Phu An bamboo village to receive UNDP Prize
  • | VNN | August 26, 2010 06:52 AM

The Phu An Bamboo Village, a work by Dr. Diep Thi My Hanh, will be among 15 organizations that will receive the UNDP’s Equator Prize.

Primary students visit Phu An bamboo village.

Dr. My Hanh will accept the award in New York during the UN General Assembly meeting on biodiversity on September 22.

The UNDP Equator Initiative awards the Equator Prize biennially for outstanding local, indigenous, and community efforts to reduce poverty through conservation and sustaining biodiversity.

Dr. Diep Thi My Hanh.

The Equator Prize 2010 will be awarded to twenty-five local and indigenous communities from across the tropics; twenty will receive US$5,000 and a further five will be selected as “special recognition” winners and receive a total of US$20,000. “Special recognition” will be awarded in each region of prize eligibility (Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean), one for indigenous peoples and applied traditional knowledge, and one for ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change.

Equator Prize winners are selected on the principal criteria of impact, partnerships, sustainability, innovation and transferability, leadership and community empowerment, as well as gender equality and social inclusion.

In 2003, “Phu An Bamboo Ecological Museum and Botanical Reserve” project, known as Phu An Bamboo Village, was implemented in the southern province of Binh Duong. It was a large scientific research project on Vietnamese bamboo chaired by Dr. My Hanh concerning the first and largest bamboo reserve in Southeast Asia.

The vast ecological reserve has a collection of over 300 samples of about 130 species of bamboo belonging to 17 varieties, accounting for almost 90 percent of bamboo varieties in Vietnam. Among them are rare and precious varieties, such as Phyllostachys, Bambusa, Teinostachym, ivory bamboos, and tripped-yellow bamboo.

Visiting the 10-hectare area, visitors can see the specific bamboo varieties of each region in the country, such as big bamboo from the North or thin bamboo with a vast canopy growing on the sides of canals in the South.

After receiving a Ph.D in environmental techniques at the Paris 12 Val de Marne University in France, Dr. My Hanh always nurtured an aspiration to do something for her homeland. Originating from her love for nature and sweet childhood memories of the village’s bamboo clusters, she announced her idea of building Phu An Bamboo Village at a meeting with people in her native village – Phu An - in 1999.

The project was implemented with the cooperation of Binh Duong Province, France’s Rhone Alpes Region, the Pilat Natural Park of France, and Ho Chi Minh City’s University of Natural Sciences. Rhone Alpes Region provided 596,000 euros and Binh Duong Province provided $1.5 million plus ten hectares of land.

Phu An Bamboo Village has produced new products made of bamboo. The local authorities and people have begun constructing an eco-tourism model, focusing on bamboo trees and bamboo products.

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