grantees » Van Xiem Pham

Van Xiem Pham, Vietnam

Xiem is a Vietnamese educator specializing in conservation and sustainable development. He is the head of the Department of Ecotourism and Environmental Education at the Nui Chua National Park in the Ninh Thuan province in Vietnam. He also is a project manager for community-based sea turtle conservation.  As a creative and engaging public speaker, Xiem has been implementing educational programmes in all the schools and villages in the buffer zone of the national park. As a graduate of the Training for Trainers program, Xiem’s commitment to sustainable forest management has been unwavering, and he does not hesitate to share his knowledge beyond the confines of his park or province.

Together with his colleague Van Tiep Phan, Xiem used the JWH initiative grant to follow two international internships to study others’ methods for forest conservation. In India, he worked with the Keystone Foundation, where he learnt about their Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs). NTFPs allow people to gain economically from the products of the forest without the harvest of trees, and encourage a sustainable relationship with nature. At Keystone, he learnt about bee-keeping and the management and restoration of traditional medicinal plants. “Our experience with Keystone definitely helped open our minds”. In the Phillipines, he worked with NTFP Exchange Program, and learnt best practices for eco-tourism, which will greatly help the eco-tourist centre at the Nui Chua National Park.  “We felt much more confident after our visit to Palawan, the Phillipines.” He also followed an intensive English course, which allowed him a greater communication with international partners and access to international case studies. 

Immediately upon his return, he held a workshop to disseminate all that he’d learnt. He recruited over 140 households and several commune officials throughout the various villages in the Nui Chua Park, established 8 teams to protect the forest and several pilots to test new NTFPs.  Overall, he’s learnt about greater possibilities and innovations, and also has new networks within which his organization will continue to grow.