|Country||Lao People's Democratic Republic|
|Date||13 Jul 2007|
The Nam Oun Provincial Protected Area (PPA) is far from Phonsavanh town about 80 km2, was established in 1993 with the introduction of the Lao PDR protected area system. Nam Oun PPA is located in Kham district Xiengkhuang province in northern of Lao PDR. It spans eight villages and covers 6,400 hectares of evergreen and broadleaf forests and harbors 244 species of birds and at least 26 species of mammals. In a biological prioritization of the province's 14 protected areas, Nam Oun ranked 3rd for birds and 5th for large mammals in a Provincial species analysis. Overall Nam Oun ranked third in the provincial management priority index. This was based on the value of the biodiversity, watershed, eco-tourism potential, and level of pressure on the site.
Illegal wildlife trade is one of the greatest threats facing biodiversity in Namoun PPA. As the country's economy grows, infrastructure developments are linking previously remote areas to outside markets, feeding an alarming trade in wildlife with neighbouring Vietnam for use in traditional medicine, foods. At the same time, domestic demand within Xiengkhouang is quite growing, particularly for endangered species. Incentives to hunt wildlife are often high for rural people, and Xiengkhouang has now become not only as a supplier of wildlife, but also has sold wildlife to abroad.
Conservation of the biodiversity in Namoun PPA needs to become a high priority for the Xiengkhouang province, not only for its biodiversity value (which includes the Nam Oun Eco-Tourism), Being less than 85 km from downtown Phonsavanh and surrounded by several villages, it is a unique natural area in the most densely populated area in the province.
Our goal is to provide education and training for provincial and district based personnel, and to create a sense of respect and pride for NamOun PPA environmental wealth. We are will also places a great deal of emphasis on capacity building, i.e. increasing a person or group of people's ability to do a particular task, such as PA management or village land use planning. Provincial/landscape based capacity building will help individuals to gain new skills, but its localization will also allow for greater efficiency in program management. Only through educating and empowering local people can long-term conservation objectives be met and sustained.
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