Promote Conservation-Friendly Enterprises in Forest Dependent Communities

USAID Biodiversity Conservation

The Project aims to maintain and increase forest quality as well as protect and stabilize wildlife populations in national parks and reserves in high conservation value provinces.

  • Project Name
    USAID Biodiversity Conservation; Sub-Project: Promote Conservation-Friendly Enterprises in Forest Dependent Communities
  • Project Phase
    July 2020 to March 2025
  • Funding
  • Thematic focus
    Private Sector Development

Vietnam is one of the most biodiverse countries on earth with a huge variety of distinctive and fascinating plants and animal species, many of which are found nowhere else. A large part of the remarkable fauna and flora exist in Special-use Forests (SUF) and Protection Forests (PF) in isolated and mountainous areas stretching over the Central region. However, within these remaining forest management units, there are significant threats from legal and illegal forest conversion and logging, wildlife poaching. In order to stop biodiversity loss and conserve the Vietnam’s natural treasures, there is an urgent need to involve government partners and civil society in improving the effectiveness of forest management and law enforcement, and in enhancing the levels of community engagement towards sustainable development.

Helvetas Vietnam is a sub-awardee to implement the USAID Biodiversity Conservation which the prime awardee is WWF-US. Other sub-awardees in this project include WWF-VN, IUCN, Fauna and Flora International (FFI), ENV, IZW, and GWC. USAID Biodiversity Conservation aims to maintain and increase forest quality as well as protect and stabilize wildlife population in five high conservation value provinces of Central Vietnam including Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam and Lam Dong.


The Project’s objectives include:

  1. Improving the benefits to communities from conservation-friendly value chain linkages;
  2. Strengthening the management of special use and protection forests;
  3. Supporting the increased functionality of law enforcement systems; and
  4. Reducing local demand for wildlife through behaviour change methodologies.

Within the USAID Biodiverstiy Conservation, Helvetas Vietnam has the overall responsibility for the conservation-friendly enterprise development component, targeting forest-dependent communities bordering national parks within the Project areas. The Inclusive Market Systems Development (IMSD) theoretical framework will be the overarching methodological approach utilized in the component. This framework analyses the functions and rules inside value chains and in wider market systems, identifying and targeting root causes of underperformance to achieve sustainable change at scale.

In order to provide forest-dependent communities with incentives and opportunities to move toward diversified conservation-friendly income streams, Helvetas activities will encourage growth of forest and biodiversity friendly value chains for Non-timber Forest products (NTFPs), high-value agriculture and products that have clear established and demand in the Vietnamese and international market.  The project will also support the development and expansion of community-based ecotourism that encourages individuals, communities, and companies to value forests and biodiversity in new and sustainable ways, thereby incentivizing their preservation and internalizing environmental opportunity costs.  Additional efforts will be made to  shift illegal hunters and loggers out of illegal trade into legal businesses and employment.

By the project’s end, the expected results from the conservation-friendly enterprise development component are that 7,000 individuals in targeted areas will have increased income or employment from conservation-friendly enterprise value chain linkages, 40 communities are linked to and working collaboratively with companies (dealing in high-value agriculture and sustainable NTFP products or inputs), 9 forest-dependent villages are linked and working collaboratively with  tourism operators, and that 870 hunters, loggers and vulnerable community members have increased income through increased capacity to engage in legal businesses and employment.