesday, November 29 in Vientiane

From June 19 to 26, 2022 led by Mr. Keo-Oudone BOUDSINGKHONE, Vice-Governor of the Province of Khammouane, and composed of representatives of the Ministries of the Environment, Foreign Affairs, Tourism and Culture, and the representative of the Embassy of Laos in France.  

The meeting with the Ardèche partners went well, and the discussions were very fruitful. The delegation was able to discover the major tourist sites such as Chauvet Cave 2, Aven d’Orgnac, Pont d’Arc, and visit several activities for enhancement and protection of landscapes within framework of Geopark, such as a visit of chestnut grove, which are emblematic of Ardèche.

A Steering Committee was held on June 22, presenting techniques, as well as the objectives, action plan until the end of the project, and a potential second phase of KARST project.