Research Institute of Science, Lao PDR, Holds First Ever Exhibition on Sustainable Development
An exhibition on sustainable development and environmental conservation was organized and conducted at the Research Institute of Science (RIS), Prime Minister’s Office, Vientiane, from January 13-20, 2006. This was the first of its kind in the country. The exhibition consisted of posters and displays; tours of the nursery and tissue culture lab; and quizzes for school students. The posters and displays featured the following research topics conducted by the RIS:
- Commercial production of Aquilaria (agarwood)
- Tissue culture of various crop plants
- Dye and traditional medicinal plants
Other botanical institutions such as the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Forestry (National University of Lao PDR) participated in the exhibition by providing additional posters and displays such as herbarium specimens and live flowering orchids.
A total of 560 people attended the exhibition, of which 415 were from schools or universities. A highlight of the exhibition were informal quiz sessions after the students had toured the exhibition. Those who correctly answered the environmental questions were given pens and notebooks for school. A questionnaire was filled in by each person attending the exhibition. All of the comments were very positive – none of those attending had ever attended an exhibition before. A great many wanted to see more exhibitions in the future and were hungry for more information about science and nature in their own country. Favourite topics at the exhibition included: infection of Aquilaria by fungi to produce valuable agarwood; orchids and endangered plants; dye plants; and medicinal plants.
Here is what some of the high school students attending had to say:
“I never knew that such research was conducted in my own country. I am inspired to learn more about plants.”
“This exhibition is very good for all Lao people. It is important to make them love nature.”
“I didn’t know there were endangered plants such as orchids in my own country!”
“Please hold this exhibition in schools and in the provinces so more people can learn about plants and how we can use them for sustainable development.”