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Teaching plant identification in the Bach Ma National Park
Teaching plant identification in
Bach Ma National Park
Field work in the Central Truong Son (Annamites)
Field-based training in the Central Truong
Son (Annamites)


A shortage of well-trained personnel is the most critical constraint in protecting Vietnam's threatened biodiversity, yet limited opportunities exist in the country for specialized technical training in conservation. Strengthening the long-term capacity of Vietnamese institutions, scientists, and conservationists to manage the country's biological resources sustainably is a central goal of our Vietnam Botanical Conservation Program.

The Program provides training for target groups at every level of botanical conservation — from young scientists and technical staff of partner institutions, university students, and staff of nongovernmental organizations to forest protection officers, park rangers, and residents of rural communities. Training for technicians, students, and protected area staff takes place within protected areas and within the context of research on plants and their habitats, so that participants acquire technical skills while producing data that protected area managers need immediately for sound conservation decision making. Training activities are designed to help participants develop into key resource persons linking the protected areas and the country's larger botanical community. The curriculum therefore centers on fieldtraining in plant diversity, forest ecology, and ethnobotany and in the use of critical botanical information for conservation, along with training in plant identification techniques and collections management.

Within this capacity building program, we have created a Center to strengthen protected area systems management and conservation of transboundary ecosystems in Indochina. The Center is designed to extend capacity building for conservation to Laos and Cambodia, develop transboundary strategies for botanical conservation, and implement community-based natural resource management by educating and engaging local communities to participate cooperatively in conserving and managing protected areas. As part of several model conservation projects, the Center is training park rangers, forest protection officers, teachers, university students, and community leaders, who will in turn train others, passing on their knowledge and skills. The ultimate goal is to transfer responsibility for sound natural resource management to protected area managers and local communities along the biodiversity-rich Annamite range bordering Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

We collaborate in the training programs in Vietnam with five Vietnamese partner institutions:

Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR), Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology,   Hanoi
Hanoi University of Science, Vietnam National University (HUS-VNU), Hanoi
National Institute of Medicinal Materials (NIMM), Ministry of Health, Hanoi.
Forest Inventory and Planning Institute (FIPI), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Forest Protection Department (FPD), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Additional collaborators in building capacity in transboundary areas are:


National University of Laos (NUOL), Vientiane
Traditional Medicine Research Center (TMRC), Vientiane


Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), Phnom Penh
General Department of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection (GDANCP),
  Ministry of Environment, Phnom Penh

For further information, contact
Jack Regalado

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Director, CCSD, Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166 Phone: (314) 577-0871 © 2014