Integrated nature conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park Region
Title: Integrated nature conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park Region
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
Lead executing agency: Provincial People’s Committee of Quang Binh (PPC)
Overall term: 2007 to 2016
The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is located in Quang Binh Province in central Viet Nam. Due to its unique karst landforms and caves it has been declared a natural site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It is also home to a particularly rich biodiversity, including a large number of endangered species that are threatened by the illegal use of the Park's natural resources.
The area around Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is one of Viet Nam’s poorest regions. In the buffer zone of the National Park there are approximately 65,000 people living in 13 communities. Their livelihoods depend to a large extent on the natural resources in their environment, and there are just limited sources of income available to them besides agriculture. Moreover, they have little chance of improving their agricultural productivity as legal access to land resources is also very limited.
The park authorities have initiated protection measures, but these need to be improved to become more efficient. Meanwhile, the rapid development of tourism presents further challenges for this fragile ecosystem. At the outset of the project, no coordinated development concept existed for the National Park and the surrounding area, linking nature conservation objectives with the development needs of the local populace.
The pressures on the natural resources of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park have been reduced.
The project is a cooperation arrangement involving the Provincial People’s Committee of Quang Binh, as well as GIZ and KfW development bank. It works in the following priority areas.
- Biodiversity monitoring. For purposes of biodiversity monitoring, the project is introducing an instrument called the spatial monitoring and reporting tool. With this, data on biodiversity obtained by park rangers while on patrol can be used to inform the decisions made by the authorities with respect to integrated nature conservation, especially for resources allocation. Further activities are intended to strengthen law enforcement and enhance inter-agency knowledge exchanges at the provincial level.
- Biodiversity-friendly livelihood models. The project supports people living near to the park with a range of different activities. It assists the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in areas of socioeconomic development planning, in the creation of alternative income opportunities and in land use planning. The elaboration of a master plan for the development of the buffer zone is linking the protection of resources with development needs of local people. Measures are carried out that specifically address poorer people and ethnic minorities.
- Transboundary cooperation. Transboundary cooperation is being improved between Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Viet Nam and the Hin Nam No protected area in Laos, for instance through systematic information exchanges and the creation of a cross-border secretariat.
- Policy advice. The lessons learnt from the integrated nature conservation activities carried out in the area around the National Park are being made available to as broad an audience as possible, at national and international levels. The information should support better decision making at the various policy levels.
- A plan for sustainable tourism in the park region has been developed in collaboration with different stakeholders.
- Green village development planning has been introduced as an innovative approach to link nature conservation measures with the villages' development plans. In collaboration with the park administration, local people can now analyse the impacts of their income-generating activities and lifestyles on the efforts to protect the park.
- Land use plans that take into consideration the long-term land use rights of the local population, have been developed in a participatory manner in 10 of the 13 communities in the buffer zone.
- A conservation-oriented socioeconomic development plan has been devised, which includes crosscutting issues such as climate change, gender, poverty and ethnicity. The plan is currently under review by the People’s Committee.
- More than 770 households have received assistance in developing alternative sources of income.
- The spatial monitoring and reporting tool has been introduced to improve the of conservation effectiveness.