Over 85% of protected areas and national parks in Vietnam are situated in rural and remote areas, where poverty rates remain high. Local communities living in these areas, mostly minority groups, depend heavily on natural resources for their livelihoods. In many cases, conservation of natural resources leads to conflicts of interests with local communities living in and around protected areas.
Balancing nature conservation and improving rural livelihoods is a great challenge. Therefore, it is crucial to seek for feasible solutions for better governance of natural resources. PanNature will focus on:
- Management of protected areas and biodiversity: Application of social, technical and policy tools and methods to safeguard conservation of intact biodiversity;
- Sustainable livelihood alternatives: Piloting innovative methods to find livelihood alternatives for local communities in order to reduce their dependence on forests and natural ecosystems;
- Participation: Increasing the role of local communities and civil society in protected area management and decision making so that benefits of conservation can be shared as well as the costs, and will serve the interest of sustainable development;
- Resource economics: Studying and generating more knowledge on the relationship between economic activities and natural ecosystems. Primary areas of focus will include issues related to forestry, extractive industries, and energy.
PanNature will continue to implement the Piloting Integrated Market Access in Support of Nature Conservation in Hang Kia – Pa Co Nature Reserve project in Hoa Binh province. In addition, PanNature will also look for more opportunities to expand the coverage of the Natural Resources Governance Program to other areas.