On 9th of August 2021, Dr Nivong Sipaseuth, Director General of the Department of Agricultural Land Management (DALaM) of the Laotian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Dr Eric Deharo, Representative of IRD in Laos signed the renewal of an agreement of scientific and technical cooperation between the two institutions.

The signature of this agreement reaffirms the long-lasting and successful cooperation between IRD and the Laotian Ministry of Agriculture, which started in 1998 and provided the enabling environment for the implementation of over 20 projects including four ANR (French research Council) projects, one International Joint Laboratory (LMI LUSES, including SEALNET), one Young Research Team associated to IRD (EcoRubber) as well as six CNRS/INSU projects.

The IRD-DALaM cooperation has led to the production of over 120 publications, including ~70 articles in peer- reviewed international journals; ~30 articles in national journals; more than 10 book chapters; 2 information booklets; ~15 flyers and policy briefs, in English and Lao as well as communications at over 150 conferences/workshops and about 200 students supervised.

One major outcome of this long-term collaboration has also been the setting up of the M-TROPICS critical zone observatory in the Luang Prabang province which allowed us to collect unique hydro-sedimentary, land use and climatic data, publicly available, over two decades.