In 2022, IRD is supporting the creation of five new research structures with activities in Laos. These research and training programs have various modes of operation and over a wide range of disciplinary fields (health, ecology, biology, geology, land use planning).
GDRI COMPACSOL – Identifying and alleviating soil physical degradations to optimize sustainable food production
Soil is an ecosystem essential to terrestrial and human life since it directly or indirectly allows the production of 98% of our food. Soils not only contain the minerals essential to plant life, but they also store 80% of rainwater, thanks to an infinite number of millimeter and micrometer pores. This water storage allows to feed the plants (cultivated and natural) and it also limits the risks of floods (by slowing down the flow of water towards the rivers).
But in the last decades, modern techniques of agricultural development (mechanized cultivation, chemical inputs) have caused a generalized degradation of the soil. A recent FAO report on the state of soils was subtitled: “systems on the verge of collapse”. Soil compaction has important consequences on agricultural production but it is almost invisible. It is, in fact, a decrease in pore volume that takes place at millimetre to micrometre levels that requires laboratory equipment to be demonstrated, but which considerably reduces the soil’s capacity to store water (even in the case of irrigation) and results in a reduction in agricultural production.
In this context, IRD and its partners in the region are launching in 2022 an international research group (GDRI) called COMPACSOL to organize a network of laboratories and research teams working on soil compaction. The first objective will be to set up standardized procedures in order to obtain quality and reliable analytical results that will allow us to assess the situation at the scale of the Mekong basin and to measure the evolution (geographical extension and intensity) of soil compaction over the next 4 years. The second objective will be to involve farmers in the development of cultivation techniques for soil prevention and rehabilitation through a participatory approach that will make the best use of local knowledge and, at the same time, disseminate validated scientific knowledge on soil and water management.
- Institut of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris (IRD – UMR IEES), France
- Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC), Cambodia
- Department of Agricultiral Land Management (DALaM), Laos
- Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University (KKU), Thailand
- Soil and Fertilizers Research Institute (SFRI), Vietnam
- Team “Water/Soil/Plant Exchanges” – Liège University, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Belgium
- ONG ECLOSIO – Liège University, Belgium & Cambodia
Renforcement des capacités de recherche en Sciences sociales et en Santé à Vientiane
Understanding and mitigating zoonotic spillover events in declining biodiveLMI PRESTO (PRotect-dEtect-STOp) – rsity hot-spots in Southeast Asia
Comprendre et atténuer les spillovers zoonotiques dans les hot-spot de biodiversité en déclin en Asie du Sud-Est