Additional local manpower improves protected area management effectiveness
by Mirjam de Koning
Participatory zonation using customary rights and knowledgeAdditional local manpower improves protected area management effectiveness
Local people as additional PA management manpowerAdditional local manpower improves protected area management effectiveness
Governance assessment through participatory consultationAdditional local manpower improves protected area management effectiveness
Setting up a vertically coordinated management structureAdditional local manpower improves protected area management effectiveness
Since village rangers are regularly monitoring wildlife and threats inside the Hin Nam No park, arrests of poachers are becoming more frequent. On Monday 28 July 2014, a team of 8 villager rangers from Ban Dou village carried out their regular forest patrol, when they came across a team of five Vietnamese poachers in the Kuan Nong area. This location is at one day walking distance from the village and three days walking from the Vietnamese border. These poachers had a lot of motorcycle brake wire cables, which are a popular material to make traps as well as explosives and digging equipment. They were looking to dig for the roots of a valuable rosewood type of trees and expecting to trap monkeys and other wildlife to eat. The village rangers arrested the poachers, tied them up with their own wire cables and led them back to the village. The poachers were handed over to the border military station in Ban Dou who kept them for three days. Relevant authorities were called in and a meeting was held to judge the case. The judgment committee decided on a fine to the equivalent of US$3,000, considering that the poachers were caught in the act, but had not collected any illegal timber or wildlife that could be confiscated. The poachers were warned that they were lucky to get the case resolved at the village cluster level. If the case would have been transferred to the province level, the process would have been much longer and the fine at least three times higher. Relatives of the poachers on the Vietnamese side of the border were informed that the poachers were arrested and would only be released once this fine was paid. The relatives arrived within one day and paid the whole fine in cash. The poachers were then released and returned the same day to their hometown of Phong Nha in neighboring Quang Binh Province. The entire process took 4 days. The fine of $3,000 was distributed among the various law enforcement stakeholders. The village rangers who found and arrested the poachers were given a reward of $124 per arrested poacher, totaling $620. Another $200 was spent on the costs of feeding the rangers and their prisoners. The remaining sum of $2180 was divided equally between officials of the local village cluster of Ban Dou and the District Park Authority.