Vietnam is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, but decades of illegal logging, wildlife trade, and agricultural conversion have led to staggering losses of natural forest and wildlife, with some species on the brink of extinction. Conservation crimes undermine the rule of law, perpetuate poverty among vulnerable populations, and endanger vital ecosystems. In partnership with local communities, government stakeholders, companies, local organizations, and development partners, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Biodiversity Conservation project supports Vietnam to maintain healthy forests and protect wildlife populations in its national parks and nature reserves.
PROMOTING CONSERVATION-FRIENDLY ENTERPRISES IN FOREST COMMUNITIES
The project supports the development of conservation-friendly enterprises to provide alternative livelihood opportunities, increase incomes, and reduce pressure on forests and biodiversity. These include community-based ecotourism and production of non-timber forest products, high-value agriculture crops, and medicinal plants.
STRENGTHENING PROTECTED AREA MANAGEMENT
The project supports the Government of Vietnam to improve forest management in its protected areas and promotes the engagement of local communities as their participation and contributions are vital to conservation successes.
SUPPORTING LAW ENFORCEMENT
The project supports law enforcement agencies to increase their commitment and effectiveness in addressing conservation crimes, including through strengthened intelligence gathering, crime analysis, and legal advice. The project also engages local communities to complement government efforts to protect forests and conserve wildlife through community-led patrol teams and public reporting and feedback mechanisms on forest and wildlife crimes.
REDUCING LOCAL DEMAND FOR ILLEGAL WILDLIFE PRODUCTS
The project conducts public awareness campaigns about the legal and health risks caused by the illegal wildlife trade to reduce consumer demand.
By the project’s end, it is expected to help 7,000 people in targeted areas to increase their income or find employment with conservation-friendly enterprises; improve management of 700,000 hectares of forests, and conduct public awareness campaigns for 250 villages, contributing to a 50 percent reduction in illegal wildlife hunting and consumption at the project sites.
The project works with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development at the national level and covers 19 protected areas in Quang Nam, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Binh, Lam Dong, Nghe An, and Ha Tinh provinces as well as two national parks: Cuc Phuong and Cat Tien.