Field Building Leadership Initiative: Laos & Cambodia | Veterinarians Without Borders
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Field Building Leadership Initiative: Laos & Cambodia

Four rice farmers wearing straw hats are bent over, water up to their mid-calf, in a rice field harvesting rice.

The Field Building Leadership Initiative in Laos and Cambodia sought to establish the field of Ecohalth in Southeast Asia in a sustainable, long-lasting way. 

A river in Laos with rural city on its bank. Mostly white houses with red and orange roofs are nestled amongst trees and foliage. There are low mountains in the background.

Building Ecohealth in Southeast Asia

The Field Building Leadership Initiative was a major five-year initiative to build the field of Ecohealth in Southeast Asia, specifically in Cambodia and Laos. It was funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) with match funding from participating institutions.  

The Initiative's long-term vision was to build a well-established field of Ecohealth that is sustainable, institutionalized and influential in global processes that drive environmental and health policies.

The project included research, capacity building, knowledge translation and networking. Veterinarians without Borders-Canada was placed to help drive such initiatives because of our unique strengths in building connections between animal, human and environmental health.

Core Project Principles

By applying the Ecohealth approach – which considers the dynamic relationships between animals, humans, and the environment – our research and development of the project contributed to more sustainable agricultural practice, leading to healthier people and environments. 

Six principles were consciously applied throughout this initiative:

  • Systems Thinking
  • Transdisciplinary Research
  • Participation
  • Sustainability
  • Gender and Social Equity
  • Knowledge to Action
A woman working in a rice field. She has several harvested rice paddies in her hands. Water is running off of them.

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