|Understanding of contamination (20% of overall score)||7|
|National ownership and programme management (10% of overall score)||6|
|Gender (10% of overall score)||7|
|Information management and reporting (10% of overall score)||6|
|Planning and tasking (10% of overall score)||6|
|Land release system (20% of overall score)||8|
|Land release outputs and Article 4 compliance (20% of overall score)||8|
The national programme in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) continued to make solid progress in the destruction of cluster munition remnants (CMR) in 2020. However, the amount of confirmed hazardous area (CHA) confirmed through survey and the amount of cluster munition-contaminated area cleared, both decreased in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to the National Regulatory Authority (NRA). This is likely, in part, related to the impact of COVID-19 on operations.
In consultation with stakeholders, the NRA elaborated a sector-wide work plan for 2020, however the work plan was not then shared with operators. As at June 2021, the new National Strategy for the UXO [unexploded ordnance] Sector (2021–30), “The Safe Path Forward III” was in the process of being elaborated.
- The NRA should facilitate the development, together with inclusive participation from all operators and other relevant mine action stakeholders, of a new Safe Path Forward III strategy for the sector for 2021–30.
- The NRA should prioritise the development of a planning and prioritisation system to support the CMR survey and clearance process.
- Procedures for issuing, amending, or renewing memorandums of understanding (MoUs) should be streamlined to avoid inefficiencies and excessive delays.
- The NRA should ensure the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database is comprehensive and up to date, especially given the increased volume of data resulting from the ongoing nationwide CMRS.
- The NRA should be more consistent in its reporting on which of Lao PDR’s 18 provinces are contaminated with CMR. Those provinces which contain UXO other than unexploded submunitions, should not be classified as CMR-contaminated and should not be included in Lao PDR’s baseline of CMR contamination.
- Cooperation and coordination between clearance operators should be further strengthened. In particular, the NRA should ensure that UXO Lao data from historic tasks, which is not already on the database, be made readily available to international operators to help inform survey and clearance operations.
- The NRA and clearance operators should strengthen coordination with provincial, district, and village‐level authorities during implementation and planning of CMRS and clearance, incorporating gender and diversity considerations.
- The NRA should consider expanding the mine action toolbox to include the use of mine/explosive detection dogs (MDDs/EDDs) and drones in order to increase operational efficiency.
- Lao PDR should establish a country coalition, to bring together key stakeholders on a quarterly basis to discuss progress and challenges in Article 4 implementation.