Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) for improved protected area management in Vietnam

Luong Khac Hien
Published: 25 April 2017
Last edited: 29 March 2019
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In 2013, SMART was launched in ten pilot PAs covering three geographical regions of Vietnam. The tool is aimed to improve patrolling quality and data collection on forest resources and biodiversity. Lessons learned from four years of successful implementation are the following: (1) SMART provides support of PA managers in evaluating staff performance; (2) SMART can be implemented with little costs as it is easy to use and to integrate into existing patrolling plans.


Southeast Asia
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Tropical deciduous forest
Tropical evergreen forest
Forest Management
Legal & policy frameworks
Poaching and environmental crime
Protected area management planning
Lack of technical capacity
Poor monitoring and enforcement


Vietnam | Bidoup – Nui Ba National Park (NP), Bai Tu Long NP, Cuc Phuong NP, Du Gia NP, Xuan Son NP, Bu Gia Map NP, Nui Chua NP, Hoang Lien Van Ban Protected area (PA), Xuan Lien PA,
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The SMART application is a major step forward for the improvement of on-site information and monitoring of PAs. From 2013 to 2016 there was a rapid increase of PAs using SMART. Beyond the initial ten pilot projects, the total number of PAs implementing SMART has reached 26 in 2016. These PAs analyse SMART information and integrate the results to improve their patrol planning.


There is evidence of improved law enforcement in PAs that apply SMART. For instance, law violations are now detected more effectively because “hot spots” of illegal activities along patrolling roads are identified and communicated to law enforcement authorities. These information were integrated in the planning of patrolling routes, leading to more efficient patrolling activities and an increase in the motivation of forest rangers. Rangers are motivated to work with these new advanced devices because they are able to improve the protection of the forest, and have more success stories to tell. On the other side, management boards can better monitor and evaluate the performance of each patrolling team by assessing the number of law violations detected and the covered distances. In future, these results will be used to design new patrolling routes. Therefore managers of the forestry administration authority and PAs consider SMART as a suitable tool for improved PA management.

Contributed by

Nguyen Quang GIZ Vietnam