Engaging indigenous people in conservation of rare species

August 4, 2017

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Viet Nam

Engaging indigenous people in conservation of rare species

About the Implementing organization

Name: The Center for Biodiversity and Biological Safety (CBBS)

Country: Viet Nam

Year of establishment: 2007

Type of organization: Legally recognized non-profit status


Conducting several training courses on technology transferation, awareness raising and identification of rare and precious tree species in the locality. One of the initiatives to raise awareness and protect endangered tree species is to hang nameplates of the endangered species, which must be protected, and not be destroyed. Information on the nameplates include: the scientific, Vietnamese and H’ Mong names of the tree (there are over 90% H’ Mong people in the Thai Phin Tung commune).
Hanging nameplates on the trees is a new and creative solution to help people identify the species to be protected, not to be abused. This also contributes to raise the pride of the local precious resources, thereby contributes to conserve and protect them. This solution is different from the conventional solutions for simultaneously solve three tasks: identification of rare species, no violation of rare species (have been legally warned), and enhancement of pride, love of the motherland thanks to precious resources recognized under the State regulations.
This initiative also helps to withstand the outside pressure, for example, roots of all three rare and precious tree species were bought by Chinese traders at high prices, but the local people are not under the pressrure of the Chinese traders.

Nature Element

Mountains / Drylands

Type of Action

Protection / Restoration / Awareness and education

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

Contributed to regreening Dong Van karst plateau, recovered karst ecosystems. Thanks to the vegetation, animals such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians will also gradually appear to make up the biodiversity. Thus, the environmental impact is enormous, not only environmental protection in general but also protection of rare and precious plant species and wildlife contributing to the biodiversity conservation of the world cultural heritage.

Has propagated 15,000 trees of three rare and precious species namely the northern red pine (Taxus chinensis), Podocarpus Pilgeri and Cupressus Funebris. Has planted in three demonostration models: household, group of households and community. The tree survival rate is 70% and the growth rate is very good. After six years of planting, some trees have got 4-5m tall and tree trunk diameter reaches 10-15cm. This is an unexpected success since the tree planting on rocky alive was a miracle, not only that they are growing very fast.

Sustainable Development Impacts

Three tree species growing on the karst plateau are rare and precious ones with high economic value. The two of the three species (red pine and Cupressus Funebris) are medicinal plants. The red pine contains taxol, a raw material for production of anti-cancer medicines. Cupressus Funebris uses to treat colds, fever, and hepatitis. Podocarpus Pilgeri has good wood with the high value. Karst plateau is known as the "land of thirst", year round lack of water. There have been times when people had to travel dozens of kilometers away to get water for daily use. Forming a forest cover on rocky plateau will contribute to create the water sources,and also create favourable conditions for agricultural production and improvement of people’s life. Restoration of vegetation is an important factor to the limestone ecosystem, biodiversity conservation, and water source. Without water, rocky plateau will turn into death land, it is difficult for any creature to survive, especially the human being.


There are three success conservation models: household conservation, conservation by a group of households (from 6-7 households) and community conservation. The first two models based on available some rare species, now adding more rare and precious tree species from seedlings created by the tree cutting method. The third community model applied to households within the whole commune by using nursery seedlings created by the tree cutting method. All the three models showed that they are applicable and successful to be replicated not only at the level of a commune but also at a district, provincial level or more.


The Ha Giang Provincial People's Committee has decided to plant 100,000 rare and precious trees in six districts of the plateau in 2017 by allocating seedling for the community.

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