PanNature Deputy Director Resignation

After 13 years of dedication to PanNature, Mr. Nguyen Viet Dung has resigned from the position of Deputy Director.

As one of PanNature’s very founding members, Mr.Nguyen Viet Dung plays a crucial role in the organization’s development.

Directly overseeing the Research & Policy Department, Mr.Dung has established and implemented a wide range of policy programs through research, analysis, and dialogues,  as well as his involvement in PanNature’s resource governance initiatives.

PanNature started to focus more on policy impacts quite early, two years after its  establishment in 2006. Dung and the policy team have made tremendous efforts in positioning PanNature as one of the positive contributors to many biodiversity conservation and environmental protection policies in Vietnam.

Mr. Nguyen Viet Dung in Mekong Resources Forum co-organized by PanNature

In recent years, Dung devoted largely to research, analysis and dialogue activities around forestry policy development along with the process of Forestry Law reform. Together with civil society partners and government agencies, PanNature has brought important issues on the ground and voices of forest-dependent communities to policy discussions. A number of key recommendations has been recognized by policy making institutions.

While resigning from the Deputy Director position, Nguyen Viet Dung continues to provide technical support for the policy team until the end of April 2019.

PanNature team respectfully acknowledges and appreciates Mr.Dung’s dedication to the development of the organization as well as his contribution to the cause of protecting Vietnam’s environment and conserving natural heritage.

In the mean time, if you need to discuss issues related to Mr. Nguyen Viet Dung’s previously managed areas in natural resources and environmental policies, please contact Mr. Trinh Le Nguyen, PanNature’s Executive Director.

New leadership at PanNature

Starting from May 2018, PanNature welcomes new changes in the management team. Ms. Do Hai Linh, former Communications Manager, moves to lead the Research and Policy Department. Her successor, Ms. Nguyen Thuy Hang, will take over Linh’s responsibilities as the manager of the communication and data team.

Ms. Do Hai Linh.

Ms. Do Hai Linh has worked with PanNature over 12 years since the beginning of the organization. She has built up the communication team with diverse expertise in environmental reporting, multimedia production, social media, and media engagement. Linh fills in the management position at the Research and Policy Department as her predecessor, Ms. Nguyen Hai Van, left PanNature for her Ph.D project on social aspects of forest change in Vietnam at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). Van is now supporting the team from distance as the Program Advisor.

Ms. Nguyen Thuy Hang (first on the left).

Ms. Nguyen Thuy Hang started to work with the communication team since 2008. She previously served as the Managing Editor of PanNature’s environmental news portal ThienNhien.Net.

For more information about PanNature’s team, please visit here >>

The 8th Mekong Region Annual Forum in 2017

In order to further promote trade and investment cooperation between the two countries in particular and the Mekong region in general, the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Association for Economic Cooperation Development[1] (VILACEAD) in cooperation with the Vietnam Business Association for Cooperation and Investment in Lao PDR (Viet – Lao BACI), the Center for People and Nature Reconcilation (PanNature) organized the 8th Mekong Region Annual Forum in 2017 with the theme “Promoting sustainable and responsible investment on agriculture and trade”. The forum is co-funded by UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme.

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Workshop: Water Security Risks and Narratives in Mekong Delta – Vietnam

Located at the extreme southeastern end of the Mekong River where it approaches and empties into the South China Sea through a network of distributaries, the Mekong Delta has long been referred to as Vietnam’s “rice bowl” which is characterized by dominant fertile agriculturally-rich low-lands and what may be called a “biological treasure trove.” A majority of the Delta’s 20 million, ethnically diverse population rely on the River’s fish resources and rice production for their subsistence, with very little margin for error. As home to thousands of species of fish, bird, reptile, and mammal species, the Mekong Delta is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. Tens of endangered species, such as the largest bird, Sarus crane, and giant catfish, thrive in this maze of wetlands, swamps, arroyos, and canals too.

However, Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is now one of the world’s most fragile regions appearing most vulnerable to climate hazards, notably temperature rises and extreme drought followed by freshwater scarcity and salinity intrusion. More challenging is the fact that upstream dam-building and water diversion projects have caused severe and irreparable damage to the Delta, making the impacts of climate change become much more serious than what was assumed in prevailing climate change scenarios in Vietnam. As a result, the Delta has so much at stake due to huge water shortages, which in turn may lead to increased rate of salinity, inland ground depression, and humanitarian and other economic impacts.

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PanNature’s First Governance Board Meeting

PanNature has convened first Governance Board meeting on 15 January 2017 in our field office in Van Ho district, Son La province. Our current Board consists of six members: Dr. Dao Trong Hung – Chairman (Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology), Mr. Nguyen Trung (former Ambassador of Vietnam to Germany and Thailand, former member of the Prime Minister’s Research Committee), Mrs. Pham Kieu Oanh (Director of CSIP), Dr. Le Hoang Lan (Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment), Mr. Tran Manh Chien (founder of Bac Tom Safe and Organic Food Store Chains), and Dr. To Xuan Phuc (Australian National University).

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Using REDD+ Policy to Facilitate Climate Adaptation at the Local Level: Synergies and Challenges in Vietnam

Attention has recently been paid to how REDD+ mitigation policies are integrated into other sectoral policies, particularly those dealing with climate adaptation at the national level. But there is less understanding of how subnational policy and local projects are able to incorporate attention to adaptation; therefore, we use a case study in Vietnam to discuss how REDD+ projects and policies address both concerns of mitigation and adaptation together at subnational levels. Through stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and household surveys in three provinces of Vietnam with REDD+ activities, our research sought to understand if REDD+ policies and projects on the ground acknowledge that climate change is likely to impact forests and forest users; if this knowledge is built into REDD+ policy and activities; how households in forested areas subject to REDD+ policy are vulnerable to climate change; and how REDD+ activities can help or hinder needed adaptations. Our findings indicate that there continues to be a lack of coordination between mitigation and adaptation policies in Vietnam, particularly with regard to REDD+. Policies for forest-based climate mitigation at the national and subnational level, as well as site-based projects, have paid little attention to the adaptation needs of local communities, many of whom are already suffering from noticeable weather changes in their localities, and there is insufficient discussion of how REDD+ activities could facilitate increased resilience. While there were some implicit and coincidental adaptation benefits of some REDD+ activities, most studied projects and policies did not explicitly target their activities to focus on adaptation or resilience, and in at least one case, negative livelihood impacts that have increased household vulnerability to climate change were documented. Key barriers to integration were identified, such as sectoral specialization; a lack of attention in REDD+ projects to livelihoods; and inadequate support for ecosystem-based adaptation.

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PanNature Introduces the New Policy Program Manager

After seven years of decicated work in the position of Policy Program Manager, Ms. Tran Thanh Thuy has resigned from August 2016. From beginning of September 2016, Ms. Tran Thanh Thuy will be succeeded by Ms. Nguyen Thi Hai Van.

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Save the Mekong Statement Calling for Cancellation of The Don Sahong Dam

The Save the Mekong Coalition urges Mekong governments to take immediate action to cancel the Don Sahong Dam before construction begins at the end of November.

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Announcement of PanNature’s New Office Address

PanNature’s office has moved since 10th December 2013. Our new office address is now:

24 H2, Khu do thi moi Yen Hoa, Yen Hoa quarter, Cau Giay district, Hanoi, Vietnam
Direction map:

Our phone and fax numbers, email, and postal address remain unchanged:
Phone: ++844 3556-4001
Fax: ++844 3556-8941
Postal: PO Box 612, Hanoi GPO, Hanoi, Vietnam


Please kindly note our address change for future communication. PanNature would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your help, cooperation and support over past years. We hope to continue working with you more in the future.

Where did the time go?

Danielle Carriere joined PanNature for three months (May – July 2011) under the Students Without Borders program of World University Service of Canada. In the below blog post, she shares her experience with other volunteers on the website of Students Without Borders.

Where did the Time Go?
by Danielle Carriere

That is what I keep thinking to myself. I’m in my 6th week in Vietnam, and I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. I mean, people kept telling me it would, and deep down I knew it would – but I still can’t believe it.

Settling into life in Hanoi hasn’t been that difficult for me. I’m fortunate enough to be staying with a host family that is really going above and beyond to make sure that I have everything I need and am comfortable in their home. Also, meeting Gillian in my first week, the former PanNature WUSC volunteer, who also stayed with the same host family as I, was very helpful. She was kind enough to give me tips on which busses to take, that you have get on and off the bus while it’s moving (because why would it stop for you?), where the good bun cha is nearby, etc. which I think definitely took some of the potential stress out of my life.

My first trip outside of Hanoi was June 1st-2nd with PanNature to their field site at Hang Kia – Pa Co Nature Reserve (insert proper accents as necessary). It was great to get out of the city and see the beauty that the country has to offer! I got to meet the field staff and stay with them in their homestay just outside of the village, travel around Pa Co on the back of a motorbike, meet some of the local people of the H’mong ethnic group, and purchase some unique handmaid souvenirs. It was neat to see the projects that PanNature has developed to improve the economic conditions of these people (ie: building tourism infrastructure and diversifying their agricultural products) with my own eyes.

Sunday, June 5th, took me off the beaten path a little bit. I went to Soc Soc, a village approximately 40km outside of Hanoi with a tour company called Bloom Microventures, a microfinancing/tourism initiative where approximately half of the tour fees go directly towards funding a loan for women who would otherwise be unable to borrow from a traditional bank due to a lack of collateral. The countryside was beautiful (of course), and it was a privilege to hear about the lives of the women we met during the day. I would definitely recommend this for anyone coming to Hanoi who would like to spend the day learning about a way of life that is quite different from the Western one we live at home, and even the one we are leading here in Hanoi. There is also the added benefit of knowing that your money is going to a really good cause!

Daniel in Bai Tu Long. Photo: Sam Thanh Phuong.

I was asked a really great question by one of PanNature’s field staff when I was in Pa Co: do I think that the Vietnamese people are impoverished. That was definitely the first question I have been asked where I actually had to really stop and reflect on my experience – it was definitely a tough one to answer. Upon arriving in Hanoi, I was very surprised at how much more people had: fans, A/C, Iphones, televisions, and brand new luxury cars on the streets. I mean, you can definitely see that there is a huge divide separating the rich and the poor in the city, but everyone seems to have some sort of employment and eat relatively well. Also, I have not been approached by a beggar here, while in downtown Winnipeg (or even nicer suburbs like St. Vital) it has happened to me on several occasions (although I acknowledge I may only be visiting the nicer areas of Hanoi). However, when you leave the city for the rural areas, you can see the striking poverty of the people there. From what I’ve seen, people live in very basic or traditional houses with one or two rooms, without running water and very basic electricity. They farm for a living, and every one of them said that a farmer’s life is hard; although the work is hard, they get paid very little and it’s very difficult to raise their socioeconomic status by themselves. So I guess to answer the question: the country is definitely in the stages of development, and when I see how the economy is booming in Hanoi, I can’t help but worry that the poverty in the rural areas will be forgotten and left behind for the sake of development. From what I’ve seen and heard, it appears that the Vietnamese government is only interested in providing funding to rural areas in the context of developing tourism, not necessarily improving the quality of life for its rural citizens. I feel that more relief is needed from the government outside of the development of tourism to ensure that everyone is benefitting from Vietnam’s improving economy. Although tourism can help improve a community’s economy, what happens if/when the tourists don’t come? Although I would never claim to be an expert on this after a month, I don’t think that I’m crazy to question how sustainable this government strategy is.

Aside from my issues understanding their political system, I think my biggest struggle here so far has been trying to get a grasp of the Vietnamese language. Part of the problem is that I am spoiled; there are people in my host family who can speak English, and the girls at work also speak English and therefore either translate for me, or order my meals for me, which allows me to be lazy and not make a concerted effort everyday. Also, when I’m on my own, I can usually get by with basic English combined with miming and pointing at what I want. The other issue is that the words just don’t stick in my head. I generally ask what everything that I’m eating is (especially when it’s delicious and I know I will want to eat it again), and within five minutes of hearing what it is called in Vietnamese, it’s already floated out of my head.

I am really trying to soak up as much as I can in the short time that I’m here. I didn’t think I’d be saying this, but three months just isn’t enough time to do something like this – there’s too much to do, learn, and see! Unfortunately for my mom, her fears came true: I am loving this experience, and already wondering where I’ll be going for my next work placement…

People and Nature Reconciliation | Office: 24 H2, Khu do thi moi Yen Hoa
Yen Hoa quarter, Cau Giay district, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: ++8424 3556-4001 | Fax: ++8424 3556-8941 | Email: