Green Mekong Case Study: Na Ot village, Na Ot commune, Mai Son district, Son La province, Viet Nam
This is a case study under the USAID supported "Grassroots Equity and Enhanced Networks in the Mekong Program" for Na Ot village, Na Ot commune, Mai Son district, Son La province, Viet Nam. The Na Ot villagers have protected their forest ever since the establishment of the village, but poverty has been one of the reasons why they didn’t take part in the protection more proactively in the previous years as they had to focus on income generation. Awareness raising with too much focus on responsibilities without helping them to understand their rights and the benefits of the forest didn’t encourage them to participate in forest management. However, changes in legal rights, awareness and better capacity to take up new livelihoods activities help Na Ot people to become more responsible to the forest. Through different states, now they have patrolling teams and everyone in this village is being a part of forest management. From closing the forest, now they know how make an income from the forest with better arrangements of forest products harvest and initial investment in forest plantation.