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Teaching the teachers—learning how to train local harvesters in Viet Nam

Bac Kan, Viet Nam, August 2016 — Earlier this month the FairWild Standard featured in a “Training of Trainers” (ToT) workshop held in northern Viet Nam, organised by TRAFFIC in collaboration with experts from the Hanoi University of Pharmacy and Bac Kan Forest Protection Department (FPD). The workshop was part of a programme to train local harvesters and communal resource management board members in four key sites in Bac Kan province.  

The two-day event equipped 12 FPD staff and 18 community representatives with the knowledge and skills to instruct local harvesters about the FairWild Standard principles for sustainable wild collection of two species of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), Gynostemma pentaphyllum and Cibotium barometz.

Training focused on sustainable collection principles such as collection cycles and appropriate collection quantities as well as species identification. In addition, the ToT provided trainees with knowledge of co-operative structures and objectives to encourage the formation of formal collector co-operatives in the local communities. With their newfound knowledge, the new trainers will instruct local collector communities how to monitor and evaluate operations and teach them proper bookkeeping and reporting.  

The event took place as part of a project funded by the UK Darwin Initiative that started in April 2015 and launched in October 2015. This project is working towards a sustainable trade in MAP resources and improving the livelihoods of local communities through implementation of the FairWild Standard.

The foundations for this project were laid in 2011, when TRAFFIC and the Bac Kan FPD launched a project to improve local livelihoods by employing sustainable wild plant harvesting techniques. With earlier funding from the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF) and now the Darwin Initiative, TRAFFIC has supported these groups with tools and equipment for harvesting of MAP resources.

For more information on the project, please refer to the full version of this article. Reposted with permission from www.traffic.org.

A short video about medicinal plant havesting in Bac Kan province. The FairWild Standard is used as the sustainability framework for the project, implemented by TRAFFIC with funding from the UK's Darwin Initiative.