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

Photograph: Mr. Phouvieng Manivanh, PARFORM Kick off meeting 27th of June, 2017
Academic Disciplines Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries
Project Budget € 638 557 with MFA funding, total project budget € 798 197
Project Duration 3 years, 1.3.2017 - 30.3.2020
Coordinating Institution University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute
Contact Details Dipjoy Chakma,, +358 2941 58644
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 Website
Fact SheetPARFORM_fact sheet.pdf

Description of the Project

Forests and the forestry sector are very important in 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, limited technical capacity and resources.

Both countries’ have recognized that improving forestry higher education is urgent for the betterment of their natural resources management and people’s livelihoods. However, Laos and Myanmar’s forestry education system is lagging behind in the region. Most of the students lack analytical-thinking and problem-solving skills and are now having difficulties in gaining benefits from the countries’ international opening.

Despite the central role all the partner HEIs plays in developing forestry higher education system in Laos and Myanmar, the overall structure lacks modern tools for planning, management and monitoring. The overall objective of HEI ICI PARFORM project proposal is to strengthen the Laos and Myanmar's forestry higher education and research performance and empowering it to provide good professionals for improved management and the sustainable use of Laos and Myanmar region's forest resources.

The project purpose is to support partner HEIs in terms of international collaboration, curriculum revision, teaching material, introduction of e-learning teaching methods with the aim to provide good forestry professionals and academics for the forest sector in the Mekong region. The project also aims to upgrade learning tools such as forest measurement instruments, computer equipment, reading materials at library and software to support research and practical training activities by local students and staff.

Key Results to be achieved

1.Locally suited academic curriculum & teaching tools and materials are prepared

2.Exchange of young teachers & students & training in multidisciplinary approaches & sharing of best practices in research & teaching.

3.Young staff & postgraduates trained on intensive courses