In 2009, UNESCO Viet Nam initiated a three-year project to address the issues of customary practices and resource management at the country’s eight biosphere reserves and two World Natural Heritage sites. The project aims to safeguard such practices in a manner that both respects the conservation mission of these sites and further enables the sustainable livelihood development of local communities, many of whom experience high degrees of poverty.
The project's goals are to:
- improve the capacity of management boards at the eight biosphere reserves and two world natural heritage sites to safeguard the customary practices of local groups, particularly those of ethnic minority groups, and to integrate such practices into conservation objectives
- support site management to incorporate lessons learnt from local initiatives into conservation policy and models of management at provincial levels and to contribute to national-level policy discussion