In Vietnam, many forests are being effectively managed by the most active guardians - the local communities - thanks to their cultural norms: the forest left by their ancestors is also the place where the forest god resides. It’s the traditional regulations and laws imprinted through the traditional practice of worshiping the sacredness of the gods that guide the community to manage and protect these forests for hundreds and thousands of years. However, there are challenges ahead that hinder them from playing their role.
NGOs like Pan Nature continue to be engaged in World Environment Day by planting trees in Van Ho Commune in Son La, where the population of Northern white-cheeked gibbon lives and the endangered rare Northern white-cheeked gibbon. This volunteer activity is part of a long-term plan to restore 630 hectares of forest and conserve the rare Gibbon species. “While we do not have any formal partnership with the National Youth Union, we do work with the local Youth Union through capacity building and other initiatives says executive director Trinh Le Nguyen.
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.