|Environmental Research Institute (ERI)
Website : http://www.stea.gov.la
|The Environmental Research Institute (ERI) is a department within the Science Technology and Environment Agency (STEA) in Lao PDR, which started to work as a separate entity in 2000. Its research program is intended to lead to long term protection and development of the nation’s natural resources, and thereby contribute to sustainable development and a higher quality of life for the Lao people. The institute has four centres and one division, and has four main functions: to conduct research on sustainable use of natural resources (specifically water and biological resources), on implementation of environmental policy and regulations and on the technology of pollution prevention and control; to undertake environmental quality monitoring at the national level as well as being the third-party monitoring body; to compile environmental data, formulating the State of Environment Report of Lao PDR and publishing environmental indicators; to build capacity of Lao staff in the environmental field through short-term courses. ERI also carries out environmental quality inspections and provides testing facilities and services such as GIS and water quality testing. Furthermore, the institute is the focal point of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and East Asia Acid deposition.
Web address: www.stea.gov.la
Major research topics include impacts of climate change on Lao water resources and biodiversity, and researching effects of air pollution and acid rain. It published research reports in 2002, including about the impact of old batteries on the environment. In 2003 the institute is planning to start new research projects. One is on the impacts of atmospheric pollution from the Asia Brown Cloud phenomenon and acid deposition, working collaboratively with concerned local (National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute, National University and the Economic Research Institute) and international institutions. Another is on waste management of key cities such as Vientiane municipality, Luangprabang, Savannakhet and Pakse, particularly the potential for recycling plastic wastes. Still another is on wastewater treatment where the institute plans to trial catalysts for enhanced biological treatment, in collaboration with Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and other relevant international organizations.