Siphon's commitment to the conservation of natural resources
The Participatory Community Development for Livelihoods Improvement and Nutrition Promotion in Rural Areas (LAN) has been implemented by The Association for Rural Mobilisation and Improvement (ARMI) in 30 villages: Atsaphone, Thapangthong District, Savannakhet Province, and DakChueng District, Sekong Province.
Forests play a vital role in people’s lives, as they help to maintain the environmental balance. However, people have often exploited the forest for food and other purposes in an unsustainable way, leading to forest degradation, floods, natural disasters, and even the extinction of some wildlife and plants. Nowadays, many countries have encouraged everyone to protect and manage forests for the balance and sustainability of natural resources. Mr. Siphon is also dedicated to contributing to the protection of the forest and his hometown to ensure its abundance. Mr. Siphon is a 31-year-old farmer and gardener who lives with his wife, parents, and one younger brother in DakXiengAh Village, DakChueng District, Sekong Province. Like other families in that area, they depend almost entirely on nature. Some families practice shifting cultivation and clear the forest for their crops. They also rely on the forest for food, whether it is collecting forest products, hunting wild animals for consumption and sale, or building their houses with wood from the forest. The community did not have the idea of conserving and managing the forest for sustainability before.
Following the community access project, we also provided knowledge and awareness on the importance of natural resources, the impact of improper agricultural practices on the community’s livelihood and climate change, and the sustainable use and protection of forest products. We conducted training sessions on various topics such as natural resource management, good leadership, and gender roles. Moreover, we supported the community’s efforts to protect and manage natural resources by facilitating their establishment of the boundaries and rules of the protected area. DakXiengAh village has one forest reserve of 482 hectares, one forest for use of 628 hectares, and one palace of 2.5 hectares. We also facilitated the formation of a 16-member village reserve management committee and provided them with 16 sets of patrol equipment.
Mr. Siphon stated: “I am a member of the village forest management and supervision committee, and I am responsible for patrolling the natural resources management unit of the village. I feel proud and grateful that the project values the community. It gave me the opportunity to participate in many trainings organized by the project, which enhanced my understanding of my work. After attending the lesson exchange with other villages, I also shared and transferred the lessons to the people in the village for their mutual understanding. For example, I met with village organizations and villagers, presented lessons, and read the handbook on forest management rules together. I hope that we will cooperate to protect the village, conserve the forest, and maintain the abundance of natural resources for future generations.