Vientiane, Laos

National University of Laos
Vientiane, Laos

National University of Laos is the leading university in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Founded in 1996, with departments brought in from other existing colleges, it is the only national university in the country. NUOL accepts top students from Laos with few international students. National University of Laos is cooperating with various international universities, especially from Japan. The university is a partner of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Academic and Research Network and ASEAN University Network . Wikipedia.

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De Boer H.J.,Uppsala University | Lamxay V.,Uppsala University | Lamxay V.,National University of Laos | Bjork L.,Uppsala University
Journal of Ethnopharmacology | Year: 2012

Background: Medicinal plant traditional knowledge is one of the most widely known traditional ecosystem services, as it provides primary healthcare, contributes to subsistence livelihoods, and for its potential value as a source of novel pharmaceuticals. People living in close contact with their surroundings for many generations are hypothesized to have developed, through trial-and-error, in-depth knowledge of ecosystems, biodiversity, and their management and utility. In the case of medicinal plant knowledge it could lead to an asymptotic climax or a constantly evolving equilibrium of cures with proven efficacy and those under assessment. Methods: An in-depth study of 97 plant species used in traditional medicine by the Brou, Saek and Kry ethnic groups in Lao PDR was made to test similarity in medicinal plant knowledge. Results: Medicinal plants were used in 99 different ways in 510 species-use combinations. Medicinal uses could be generalized into 12 use categories with 747 species-category combinations. Similarity indices show Brou and Saek plant use appears to be most similar (QS BS: 60.0; JI BS: 75.1) followed by Kry and Saek (QS KS: 51.6; JI KS: 53.4), and then Kry and Brou (QS BK: 46.9; JI BK: 44.1). Discussion: Intercultural similarities found are quite low, considering that all three groups share the same geographical and ecological area and have the same dependence on medicinal plants. Intercultural transmission is unimpeded but many treatments are likely to be ineffective. Comparison of the similarities found here with similarities computed from other data show that these results are homologous with other sympatric ethnic groups, and much higher than those for allopatrically living groups. Conclusion: Medicinal plant knowledge does not reach a stable climax, but appears to evolve continually by trial-and-error, as effective cures to many ailments are unavailable. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2010.1.1.6-1 | Award Amount: 4.29M | Year: 2011

At COP15 in Copenhagen one outcome was a commitment to develop a mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhancing carbon stocks (REDD\). There is, however, only a limited research basis for such a mechanism particularly with regard to the need for understanding and monitoring the impact of REDD\ activities on climate effectiveness, cost efficiency, equity and co-benefits. I-REDD\ will approach these challenges from a truly interdisciplinary perspective. The overall objective will be to obtain an improved understanding of how the implementation of REDD\ mechanisms may 1) reduce emissions of GHG and maintain or enhance existing stocks of carbon in vegetation and soil of various land cover types; 2) impact livelihoods and welfare of local farming communities and differences between communities; 3) impact biodiversity conservation, and 4) provide a realistic framework for monitoring, reporting and verification of REDD\, including the importance of governance and accountability at multiple levels. To complement other research initiatives we propose to work in the uplands of Southeast Asia in the Heart of Borneo, Kalimantan, Indonesia, and in the northern parts of Lao PDR and Vietnam, and Yunnan in Southwest China. Rapid land use transitions from forest and shifting cultivation to other, more intensive land use systems and widespread forest degradation are occurring in these areas, making the potential for REDD\ particularly pronounced. Moreover, REDD\ may considerably impact on local economies, because of the high population densities in the region. The partners in I-REDD\ are leading research institutions in Europe and Southeast Asia, international research organizations, an NGO and an SME. The consortium has a strong emphasis on local dissemination and capacity development in order to ensure that project results influence REDD\ policy development at local, national and global level.

Julien P.Y.,Colorado State University | Bounvilay B.,National University of Laos | Bounvilay B.,Colorado State University
Journal of Hydraulic Engineering | Year: 2013

Experimental measurements of the reach-averaged bed-load particle velocity Vp on smooth and rough plane surfaces were analyzed for particles of different shape, size ds, and density G. Particle types included natural quartz particles (1.2 mm

Janjai S.,Silpakorn University | Intawee P.,Silpakorn University | Kaewkiew J.,Silpakorn University | Sritus C.,Silpakorn University | Khamvongsa V.,National University of Laos
Renewable Energy | Year: 2011

A large-scale solar greenhouse dryer with a loading capacity of 1000 kg of fruits or vegetables has been developed and tested at field levels. The dryer has a parabolic shape and the dryer is covered with polycarbonate sheets. The base of the dryer is a black concrete floor with an area of 7.5 × 20.0 m2. Nine DC fans powered by three 50-W solar cell modules are used to ventilate the dryer. The dryer was installed at Champasak (15.13 °N, 105.79 °E) in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). It is routinely used to dry chilli, banana and coffee. To assess the experimental performances of the dryer, air temperature, air relative humidity and product moisture contents were measured. One thousand kilograms of banana with the initial moisture content of 68% (wb) was dried within 5 days, compared to 7 days required for natural sun drying with the same weather conditions. Also three hundred kilograms of chilli with the initial moisture content of 75% (wb) was dried within 3 days while the natural sun drying needed 5 days. Two hundred kilograms of coffee with the initial moisture content of 52% (wb) was dried within 2 days as compared to 4 days required for natural sun drying. The chilli, coffee and banana dried in this dryer were completely protected from insects, animals and rain. Furthermore, good quality of dried products was obtained. The payback period of the dryer is estimated to be 2.5 years. A system of partial differential equations describing heat and moisture transfer during drying of chilli, coffee and banana in the greenhouse dryer was developed. These equations were solved by using the finite different method. The simulated results agree well with the experimental data. This model can be used to provide the design data for this type of dryer in other locations. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Souksavath B.,National University of Laos | Maekawa M.,University of Tokyo
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2013

The Nam Ngum 1 hydropower project took place in the early 1970s and displaced about 23 villages and 570 households. This research focuses on two resettlement villages: Pakcheng and Phonhang. A comparison is made concerning the livelihood conditions of these two villages, resettled in 1968 and 1977, respectively. The methodology involved consultation meetings in each village and one-on-one interviews of 100 households (50 households per village). This case study has determined that in terms of family income for these two villages, Pakcheng is significantly more affluent than Phonhang. This is probably because Pakcheng is located along a main road and has far better facilities and irrigation systems. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Souksavath B.,National University of Laos | Nakayama M.,University of Tokyo
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2013

The Nam Theun 2 (NT2) hydropower project displaced 6738 people from 17 villages and 1298 households. This research focuses on four resettlement villages. Household interviews were conducted to learn more about variations in living conditions, traditions and culture in the villages that were relocated independently compared to villages in which relocation had merged older villages together. The case study suggests that most resettlers wanted to remain exclusively with their own village members. However, it was impossible for every village to have its own resettlement location given the scarcity of the land and resources in the resettlement areas. As a result, some villages were merged with other villages in the newly developed resettlement villages. On a different note, the NT2 project provided superior compensation for the resettlers when compared with other similar projects in Laos. However, the NT2 project had insufficient land resources to satisfy the agricultural needs of the resettlers and thus created a situation where the livelihood of the villages will not be sustainable when the project concludes its support for the resettlers. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Lamxay V.,Uppsala University | Lamxay V.,National University of Laos | de Boer H.J.,Uppsala University | Bjork L.,Uppsala University
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine | Year: 2011

Background: Activities and diet during the postpartum period are culturally dictated in many Southeast Asian cultures, and a period of confinement is observed. Plants play an important role in recovery during the postpartum period in diet and traditional medicine. Little is known of the Kry, a small ethnic group whose language was recently described, concerning its traditions and use of plants during pregnancy, parturition, postpartum recovery and infant healthcare. This research aims to study those traditions and identify medicinal plant use.Methods: Data were collected in the 3 different Kry villages in Khammouane province, Lao PDR, through group and individual interviews with women by female interviewers.Results: A total of 49 different plant species are used in women's healthcare. Plant use is culturally different from the neighboring Brou and Saek ethnic groups. Menstruation, delivery and postpartum recovery take place in separate, purpose-built, huts and a complex system of spatial restrictions is observed.Conclusions: Traditions surrounding childbirth are diverse and have been strictly observed, but are undergoing a shift towards those from neighboring ethnic groups, the Brou and Saek. Medicinal plant use to facilitate childbirth, alleviate menstruation problems, assist recovery after miscarriage, mitigate postpartum haemorrhage, aid postpartum recovery, and for use in infant care, is more common than previously reported (49 species instead of 14). The wealth of novel insights into plant use and preparation will help to understand culturally important practices such as traditional delivery, spatial taboos, confinement and dietary restrictions, and their potential in modern healthcare. © 2011 Lamxay et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

The impact of replacing soybean crude protein (CP) with CP from ensiled taro leaves (ET) on growth performance, carcass traits, and organ weights in Landrace × Yorkshire (LY) and Moo Lath (ML) Lao pigs was studied. Twenty-four castrated male pigs, 12 of each breed, were allocated to the treatments according to a completely randomized 3 × 2 factorial (three levels of ET × two breeds) arrangement with four pigs per treatment. The pigs were kept in individual pens and were fed at 4 % dry matter of body weight for 105 days. The control diet (ET0) was formulated with soybean meal as the main CP source, and in the other two diets, soybean CP was replaced to 25 % (ET25) and 50 % (ET50), respectively, with CP from ensiled taro leaves. Calculated metabolizable energy intake decreased with increasing replacement of soybean CP in the diet, while dry matter intake (DMI), CP intake (CPI), average daily gain (ADG), and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were unaffected. Carcass weight, back fat thickness, and dressing percentage were unaffected by soybean CP replacement, while organ weights (except for spleen) increased (P < 0.001) when soybean CP was replaced by CP from ensiled taro leaves in the diet. LY pigs had higher (P < 0.001) DMI, CPI, and ADG and better (P < 0.001) FCR than ML pigs. LY pigs had higher carcass weight (P < 0.001), lower back fat thickness (P < 0.001), and higher organ weights (P < 0.05-0.001) than the ML pigs. In conclusion, taro leaf silage can replace up to 50 % of soybean CP in the diet of growing Lao LY and ML pigs without negative effects on performance and carcass traits.

Chittavong M.,National University of Laos
Tropical animal health and production | Year: 2012

A survey was carried out in smallholder farming systems in the districts of Borrikun, Khamkeuth, and Pakkading, in central Lao People's Democratic Republic, to assess the feeding regime and health status of local Lao pigs. In total, 216 farmers, 72 in each district, were interviewed using a questionnaire. Feed samples were collected for nutrient analysis and pen soil samples for mineral content determination. Farmers kept sows of native breeds such as Moo Lath, Moo Chid, and Moo Hmong. The number of sows per household was low (1.1 ± 0.1, 1.1 ± 0.1, and 1.2 ± 0.1 in Borrikun, Khamkeuth, and Pakkading, respectively) and pigs were mainly fed with rice bran and fresh cassava roots. Daily protein and mineral (Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium) allowances were lower than requirements. In all districts, the number of piglets at birth was around seven and pre-weaning piglet mortality was around 20 %. The most common causes of piglet death, before weaning, were diarrhea, runts, and squashed piglets. Most piglets were weaned after 4 months of age, but in the Borrikun and Pakkading districts, 11-16 % of households were weaned at <4 months. In all districts, pig management was mainly women's responsibility (around 90 %) and most farmers spent less than 1 h per day on pig management. A feasible and cheap way to increase nutrient supply to local pigs in central Lao People's Democratic Republic would be to include more fresh plant material (e.g., thick head, taro) and salt in the diet. Information and education on improving pig management should be targeted towards women.

Kaensombath L.,National University of Laos | Frankow-Lindberg B.E.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Field Crops Research | Year: 2012

Cheap feedstuffs with acceptable protein content are needed for the improvement of pig performance in developing countries, and the utilization of traditional crops is one possible solution. Taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott) was grown for two seasons in Vientiane, Lao PDR, and was subjected to three harvesting frequency treatments. The treatments applied were harvesting leaves and petioles at intervals of 4 (H4), 6 (H6) and 24 (H24) weeks, respectively. The tubers were harvested at the last harvest occasion. Leaf, petiole and tuber dry matter (DM) yield, leaf proportion (DM basis) and chemical composition of the leaves and petioles were determined. Treatments H4 and H6 yielded significantly more leaf and petiole DM than treatment H24 in both years. Total leaf DM yield was 2146, 1654 and 364kgha -1 in 2007 and 1483, 1341 and 691kgha -1 in 2008 for treatments H4, H6 and H24, respectively. Tuber DM yield was not affected by the treatments and was on average 3667 and 2732kgha -1 in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Leaf proportion did not generally differ between treatments and was on average 52 and 62% in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The leaves contained between 160 and 260gkg DM -1 crude protein (CP) which was much higher than in the petioles. Although significant, the difference between treatments was small, which was due to the high rate of leaf turn-over (5 weeks). Ash content of the leaves was 112-145gkg DM -1, and crude fiber (CF) was a 173-206gkg DM -1. The total essential amino acid content of taro leaf ranged from 40 to 45g, 16gN -1. It is concluded that taro leaves are a potential protein feed resource for growing pigs, and that leaves can be harvested frequently with no detrimental effect on tuber yield. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

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