Great local researchers   (10:15 | 30-07-2010)
…that is what we see in the activity of “Community-based research on shellfish resources of Xuan Thuy national park”

Xuan Thuy National Park is a home for about 37 species of shellfish (mollusca). They play an important role in the ecosystem, and bring livelihoods for thousands of local people for years. Therefore, we, local partners of XTNP Network, of local managers in Giao Xuan commune and of the local research team, believe that the knowledge and experiences inherited generation after generation would be a great input for the public understandings about shellfish species and shellfish-dependent livelihoods. As a result, the project called “Community based research on shellfish” was carried out in the last 6 months of 2008 in XTNP area by the local farmers.

The community-based research’s priority is to document all the local understandings on shellfish resources in XTNP area in a research paper. And in order to achieve that, it is important to encourage community participation (1) to share local knowledge with the public through a research paper (2), and thus to build capacity for local staff in research and participatory approach (3).

The local research team was composed of 37 members regardless to their gender, age, occupation, education, social status, and wealth ranking. The team was then sub-divided into 6 small groups according to their specialists, listed: Aquatic manual collectors, Clam breeding collectors, Clam farmers, Rice farmers, Commune managers, and Mixed aquaculture farmers. Each group assigned one leader to form a research committee of 6 persons. Each group also took responsibility for appropriate tasks based on the framework of the research paper, which had been designed by the research committee.

The key research tool for the community-based research was Participatory Multi-Stakeholder Learning and Action that encouraged all the members to learn, share and together contribute to the research. The local research team organized open discussions, field work and consultation dialogues with national and international experts such as Aquaculture Institute I, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), and the Asian Coastal Resources Institute-Foundation in Vietnam (CORIN-Asia Vietnam) to combine the local experiences with scientific knowledge. This combination benefited both sides: scientists learnt shellfish applications (or livelihoods) and saw the variability of academic knowledge in the real world; on the other hand, local people received technical supports and scientific explanations to the local issues.

All the contributions and efforts of the local research team, experts and supports from WAP through CORIN facilitation enabled to publish “The handbook for shellfish protection and development in Xuan Thuy National Park”, in which 20 shellfish species and shellfish-based livelihoods together with local experience are comprehensively described. Especially, local farmers together developed a “standard” clam culture procedure that is suitable with local conditions. All of the outputs above strengthened capacity of local people on research skills and team work, also foster information exchange and share knowledge on aquatic resources, which would help the socio-economic development of the region./.


The research group is presenting results to international experts from AIT

Dinh Thi Phuong

Coordinator of CORIN-Asia Vietnam



Telephone: (844) 0350 3741501