Rice terraces in northern Vietnam © P. Girard, CIRAD

Continental Southeast Asia

In this region, CIRAD is working with its partners – research organizations, universities and departments of agriculture – to better understand the main issues surrounding climate change mitigation, biodiversity preservation and improved health, to support the drafting of national and regional public policy. The agricultural sector in the Indochinese Peninsula is highly dynamic: new players of global importance are emerging, and it remains extremely diversified. Paradoxically, it can also be a source of exclusion. This is why we are working with our partners on action research projects aimed at supporting development in the sub-region, to benefit the rural world and counter the economic weight of its main emerging neighbours.

Context and issues

The region's value chains and environments are changing rapidly, to satisfy its fast-growing urban population and produce goods for export. Its countries are working to boost both quantity and quality (particularly sanitary quality), prompted by the emergence of a more demanding middle class. This has triggered growing pressure on livestock production systems and on animal health, driven by exponential market growth (China) and the need to manage emerging diseases of zoonotic origin. The region has substantial innovation capacity: its public and private R&D sector is highly dynamic, with rapid uptake of innovations on the part of economic players.

Cattle rearing in Myanmar © CIRAD, Bénédicte Chambon

Cattle rearing in Myanmar © CIRAD, Bénédicte Chambon

Southeast Asia is one of the richest regions in the world in terms of endemic plant and animal species. It also has major linguistic diversity, and is a major hub for the domestication of plant and animal varieties. Southeast Asia is also a global hotspot in terms of threatened biodiversity and cultural diversity. Numerous zoonoses have emerged in the region (including Southeast China) in recent decades, and the development of economic corridors and their integration into the new Silk Roads have brought major cross-border  health risks. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the failure of current zoonotic epidemic forecasting strategies. The One Health approach championed by CIRAD and its partners, notably within the Emerging Diseases in Southeast Asia platform in partnership for research and training (dP GREASE), is intended to build the skills of professionals and policymakers in terms of understanding how diseases and health crises emerge, and to provide the various stakeholders with tools to change the social, environmental and economic situation in the region, to reduce the adverse effects on public health in general and human health in particular.

Emblematic projects and platforms in partnership for research and training

The dots show the countries in which CIRAD and its partners work. They do not show specific sites.

Key figures

  • 39 expatriate researchers
  • 4 platforms in partnership
  • 120 missions per year
  • 77 projects
  • 17 PhD students supervised

Main research fields

  • Risk prevention and management
  • Poverty alleviation in the face of environmental and social catastrophes
  • Food safety 
  • Zoonotic risks
  • Transforming value chains and environment/territory pairings to ensure sustainable food supplies
  • Health and environment
  • Sustainable tropical tree crop systems

Some key projects

Platforms in partnership (dPs)

Teaching and training

Regional diploma training is a priority

CIRAD works with higher education organizations in the region to organize, lead and supervise diploma and vocational training, PhD schools workshops, courses, study trips and internships. It supervises a number of PhD and Masters students from across Asia each year. In terms of ongoing vocational training, CIRAD organizes short and medium-length internships and courses for students from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam in host laboratories in the global North.

Higher education courses organized with universities

Rubber growing in Asia © CIRAD

Rubber growing in Asia © CIRAD

Franco-Thai international Masters: InterRisk - Assessment and management of health risks at the human, animal and ecosystem interface
Within the framework of the One Health approach, this Masters is led by CIRAD in association with Kasetsart University (Thailand). It is supported by MUSE (Montpellier University of Excellence), and will shortly involve other partners, notably the École Inter-États des Sciences et Médecine Vétérinaires de Dakar at Cheikh-Anta-Diop University (Senegal).

Masters from the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi (USTH)
CIRAD is involved in several Masters in the fields of plant biotechnology, renewable energy, water-environment, information science and technology, computer science, etc.

See also: Teaching and training


To know all about our activity in the area.

Scientific publications

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CIRAD Regional Office for Continental Southeast Asia
CIRAD, Bureau 102, Batiment 2G
Cité Diplomatique de Van Phuc, 298 Kim Ma, Hanoi,
Tel.: + 844 37 34 67 75
Mobile: + 849 14 30 99 91
Fax: + 844 37 34 67 83