The PARFORM project strengthened forestry education and research in Laos and Myanmar in order to enhance the management and sustainable use of the region's forest resources.

Key information

Partnership for Forestry Higher Education Cooperation in Mekong Region (PARFORM)

Project Budget€611 703 with MFA funding, total project budget €764 629
Project Duration1.3.2017–30.3.2020
Coordinating Institution University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute
Partner Institution(s): Savannakhet University (SKU), Savannakhet, Laos; National University of Laos (NUoL), Vientiane, Laos; Souphanouvong University (SU), Luang Prabang, Laos; University of Forestry, Yezin, Myanmar; Kasetsart Univeristy (KUFF), Thailand

Project description and key results

Forests and the forestry sector are very important for the livelihoods of people living in the Mekong region which includes Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern province of Yunnan in China. Among all the Mekong countries Laos and Myanmar are considered the most vulnerable countries to climate change effects due to their high dependency on natural resources as well as limited technical capacity and resources.

Despite the central role all the partner higher education institutions play in developing the forestry higher education system in Laos and Myanmar, the overall structure lacks modern tools for planning, management, and monitoring. The overall objective of PARFORM project proposal was to strengthen Laos and Myanmar's higher education and research performance in forestry, enabling it to provide skilled professionals for the improved management and sustainable use of Laos and Myanmar region's forest resources.

As one of the main results, the project revised the new MSc Forestry curriculum at Savannakhet University that it is waiting to be accredited by Lao Ministry for Education and Sports.

Total of 196 young staff members were trained in seven intensive trainings and two exchange programmes to Finland. Trainees were trained in academic writing in English, pedagogy, tropical forests and agroforests; research plan and thesis supervision, CarboScen, to improve the teaching, research and expertise.

Collaboration between government, private sector and partner higher education institutions were strengthened and all the partners have collaboration plans after the project.


See PARFORM's website