Catch-Up.
Comprehensive Analysis of Trajectories of Change in the Uplands.

Exploring pathways to sustainable development in the uplands of
Lao PDR.

Activity C1: Technical & institutional innovations for sustainable development

 
 
Rationale Objectives Methods Results Partnerships

    In a context of extreme diversity of local contexts it is necessary to enlarge the range of technical options to better fit the known diversity of farmers and/or decision-makers specific circumstances. Drawing on past experiences and current expertise of R&D projects the objectives this activity consisted in assessing the environmental and socioeconomic impact of technical and organizational innovations in pilot sites where they have been tested long enough to expect impact. The diagnostic studies aimed at identifying the conditions that should be created in order to replicate success stories and/or to avoid repeating past failures.

    Drawing on results and lessons from axes A and B, three innovations were prioritized:

    • Conservation agriculture: adoption and impact on livelihoods
    • Farmers' organizations and agricultural cooperatives
    • Payments for environmental services and REDD mechanisms

    1. Documentation of promising innovations

    Collecting information on promising innovations for sustainable development in the uplands from R&D projects and from the international scientific literature.

    • Innovation documentation, i.e. input/output, cost/benefit analysis, constraints to implementation, etc.
    • Monitoring innovation diffusion in partnership with the agricultural services and assess impact on farmers' livelihood systems. Surveys of different R&D projects, with innovative farmers identified by extension agents, village headmen, farmers' associations, etc.

    2. Exploring recommendation domains

    • Combining scientific and indigenous knowledge acquired from various sources into a consistent knowledge base to assess the condition of adoption/diffusion and potential recommendation domains. Identify which conditions (institutional framework, enabling policies) should be created in order to replicate success stories in the field of NRM and on the other hand, to avoid repeating again past failures.
    • Simulate the introduction of organizational innovations at village/district levels to identify potentialities and constraints for large-scale adoption (i.e. participatory impact assessment for better management of technical innovations and/or local adaptations necessary for adoption).

    1. Socio-economic impact of conservation agriculture in Xieng Khuang province

    The socio-economic impact of conservation agriculture has been studied in Xieng Khouang Province in the three pilot districts were the PRONAE Project has been working from 2004 to 2009: Pek, Kham and Nonghet. The conditions of adoption and dissemination agroecological practices were investigated though household surveys and focus group discussions. The study was aimed at informing policy and decision-makers, managers of research and extension agencies as well as research/extension practitioners about:

    • the agrarian changes that have occurred in relation with the introduction of Conservation Agriculture during the period 2003-2009 and their environmental and socioeconomic consequences,

    • the adoption of Conservation Agriculture by the farmers and diffusion of technical innovation in the target districts. Participatory mapping and landscape analysis has been implemented in 20 villages.

    Land use changes have been investigated in relation with adoption and diffusion of conservation agriculture practices based on a chronological series of Landsat Satellite Images from 1975, 1987, 2002, 2006 and 2010.

    Three reports were prepared in English and Lao languages on 1. land use changes, 2. changes in livelihoods, 3. adoption-diffusion of conservation agriculture over the period 2000-2010. In July 2010, a workshop was organized in Xieng Khouang to present the results of the study to all stakeholders involved.

    2. From farmer groups to agricultural cooperatives

    The Lao Government promotes new cooperative models that can support rural communities in managing their resources collectively or in engaging into local processing and marketing of agricultural products as means of generating employment or improving living conditions. Many experiments have been conducted so far by governmental agencies and development projects. The results of these initiatives have been reviewed by the project in 2008 so that lessons can be drawn from past and on-going initiatives. A case study was conducted in Sam Neua District of Hua Phan province to investigate the conditions for success of production groups and prospects for setting up agricultural cooperatives based on existing farmers' groups.

    3. Payments for environmental services and REDD mechanisms

    REDD+ stands for 'Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Carbon Stocks'. This global payment for environmental service mechanisms allows developing countries to negotiate financial compensation for reducing their green house gas emissions from deforestation and degrading forests and also by increasing their carbon stocks in forests.

    In the vicinity of the Nam Et - Phou Loey National Protected Area (Viengkham District, Luang Prabang province and Viengthong District, Huaphan Province), the project has assessed the costs and benefits of REDD+ for short and long term livelihood perspectives and food security. Based on realistic scenarios of forest conservation and REDD+ payments, impacts on local livelihoods and long term welfare were assessed through household surveys and participatory simulations.

    1. Socio-economic impact of conservation agriculture in Xieng Khuang province

    The Catch-Up program is worked in Xieng Khouang province in the three pilot districts where the PRONAE Project has been working from 2004 to 2009. This activity was part of an international comparative network supported by PAMPA Project (AFD).

    2. Payments for environmental services and REDD mechanisms

    The Catch-Up program worked in partnership with the Faculty of Forestry (National University of Laos) as part of the I-REDD+ project which is funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission (www.i-redd.eu).

PUBLICATIONS


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Development of a village-level livelihood monitoring tool: A case-study in Viengkham District, Lao PDR

International Forestry Review, 14(4): 27-38.

2013 - Scientific Articles

 
 

 

A landscape mosaic approach for characterizing swidden systems from a REDD+ perspective

Hett C., Castella J.C., Heinimann A., Messerli P., Pfund J.L.

Applied Geography, 32(2): 608-618.

2012 - Scientific Articles

 
 

 

'To till or not to till?' Opportunities and constraints to the diffusion of Conservation Agriculture in Xieng Khouang province, Lao PDR

Lestrelin G., Nanthavong K., Jobard E., Keophosay A., Lienhard P., Khambanseuang C., Castella J.C.

Outlook on Agriculture, 41(1): 41-49.

2012 - Scientific Articles

 
 

 

Maize expansion in Xieng Khouang province of Laos: What are the prospects for conservation agriculture?

Castella J.C., Jobard E., Lestrelin G., Nanthavong K., Lienhard P.

In: Hauswirth D., et al. (eds) Conservation Agriculture and Sustainable Upland Livelihoods. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Conservation Agriculture in Southeast Asia. Hanoi, Vietnam, 10-15 December 2012, pp. 300-305

2012 - Conferences

 

 

Managing the transition from farmers' groups to agricultural cooperatives in Lao PDR

Castella J.C., Bouahom B., Keophosay A., Douangsavanh L.

Lao Journal of Agriculture and Forestry, 23: 161-191

2011 - Scientific Articles

 
 
 

 

Patterns of diffusion and adoption of Conservation Agriculture. Case studies in Pek, Kham and Nonghet district, Xieng Khouang province, Lao PDR

Nanthavong K., Keophosay A., Khambanseuang C., Jobard E., Lestrelin G., Castella J.C.

Lao Journal of Agriculture and Forestry, 23: 127-143

2011 - Scientific Articles

 
 
 

 

Democratizing REDD through participatory landscape planning in Laos

Bourgoin J., Castella J.C., Lestrelin G., Bouahom B.

The 8th International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE) World Congress, 18 - 23 August, 2011, Beijing, China

2011 - Conferences

 
 
 

 

Opportunities and challenges for the adoption of Conservation Agriculture in maize production areas of Laos

Lestrelin G., Castella J.C.

Proceedings of the 5th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture, 26-29th September 2011, Brisbane Australia, pp. 42-43

2011 - Conferences

 
 

 

Swidden, Rubber and Carbon: Can REDD+ work for people and the environment in Montane Mainland Southeast Asia?

Fox J., Castella J.C., Ziegler A.D.

CCAFS Working Paper no. 9. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Copenhagen, Denmark

2011 - Books

 
 

 

Engaging local communities in designing their own local REDD+ architecture. A case study in Lao PDR.

Castella J.C., Bourgoin J., Lestrelin G.

CIFOR Annual Meeting, Bogor.

2011 - Posters

 
 
 

 

Swidden, Rubber and Carbon: Can REDD+ work for people and the environment in Montane Mainland Southeast Asia?

Fox J., Castella J.C., Ziegler A.D.

CIFOR Annual Meeting, Bogor

2011 - Posters

 
 
 

 

Accompanying the 'maize boom' in the Kham basin and Nonghet district. NAFRI Policy Brief Series

Jobard E., Keophosay A., Nanthavong K., Khambanseuang C., Castella J.C., Lestrelin G.

NAFRI Policy Brief Series, NAFRI, Vientiane

2011 - Policy Briefs

 

 

Improved pastures and Direct Mulch-seeding Cropping (DMC)-based upland rice cultivation: Two solutions to intensify land-use in Pek district

Jobard E., Keophosay A., Nanthavong K., Khambanseuang C., Castella J.C., Lestrelin G.

NAFRI Policy Brief Series, NAFRI, Vientiane

2011 - Policy Briefs

 

 

Enhancing land productivity while preserving natural resources in the mountains of northern Kham district

Jobard E., Keophosay A., Nanthavong K., Khambanseuang C., Castella J.C., Lestrelin G.

NAFRI Policy Brief Series, NAFRI, Vientiane

2011 - Policy Briefs

 

 

Drivers of land use changes in rural SEA and REDD perspectives: learning from past effects and interactions of market- and state-led changes

Castella J.C., Levang P., Pfund, J.L.

Research seminar of CatchUp and Landscape Mosaics projects. October 2010, CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia

2010 - Conferences

 
 
 

 

A mosaic approach for characterizing Slash and Burn landscapes from an REDD perspective

Hett C., Castella J.C., Heinimann A., Pfund J.L.

GLP Open Science Conference 'Land Systems, Global Change and Sustainability', 17-19th October 2010, Arizona State University, USA

2010 - Conferences

 
 
 

 

Environmental dimensions of the agrarian transition in the uplands of the Lao PDR

Lestrelin G., Castella J.C.

Global Land Project News 6: 12-14

2010 - Books

 
 

 

Assessing the socio-economic impact of conservation agriculture in three districts (Pek, Kham, Nonghet) of Xieng Khouang Province

Catch-Up Program

Workshop Report, 15 July 2010, NAFRI-IRD, Vientiane

2010 - Reports

 
 
 

 

Assessing the socio-economic impacts of conservation agriculture adoption in Xieng Khouang province, Lao PDR

Jobard E.

MSc Dissertation, IRD-AgroParisTech, Vientiane

2010 - Student Dissertation

 
 
 

 

The conditions of success or failure of farmers' groups: A case study in Xam Nuea District, Houa Phan Province

Bouahom B., Keophosay A., Castella J.C., Douangsavanh L.

Catch-Up Policy Research Seminar - 22 Dec. 2008, NAFRI, Vientiane, Lao PDR

2008 - Conferences

 
 

 

Managing the transition from farmers' groups to agricultural cooperatives in Lao PDR

Castella J.C., Bouahom B., Keophosay A., Douangsavanh L.

Catch-Up Policy Research Seminar - 22 Dec. 2008, NAFRI, Vientiane, Lao PDR

2008 - Conferences

 
 

 

Integrated Conservation - Development in the Nam Khan Watershed, Lao PDR. Preserving Luang Prabang's natural and cultural heritages in a time of rapid socioeconomic changes

Castella J.C., Valakone K., Douangsavanh L.

Catch-Up Policy Research Seminar - 22 Dec. 2008, NAFRI, Vientiane, Lao PDR

2008 - Conferences

 
 

 

The conditions of success or failure of farmers' groups: A case study in Xam Nuea District, Houa Phan Province

Bouahom B., Keophosay A., Castella J.C., Douangsavanh L.

Catch-Up Policy Research Seminar - 22 Dec. 2008, NAFRI, Vientiane, Lao PDR

2008 - Posters