Improving Sustainability Through Agroecology

By Gene Lorca

In mid-2020, Child’s Dream began supporting Pha Tad Ke (PTK) Vocational Centre in Luang Prabang Province, northern Lao PDR.

PTK creates training materials, conducts training, holds open house events, and develops research projects around the themes of biodiversity conservation, ecologically-based agriculture, responsible social leadership, and cultural awareness.

80% of Laotians live by slash-and-burn farming–a significant source of carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming. Slash-and-burn also causes long-term deforestation, which threatens local biodiversity.

Since its inception in 2008, PTK has published 18 free books and training materials in Lao and English to raise awareness of their themes among students and local communities. The materials have been distributed to over 38,000 primary and high school students.

PTK runs workshops for farmers on upland farming, permaculture techniques, and biodiversity conservation. PTK also runs workshops for primary school teachers about how to set up community gardens and provide seed boxes to get them started. Workshops are open for others in the community to join.

PTK develops research projects with Souphanouvong University–one of the five national universities in Lao PDR. Student learning is structured around university lectures and site visits to PTK’s demonstration and research farm.

PTK believes that Laotians must be aware of biodiversity conservation and ecologically-based agriculture in order to make positive changes in their community.