Community-based tourism, with locals directly partaking in tourism products and service offerings, is slowly taking shape in Vietnam. According to the Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA), which listed the four villages, the initiative helps create jobs, reduce poverty, preserve cultural identity, and boost the country’s tourism landscape.
From 13 to 19 January 2019, People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) staff organized a visit for the representatives of Dak Lak Union of Science and Technology Associations, Dak Rong Forestry Ltd. Co, Tram Lap Forestry Ltd. Co, and the representatives of the community in Ea Noul, Buon Don, Dak Lak to Lomphat Reserve in Ratanakiri province and Siem Pang Western Reserve in Stung Teng province, Cambodia.
Forestry experts are optimistic about the future in Vietnam, largely thanks to community-based forest management. The model is developing extensively in the country, and experts have lauded its ability to increase forest recover, limit deforestation and create income from forests for local people. Nguyen Viet Dung from PanNature, a Vietnamese not-for-profit organisation that works to protect nature, said at recent seminar in Hanoi: “People’s participation in forest conservation and management is very important.”
Voices for Mekong Forests (V4MF), a regional project led by RECOFTC, began in 2017 to address this problem by doing just that. “Governance nowadays involves multiple processes that often require and can benefit from the active and positive contribution of civil society,” said Etienne Delattre, project coordinator for V4MF, in an interview. “[CSOs] bring the voices and convey the messages [of] local people and grassroots.”