Facilitating livelihood adaptation to natural resource pressures in Lao PDR

Human geographers and international public health experts from the University of Sydney will collaborate on a three year research project aimed at facilitating livelihood adaptation to natural resource pressures in Laos. The $1.4 million research project is being funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) through the Mekong Research Group (AMRC), School of Geosciences and the Sydney School of Public Health.

The research team includes Philip Hirsch, Yayoi Largerqvist, Natalia Scurrah from the School of Geosciences and Michael Dibley and Jessica Hall from the Sydney School of Public Health. The project also involves researchers from the National University of Laos, National Institute of Public Health and the Nam Ngum River Basin Organisataion in Laos to understand critical linkages between resource development, livelihood and food security.

The research employs a range of economic, social and health measures to assess well-being associated with livelihood adaptation and pilot adaptation options that assist socially disadvantaged groups. By facilitating a social learning process among stakeholders at different levels, the project will build capacity of local, sub-national and national stakeholders to analyse and seek solutions to livelihood issues among vulnerable groups associated with constrained natural resource conditions. The research will also provide valuable lessons for anticipatory natural resource development planning that starts from a livelihood perspective and works within an integrated catchment framework.

Funding Body

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)

Project Duration

May 2012 - May 2015

Researchers

Professor Philip Hirsch, School of Geosciences
Dr Yayoi Lagerqvist, School of Geosciences
Ms Natalia Scurrah, School of Geosciences
Associate Professor Michael Dibley, Sydney School of Public Health
Ms Jessica Hall, Sydney School of Public Health

Regional partners

National University of Laos
National Institute of Public Health, Laos
Nam Ngum River Basin Organisation, Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment, Laos
National Institute of Nutrition, Vietnam