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October 2006

Announcement of a publication

Assessing participatory rural environmental management: In the craft villages

Cat Que commune, Hoai Duc district, Ha Tay province

Project: VIE/00/018/08

This is a publication of the Vietnam Agricultural Science Institute

In northern Viet Nam, rapid industrial, population and urban growth have put increasing pressure on land and water resources in rural agricultural areas. Overuse and misuse of these resources cause widespread environmental degradation, poor human health and living conditions, and decreased incomes from farming and craft production.

Craft development is closely linked with rural development in Viet Nam, as it creates jobs for villagers thereby raising living standards. Rapid growth has been reported in such rural industries as mechanical repairs, pottery, carpeting, brick and tiles, food processing, wine, and in the casting of aluminum, zinc and lead.

The most urgent challenge is to reduce the widespread environmental pollution which is affecting the health of rural communities and the ecosystems upon which they depend. Villages located next to craft villages are also affected.

It was against this background that a trained team of Vietnam Agriculture Science Institute (VASI) researchers conducted an in-depth assessment on Participatory Rural Environmental Management in selected craft villages of Ha Tay Province. The villages were chosen in consultation with local authorities and villages where pollution was an urgent matter. The teams assessed the awareness and level of concern of rural communities about environmental management, with a special focus on environmental pollution. The nature and extent of collaboration among rural stakeholders to manage environmental problems were also assessed. SWOT analyses were conducted on the current situation and action plans and recommendations were prepared by the participants.

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