In November 2019, we received the visit of partners from EcoAsia Ben Patrick and Wath Boulapha for a consultancy mission to evaluate and advise on the development of a demonstration and training sustainable ecotourism farm to benefit to the local community in Nakai District.
This was carried out as part of a program we are launching this year: Community resilience and biodiversity conservation in Nakai District targeting local communities from within the Nakai – Nam Theun National Park (enclave villages from Thaiphaibanh village cluster) as well communities from the Nakai Plateau (resettled villages). This pilot 3-year project will particularly focus on:
This take-off mission dealt with the development of the community demonstration and training farm which will be located at the Nong Boua Kham community centre in Nong Boua Kham village (one of the 16 resettled villages following the Nam Theun 2 hydroelectric dam construction and impounding of the Nakai Plateau reservoir since 2008).
As part of this mission, EcoAsia provided basic training on permaculture principles to members of the community, involving notably community discussions, lectures, hand-on practices and community design mapping.
Based on community members’ aspiration and under the consultants’ guidance, potential designs were projected to develop the farm. The land was divided into five zones according to the permaculture principles and several activities were proposed into each of them: e.g. ecotourist farm stay; restaurant; handcrafting workshop (e.g. cotton and silk weaving, wood carving etc.); visitor shop; nature and cultural museum; training classroom and community hall; medicinal plant garden; alternative and sustainable agriculture practices (e.g. polyculture, agro-forestry, use of legume/fertilizer trees in crop systems, soil biology and tree systems, soil care, seed bank, rotational cell grazing for sustainable livestock use etc.).
The community farm will therefore serve as a demonstration and training centre aimed at the community and will contribute to improving nutritional food intake and provide alternative income and livelihoods to the community.
The new demonstration and training sustainable ecotourism farm will be developed under the following vision and principles: bottom-up approach, community-relevant, community ownership, community-led and managed, skills development focused, youth development and opportunities, alternative livelihoods, marketing of natural resources, economically viable. As part of this project we will therefore facilitate and support the strengthening of a community cooperative for benefit sharing through notably communities consultations, youth leadership coaching and participatory simulation games.
This project will be implemented in collaboration particularly with EcoAsia and the Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le Development (CIRAD).