IUCN Launching Books on Farmland Biodiversity

IUCN Viet Nam launched two publications on Friday, 26 September describing current farmland conditions and recommending strategies for ensuring biodiversity in the nation’s agricultural areas.

When properly managed, Viet Nam’s farmlands, like the one pictured above, contain rich biodiversity.

A book entitled “The Guide to Biodiversity in the Farmscapes of Viet Nam” and booklet “Guide for Facilitators” were modeled after similar guides produced by IUCN in Thailand, which trained agriculture agencies, teachers and farmers about methods for analyzing, protecting and increasing farmland biodiversity.

As an extension of that project, IUCN Viet Nam began in early August to translate the publications into Vietnamese and adapt them to fit the specific conditions of Viet Nam’s seven agro-ecological regions.

For the first book, which provides a basic explanation of agricultural biodiversity, a habitat analysis and advice for achieving sustainable agriculture nationally, a team of experts modified the text to include country-specific information about Viet Nam’s water, farm field, rice paddy border and forest ecosystems, as well as recommendations based on national conditions.

The team consisted of Dr. Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Huệ, Vice Ditector of the Plant Resources Center; Nguyễn Thi Yến, IUCN Vietnam; Dr. Đào Thế Anh, Director of the Center for Agrarian Systems Research and Development (Food Crops Research Institute –FCRI);  Associate Prof. Dr. Nguyễn Văn Lầm, Plant Protection Institute; Dr. Lê Văn Hưng, Department of Science, Technology and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Dr. Lã Tuấn Nghĩa, Vice Director of the Genetic Resources Institute; and Dr. Nguyễn Tất Cảnh, Hanoi Agriculture University.

Three outside experts reviewed their first draft and provided comments and suggestions for improvement before the manuscript was taken to an in-field testing workshop of 30 farmers and local authorities in Hai Hau district, Nam Dinh province to solicit their input.

The comments from that workshop led to the addition of a chapter about current agro-biodiversity management practices.

IUCN also translated the facilitators’ guide – a compilation of eight outreach activities to help trainers introduce biodiversity conservation techniques to farmers and jointly develop a habitat conservation plan – into Vietnamese, and added new design elements and tables. It replaced all photos from both original publications with new pictures of Viet Nam and included a sample photo section in the guidebook.

Most recently, IUCN organized an August 9 workshop in Hoa Binh to raise awareness about farmland biodiversity among government officials, introduce the recommendations from the publications and begin preliminary discussions about the possibility of establishing an agro-biodiversity network or partnership in Viet Nam.
IUCN Viet Nam remains committed to conserving biodiversity in all habitats and would be pleased to support such a partnership, said County Representative Dr. Vu Van Trieu.

“Life means nothing without biodiversity,” he said.

Stakeholders from the workshop received copies of the publications after their launch.
For more information, please contact Ms. Nguyen Thi Yen at yen@iucn.org. vn.

Viet Nam
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