Sustainable Agroforestry | WWF

Sustainable Agroforestry

Vườn cacao của nhà anh Đinh Thế Vĩnh, thôn Tiên Hoàng, Cát Tiên
© WWF-Việt Nam
Better Management Practices (BMP) in agroforestry has brought positive impact to the livelihood of locals living in Cat Tien district, Lam Dong province and contributed to the protection of Cat Tien National Park.
Tien Hoang and Phuoc Cat 2 are two of the poorest communes of Cat Tien district in the south of Vietnam. The two communes are located within the core and buffer zone of Cat Tien National Park, and its inhabitants depend almost entirely on agriculture for living. Their most common source of income is growing cashew trees. However, the cashew trees are mainly grown on slopes, causing soil erosion. Moreover, current farming methods are widely unsustainable and produce less yield than its full potential would allow, thus not providing enough income for the families to live. Therefore, under pressures of earning enough income for living conditions, many farmers have made some efforts, which are illegal, to overcome difficulties, for example, gaining new cultivation grounds through deforestation or encroaching into the national park to log, poach wild animals or graze cattle.
To protect the national park, and to help creating a better living for the locals, WWF introduced several Better Management Practices (BMP) to the area to increase production efficiency of the existing plantations and to introduce sustainable agroforestry. BMP was introduced through the project “Diversifying landscapes and improving livelihoods in two communes in Cat Tien District, Lam Dong province, Vietnam”, which is funded by Danish International Development Agency (Danida) and Post Danmark (2008-2012), and the project “Strengthening Local Capacity on Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management in the Southern Annamites Landscape, Vietnam”, which is funded by Jensen Foundation, Denmark (2012 – present). BMP has brought positive changes to not only reduce influences of agriculture to environment, but also increase crop efficiency to improve livelihood of locals, therefore, helps to decrease forest encroachment. 

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Pham Minh Thao (Ms.)
Program Development Coordinator
Tel: 84 4 37193049 Ext: 141
Fax: 84 4 37193048

Why was BMP introduce in Cat Tien National Park?

	© WWF-Việt Nam
The Southern Annamites Landscapes, Vietnam is one of three priority landscapes of WWF-Vietnam. This landscape is an important hotspot of the conservation of rare wild animals as well as habitats for many endemic species. Among those protected areas in the Southern Annamites Landscapes, Cat Tien National Park is one of the most significant areas, which is home of more than 1,600 flora and 1,500 fauna. Many of these species are listed in the Red Data Book of Vietnam. Therefore, the responsibility of authority in the protection of national park is heavy, especially with the illegal encroachment to log or poach of people living in the buffer zone. 

Learn more about Cat Tien National Park

What changes has BMP brought to the community?

Since 2009, WWF has implemented a series of activities to improve the livelihoods of people in the two communes, as follows:

(i) Reporting about "The current status of land use features and land use proposals for 2010-2015 in Tien Hoang and Phuoc Cat 2".
The proposal plans in this report had been applied in these two communes in the period of 2010 – 2015, including implementing land use proposals with the close collaboration of authorities and locals, applying Better Management Practices in production, providing accesses to funds for development, promoting payments for environmental services, and securing the boundaries of the national park.  
(ii) Providing technical assistance and a portion of agricultural materials to build:
  • 5 models of intensive farming to rehabilitate old cashew trees. Besides, WWF had also introduced new varieties of cashew trees that are more resistance to climate change
  • 10 cocoa-cashew intercrossing models (including 3 water-saving models and 2 organic-cocoa models)
  • 5 agroforestry models
  • 2 plant nurseries for cashew tress and forest trees.
Most of the models developed well with the significant increasing in productivity of cashew, the harvest from the additional cocoa plants significantly raise the farmers’ income to up to twice.
(iii) Training nearly 1,200 farmers about BMP, establishing a team of trainers (TOT) to impart knowledge and techniques related to BMP to the farmers in the 2 communes and establishing 18 clubs of farmers to help members sharing farming experiences.
In the period from 2012 to present, WWF has organized field trips for farmers from other communes within Lam Dong province to visit and observe from the successes of this pilot model; organized BMP training courses for officials of agricultural department of Lam Dong province and three districts Da Te'h, Da Huoai and Dam Rong. Besides, WWF has cooperated with Center for Agricultural Development in Lam Dong Province and Cat Tien district to run four BMP training courses about cashew and cocoa, respectively 325 farmers attended.

The projects has improved livelihood of farmers, raised public awareness about natural resources conservation, which resulted in the significant decrease of encroachment into the National Park. According to the statistics of the People's Committees of the two communes, since 2010, the number of forest encroachment had reduced and there had no cases recorded from 2012.
	© WWF-Vietnam
Anh Trần Trọng Hùng - Thôn Tiên Hoàng, Cát Tiên chia sẻ với bà con trong xóm về kinh nghiệm chăm sóc cây điều./ Mr. Tran Trong Hung was sharing knowledge about cashew with his neighborhood in Tien Hoang commune, Cat Tien.
© WWF-Vietnam
	© WWF-Vietnam

The success of this project is not only in the model. More than 90% of farmers have applied pruning techniques on their own garden. Particularly, in Phuoc Cat 2, the 14,000 new varieties of cashew trees that resistant to climate change has bought to replace the old ones. 
The project has also contributed significantly in raising public awareness of people living near national park as well as changing old cultivation methods. Due to postive impacts of the project, local people bought and planted forest trees in an area of 80 hectares in two communes.
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