The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

United Nations University Environment and Sustainable Development Programme Luohui Liang, Academic Program Officer

Using land in Laos' mountain regions in a way that supports both sustainable agricultural production and forest conservation

Research grant

Project Description

In recent years deforestation has become a serious problem in Laos. Following discussion on slash and burn agriculture as a factor in deforestation, the Laos government has made reducing land for slash and burn agriculture part of its policy. However, it is crucial for the livelihoods of local peoples that slash and burn regulation is developed according to regional conditions and ecosystems. The existence of slash and burn agriculture as a traditional farming method and how to respond going forward is a crucial social problem in terms of developing a sustainable society for Laos and other countries where the method is practiced, and how it is approached will have a big impact environmentally and politically. This research aims to examine and consider comprehensive measures for land usage and resource management that take regional traditions and characteristics into account, in order to support both sustainable agricultural production and forest conservation. Specifically, this will involve conducting field research in the country (such as agricultural surveys, interviews, and ecosystem surveys) with the aim of compiling recommendations for a land use plan. The research will be implemented in partnership with the Laos National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute, Agriculture and Forestry Technical Service Centers in northern Laos, and universities.

Climate changePreservation of surface soil and forestsPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2007 Research Grants
Grant term
2 years
April 2008 - March 2010
Grant amount
10,500,000 yen
Activity region
Laos, India, Thailand, China (Yunnan Province), Central Asia, North Africa, and West Africa
Interviewing a farmer in Laos

Overview of the Organization

Luohui Liang, Academic Program Officer
Luohui Liang, Academic Program Officer
Specialist field
Land use management, land policy
Affiliated academic societies
Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Mountain Science, China Land Academy, China Agricultural Engineering Association
Masters in geography from the Chinese Academy of Sciences
WEB site
Shimako Takahashi, research fellow, United Nations University; Oloth Sengtaheuanghoung, director of the Agricultural Land Use Planning Centre, Laos National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute
Research record
  • (1) Saxena, K.G., Liang, L. and Rerkasem, K. (eds.) "Shifting Agriculture in Asia: Implications for Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Livelihood." (2007)
  • (2) Saxena K.G., Liang L., Kono Y. and Miyata S. "Small-scale Livelihoods and Natural Resources Management in Marginal Areas: Case Studies in Monsoon Asia." (2006)
  • (3) Liang L. "Mountains and the International Year of Rice: The Role of the UNU in Advancing Research and Capacity Development." Mountain Research and Development Vol.24, No. 2: 74-175. (2004)
  • (4) Liang, L., Stocking, M., Brookfield, H., and Jansky, L "Biodiversity Conservation through Agrodiversity." Global Environmental Change 11(1): 97-101. (2001)