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The Global Association For People And The Environment (GAPE)

GAPE is a Canadian registered non-governmental organisation that focuses on supporting community development and environmental conservation in poor rural communities in the south of Laos, including those populated by indigenous peoples. The organisation's motto is "Assisting People in an Environmentally Friendly Way, Protecting the Environment in a People Friendly Way".

GAPE's Executive Director, Ian Baird, has worked and lived in Laos for 17 years. Fluent in Lao, as well as the language spoken by the Brao ethnic group, he has extensive experience with community organising, natural resource management, and indigenous peoples support generally. GAPE's day-to-day operations are overseen by Gerry Duckitt, another Canadian with extensive experience in the region, having worked in rural development in Thailand and Laos since 1989. Gerry is also fluent in Lao. There are presently twelve Lao nationals working for GAPE in Laos, many of whom are members of indigenous ethnic groups. There are representatives from the Brao, Ta-oy (Brou), Jrou (Laven), Nya Heun and Souay ethnic groups. Many people working for GAPE belong to ethnic groups with which GAPE works. This gives them an advantage in that they are familiar with local issues, conditions and languages.

GAPE has now completed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the Non-Formal Education Department in the Ministry of Education in Laos since February 2001. A new MOU is presently being processed. In addition to working directly in the target communities GAPE is working at assisting the creation of civil society in Laos, through the support of Non-Profit Associations (NPAs).

GAPE has been implementing among others the Remote Village Education Support Project in southern Laos continuously since 2001. In the province of Attapeu, GAPE is working in four ethnic Sou villages in relation to the Co-Management Learning Network (CMLN) project, in collaboration with Xepian National Protected Area and the Asian Indigenous People's Pact (AIPP). With support from IWGIA, GAPE has pioneered in working on land rights issues in Laos through the Land Resources and Indigenous Peoples Support Project, implemented in Bachiengchaleunsouk District, Champasak Province. 


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