Building Conservation Capacity in Vietnam

A key component of our current work on wildlife trade and primate conservation in Southeast Asia is developing capacity for conservation science and practice both in the U.S. and Vietnam. These efforts include: 

Multidisciplinary Research Training

To develop long-term capacity for improved regional conservation management, the project is supporting the multidisciplinary training of Vietnamese graduate and undergraduate students in biology, anthropology, and economics through hands-on research aimed at improving our understanding of the drivers, patterns, scale, and cultural values related to illegal trade in slow lorises. In addition to hosting internships on genetics, morphology and spatial modeling at the AMNH, students from U.S. universities have taken part in expeditions to Vietnam to train in both ecological fieldwork and socioeconomic interviewing techniques.

Protected Area Strategy and Staff Training

The CBC is providing important support to the Vietnam Forestry Administration’s  Department of Nature Conservation as it develops a national strategy to implement protected area staff competency standards and a national action plan for primate conservation. As part of this process, the CBC directly trained 50 protected area staff members in slow loris conservation and nocturnal survey techniques, and our nocturnal survey training protocol has been adopted into the Department’s official biodiversity survey training materials in 2015. To date, an additional 80 trainees, representing 80% of Vietnam’s 164 protected areas have completed this training.

Dr. Mary Blair with protected area staff in Vietnam

Dr. Mary Blair with protected area staff in Vietnam. © Mary Blair


Wildlife Trade Management Training 

In 2016, together with partners, CBC staff co-led a training workshop on improving wildlife trade management through applying conservation genetics and forensic science at Vietnam National University in Hanoi, funded by the WWF and USAID. Participants were from universities, government departments, conservation organizations, research institutes, and museums across Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. Goals of the workshop were to strengthen capacity in conservation genetics and forensic science, discuss most up to date information on the applications to wildlife trade, and exchange information related to challenges in wildlife management in the region. 

Workshop participant group photo

Wildlife trade management workshop participants. © Mary Blair


Related pages:
Additional resources:
Project partners:   
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Center for Natural Resources and Environmental studies
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Bard Center for Environmental Policy                                                      
Vietnam Administration of Forestry
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Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics 
The German Primate Center Faculty of Biology at Vietnam National University, University of Science