From 13 to 16 November 2018, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) in collaboration with Pu Mat National Park (NP) Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) successfully organized the workshop “Discussing Solutions for Economic Development and Raising Awareness of Wildlife Protection in Pu Mat National Park”. More than 300 delegates, including the leaders and staff of the People’s Committee of Yen Khe, Chi Khe, and Chau Khe Commune, village staff and local communities participated in the workshop.
The workshop took place in one day. The morning session delivered to the delegates some background information about the state of wildlife, the threats that they are facing, the importance of wildlife protection, as well as law enforcement efforts in Pu Mat NP. In the afternoon, delegates and guests discussed three main topics, to find livelihood development solutions for local communities, raise awareness about protecting forest resources, and promote the role of influential people in the community.

Mr. Tran Xuan Cuong, Director of Pu Mat NP said that “Social studies have shown that local communities are more and more dependent on forest resources. We realized that not only law enforcement strengthening but also livelihood development will help local people settle down and limit their exploiting of forest resources. This workshop was a great opportunity to listen to local people’s opinions and difficulties, hence to find the most practical solutions towards our common goal. We would try to mobilize all resources, looking for practical solutions, support and implement suggestions from local communities”
Mr. Nguyen Van Thai, Director of SVW said: “Hunting and using wildlife seriously affected our ecosystem in general, the biodiversity in Pu Mat NP in particular. Furthermore, this also left a negative impact on local people’s health, their socio-economic and cultural legacy. Every action to protect the Pu Mat NP needs to come from each participant and local people’s conscience. With the support and determination of the local government, Pu Mat NP, and the unity of the community, we believed it is totally possible to rehabilitate wildlife populations in the NP and develop sustainable livelihood solutions for local people. Take ecotourism for an example that would contribute to solving economic problems for communities living in the buffer zone.”
Considering feedback from delegates and guests, Mr. Kha Van Thuong, Vice Chairman of Chau Khe Commune People’s Committee, insisted: “In order to improve the economy of local communities, it was necessary to develop promising economic models like the cultivation of suitable crops or breeding livestock, poultry that could bring high economic efficiency. If we want to achieve the highest economic goals, relevant agencies and departments should support upgrading of infrastructure for agriculture such as water and electricity, transportation, product quality, technology, capital, and product output.”

Three workshops at commune level in Con Cuong district were followed up by the success of the workshops at district level “Strengthening inter-sectoral cooperation in promoting enforcement of wildlife protection in Pu Mat National Park” in Tuong Duong, Anh Son, and Con Cuong districts in September 2018. Three workshops at commune level at Tuong Duong and Anh Son will take place in the coming time.