Associate Professional Officers
 

Arie van Duijn

Arie discusses project issues during a meeting at the FAO Office.

“While researching for my degree I tried to work on issues related to fisheries co-management, but never actually had the time, money or organizational support to implement. This APO assignment has allowed me to actually do what I was dreaming about as a student.”

Arie travels by boat to visit a remote area of the Loc Binh commune.

“I want to discuss specific details of a small pilot project we are running there such as the demarcation of a water area used by various aquatic species as a spawning/nursery area.”

Arie checks out local fishing gears

“This is a (bamboo) stake trap. Huge wings guide fish from the wide mouth to a small catch chamber at the narrow end of the trap. In this chamber are placed one or more removable tubular traps that can be hauled up to remove the catch.”

Arie participates in a meeting with local authorities and representatives of fisheries associations in Loc Binh to discuss the pilot project.

“Achieving set objectives under difficult circumstances and in complex situations has been a learning curve.”

After the meeting Arie lunches with members of the Loc Binh fishing authorities.

“The best thing about living in Vietnam and especially Hue is that you are fully emerged in a different culture. And the food is great!”

Arie and a local friend in Loc Binh.

One of the nice things about being an APO in the field is that you build relationships with local people that you wouldn’t if just travelling through on holiday.

Arie communicates with villagers through a Vietnamese translator, Ms.Houng.

“A good translator is an absolute necessity when working in rural areas of Vietnam. In some cases I have worked with translator coming from a neighbouring province who could not fully understand what local people were talking about.”

Arie took up the local Kung Fu to keep in shape.

“Vietnamese Kung Fu is great but difficult as being European, I'm not as small, fast and flexible as most Vietnamese. Nonetheless it is wonderful to be part of a Vietnamese school - it really brought me in touch with Vietnam.”

At the end of the day, Arie drives home on his scooter.

“Only the future can really tell what else I will take with me from this experience.”

From 2005-2008, Arie van Duijn of Holland was employed through the APO programme as a Socio Economist for an FAO Trust Fund Project in Viet Nam. The project, entitled Integrated Management of Lagoon Activities (IMOLA) is based at the FAO Office in Hue City, Viet Nam and is funded by the Italian Government.

“I decided to join the APO programme because I hoped it would bring together different aspects of my background. I had studied Integrated Tropical Coastal Zone Management at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand and welcomed an opportunity to go back to the South East Asia region.

It is wonderful to be able to work in your field of interest while at the same time supporting activities that are appreciated by the government as well as the lagoon dependent population.

After spending almost three years in the field I am curious to see how I can apply the skills I have learned here in a more regular professional setting. Achieving set objectives under difficult circumstances and in complex situations has been a learning curve, but only the future can tell what else I will take with me from this experience.

The best thing about living in Viet Nam and especially Hue is that you are fully emerged in the culture. You build relationships and friendships and see a very different side of the country than you would see when just travelling through... and the food is great!"


APOs