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HELPING BIODIVERSITY AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES COME TOGETHER IN BA BE NATIONAL PARK


Nguyen Tat Thang, Conservation Specialist and Paul Insua Cao, Communication Officer are luckier than other UNVs as their duty station is in Ba Be which is known as the largest natural freshwater mountain lake in Viet Nam. Here they share with us some photos and what it is like working there.


For centuries, Ba Be Lake has been famous as a place of mysterious beauty, steeped in history, tradition and legend. The still waters of the Lake, spectacular limestone mountains and the cultural diversity of the five ethnic groups living in the area combine to form a harmonious natural and cultural landscape that is appreciated by all visitors.

The establishment of the Ba Be National Park around the lake in 1992 guarantees that the area is also an important habitat for a rich diversity of wildlife, some of which can only be found in this part of Viet Nam, including the Francois' Langur and the Vietnamese Salamander. There is an increasing awareness of the importance of biodiversity values of Ba Be National Park, not only in Viet Nam, but also globally.

Tourism to Ba Be National Park provides an important contribution to the economy of Bac Kan province, which is one of the poorest provinces in Viet Nam, and provides local communities living in and around the park with an additional source of income. However without strong environmental management and awareness, tourism has the potential to ruin the very assets upon which it depends, to the detriment of all.

Through the UNDP/GEF funded PARC project (Creating Protected Areas for Resource Conservation using Landscape Ecology), two UNVs, Nguyen Tat Thang and Paul Insua-Cao, are currently working in Ba Be National Park. The UNVs are carrying out a range of activities to promote ecotourism and environmental awareness, and work with local communities to develop models for sustainable natural resource use.

Thang, although only 27, is already an old hand at environmental education in Ba Be. He has been running an environmental education programme for local villagers for over three years and developed an environmental education curriculum for local school children. Currently, over 3,000 school children from grades 3 to 9 are learning about the environment in and around Ba Be National Park. The school environmental education programme is now being run by the District Department of Education and Training, and this has allowed Thang to turn his attention to environmental education for tourism.

Ever the romantic, Thang is inspired not only by the natural environment but also his dreams of making local people understand more about the natural heritage values of the National Park as a means of attracting tourists and allowing promotion of locally-made products as additional sources of income.

In July this year, Paul joined Thang to develop education materials and a visual display to provide information to visitors about the special values of Ba Be National Park.

"I feel privileged to work here", muses Paul gazing out over the landscape, which is a stop for birds migrating from China, "It is one the most beautiful spots in Viet Nam that I know, not only in terms of nature, but also for the people who live in the area. I also feel privileged to work on a project that has worked towards improving the lives of local people at the same time as conserving nature."

In the next year, Paul continues his work in another PARC project site, Yok Don National Park in Dak Lak Province. There he joins the newest member of the UNV team at the PARC project, Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Hoa.


 Source: UNV Vietnam


THE OTHERS
The project "Building a program of environmental protection Green Vietnam Journey" - abbreviated as project " Green Vietnam Journey" organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism and Film No.1 Joint-Stock Company to raise public awareness on environmental issues.
The project "journey of looking for destiny one" is a small program to enrich the tourist product of Vietnam Green Tours company. Enjoying this program that is a mix of nature and culture via teambuilding games, you are going to have a opportunity to meet and realize your destiny one

Vietnam Green Tours Company has cooperated, participated in some projects with partners: Development Cooperation Group (CDG), the Centre supports social development programs (CSDP) and other non-governmental organizations make the quality of life become better and more happy to people.

The purpose of this project is to contribute to sustainable development of traditional villages produce traditional toys for children. The significance of the project is geared to a more humane life, sharing, empathizing with the unfortunate fate in today's society. Especially to help future generations understand the cultural values ​​of traditional noble father.
Project is one of the newest department of Vietnam Green Tours that beside MICE. Working positively as older departments, Project Department has proven its importance on our company.