This intervention took place in the Ngoc Son Ngo Luang Nature Reserve situated in Hoa Binh province in northern Vietnam. This protected area forms part of the singular and valuable Vietnamese mountain ecosystem, inhabited by 11,000 people belonging to the Muong ethnic minority, 59.5% of whom live below the poverty threshold.
The Agreement looked for encouraging a participative process of planning, managing, organizing and handling natural and cultural resources. This process culminated in a Nature Reserve action plan promoted by all those involved. Efforts were made to strengthen and coordinate authorities, agencies and local institutions in order to ensure a sustainable management of the Reserve.
The Agreement was part of the province’s development strategy because it seeked to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the most vulnerable population, the development of the Reserve and development in general through economic alternatives such as ecotourism on a provincial scale. It took into account the 2006-2010 Plan for the socioeconomic development of the province and the relevant information provided by the Hoa Binh People’s Committee, and it contributed to the policy for the organization and management of natural resources, the alleviation of poverty and the development of tourism.
It counted on the collaboration of two important specialized institutions:
- Fauna & Flora International (FFI). This organization has worked on several conservation projects in various natural spaces in Vietnam, one of them being the “Limestone Landscape”, which includes the Ngoc Son Ngo Luong Nature Reserve.
- SNV, the Dutch development organization that specializes in sustainable tourism interventions in poor areas.