Laos-Australia dovetail efforts to enhance wood manufacturing industry

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Faculty of Forestry, National University of Laos (NUOL) hosted a workshop yesterday to give an update on the “Advancing Enhanced Wood Manufacturing Industries in Laos and Australia” project.

The project, funded by the Australian Centre for Agricultural International Research (ACIAR), aims to support the development of innovative wood processing industries to enhance markets for planted timber resources within Laos and Australia.

Its supporting objectives are to identify the key elements of the policy, government and administrative environment that constrain plantation forest development and value chains in Laos and other constraints to improving plantation value chains and develop strategies for engaging with this environment and making enhancements.

It hopes to develop and adapt innovative technologies for the production of high performance engineered wood products (EWPs), based on veneer and laminated wood from small diameter logs, and also composite products based on wood and other materials.

It also seeks to improve capacity, in both Laos and Australia with respect to value chain analysis and the development and production of EWPs based on veneer, laminated wood and other composite materials.

The Faculty of Forestry held the 1st annual workshop following the opening ceremony for its Wood Science and Products Research Centre.

The workshop was attended by Vice President of NUOL, Assoc Prof. Dr Houngphet Chanhthavong, Director General of Department of Forestry of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Sousath Sayakoummane, faculty lecturers and representatives from ACIAR. 

Dean of Faculty of Forestry, Prof Latsamy Boupha said the four-year project was being supported by ACIAR under the cooperation of NUOL, University of Melbourne, Australian National University and other organisations.

In its more than one year, the project has successfully carried out policy study, value chain analysis, teak plantation mapping and inventory, product research, training, student projects and the establishment of the Wood Science and Products Research Centre.

Prof. Latsamy said the workshop would present the results of the abovementioned issues and be a good platform for participants to exchange information and experiences in promoting effective plantation management and production of wooden products in Laos and Australia.

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