Indigenous Community Leads Forest Restoration Effort in Vietnam


There was just one snag: where would Ga get the native plants he needed? “Seedlings are an important part of forest reforestation,” explains Nguyen Dinh Phuoc, a WWF Leading the Change project manager. But finding good-quality seedlings in sufficient numbers and of diverse enough species, at a reasonable price, was challenging. And so the team, together with Ga, decided to establish a native plant nursery to grow their own seedlings.

Already, the garden has made a difference for the Co Tu community. For starters, Nguyen says it’s helped with overall conservation in the area, a green corridor that connects forests from the west (including neighboring Lao PDR and Vietnamese national parks such as Bach Ma) to the coast on the east. The seedlings help breathe new life into the nearby forests, but also further afield as other villages purchase the young plants for their own forest restoration projects. The sales—of nearly 9,500 seedlings to date, conducted via the local agricultural department—also provide a welcome boost to incomes.

“We get more money, which is better for our family,” says Ga’s neighbor and fellow gardener, 30-year-old Ta Rurong Thi La. “But I also feel proud and happy that I’m helping the forest in some way.”

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