IUCN and Holcim in Vietnam partnered on two projects in early 2009. One project increased awareness for local community on environment and waste management and the other project dealt with improving karst management. This IUCN and Holcim Vietnam partnership is linked to a global agreement to develop a biodiversity policy for the entire Holcim group.
The first was a joint effort to increase the waste management awareness of the local authorities and communities in Holcim operation sites in Hon Chong, Cat Lai, Thi Vai and Hiep Phuoc. IUCN and Holcim launched a one-month Summer Campaign on Household Waste Management in these sites. About 2,000 households, including 260 well-trained activists, participated in the campaign and will now form an active core team for future activities.
With IUCN’s guidance and technical support, the local communities obtained an in-depth knowledge of “The 3R Principles” - reduce, reuse and recycle. The campaign significantly improved the relationship IUCN and Holcim have with the local authorities and communities. With the success of the campaign, Holcim cemented its reputation as the “environment-friendly and waste-conscious” producer and IUCN became known as an effective and efficient environmental technical organization with “global reputation and local trust.” This relationship of mutual respect is important for further cooperation and future activity.
The second partnership activity will benefit Kien Giang province and Kien Luong district, one of three core zones of UNESCO Man and Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve. IUCN and Holcim will focus on protection of important karst landscapes in Kien Giang province and conservation of endangered species, namely Silver Langur and Sarus Crane. By working with local partners, including the Institute of Tropical Biology, the International Crane Foundation, and Provincial, District and Communal People’ Committees – IUCN will help to develop the Kien Giang Nature Reserve to help protect the remaining karst areas in this world-famous biodiversity hotspot. As part of the project, a feasibility study on translocation of endangered Silver Langur population will be undertaken because industrial activities, including cement production in Mo So, are damaging their current habitat.
IUCN and Holcim see this work contributing to Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve efforts to protect the remaining karst habitats in Kien Luong, leading to the integration of environment protection and biodiversity conservation into Kien Giang provincial socio-economic development plans, and raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity and karst landscapes.