Memorandum Of Understanding Between Oxalis Adventure And Green Discovery Laos On September 15, 2022

Within the frame of conference "Inter-provincial consultation on Transboundary Management Framework between Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park and Hin Nam No National Park" organized by IUCN at Blue Diamond Camp

Background of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park (Vietnam) and Hin Nam No National Park (Laos)

Phong Nha - Ke Bang (PN-KB) is a National Park covering a total surface area of over 123,000 hectares in the Bo Trach and Minh Hoa District of Quang Binh Province in Central Vietnam. The Park’s landscape is formed by Karst regions and tropical forests. It is featured by dense limestone formations, with more than 300 caves, underground rivers, rare flora and fauna listed in the Vietnam Red Data Book and the Red Data Book of the world.

Hin Nam No (HNN) is a National Park in the Boualapha District of Khammouane Province in the central part of Laos with a total area of over 82,000 hectares. It is home to a variety of rare animal and plant species, as well as countless spectacular caves, thanks to its diverse ecosystem on long limestone mountains.

These two areas share mutual border boundary lines and they are connected by a limestone mountain system on the border between the two countries of Vietnam and Laos. Thus, a joint management mechanism is necessary to exchange information, share experiences in monitoring and protecting forests, conserve biodiversity, develop livelihoods, and promote tourism for both sides.

Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park has been twice designated as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site for its outstanding global values in geology, geomorphology (in 2003), and biodiversity (in 2015).

Hin Nam No National Park is finalizing its nomination dossier for Hin Nam No as a natural World Heritage Site to UNESCO by becoming a transboundary extension to the existing World Heritage Site of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam. If the nomination is successful, it would be the Lao PDR’s first natural World Natural Heritage Site, and HNN & PN-KB would cover a total area of 217,000 hectares, forming one of the largest protected karst regions in the world.

Because it is a transboundary extension, the WHS nomination dossier must include a transboundary management framework (TBMF) that explains how the two national parks communicate, coordinate, and cooperate to ensure the effective protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the two sites.

The expectations of IUCN and concerned parties regarding the development of tourism in the two national parks and community tourism development are creating jobs for locals and reducing the pressure on the national parks.

One of the priorities of the IUCN Transboundary Management Framework is transboundary cooperation in tourism, as well as the alliance between tourism businesses in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park and Hin Nam No.

Through the field study of IUCN & UNESCO, combined with the success of Oxalis Adventure's recent activities in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, IUCN has found that it is necessary to replicate the nature experience tourism model, not only in PN-KB but also in Hin Nam No (Laos). IUCN expects that the cooperation between Oxalis Adventure and Green Discovery Laos will significantly support the formation and development of separate products in each national park, as well as the develop common products between the two national parks and the two transboundary provinces of Quang Binh - Vietnam and Khammouane - Laos.

About Green Discovery Laos

Green Discovery Laos (GDL) was established 14 December 2001 with its head office in Vientiane, capital of Laos PDR. Green Discovery operates and has offices in 7 provinces, working in 3 National Protected Areas in Laos, including Hin Nam No. Green Discovery is the first and biggest Adventure and Ecotourism company of Laos PDR offering thrilling experiences such as zipline through jagged limestone cliffs, walk cross tree canopies and spider net bridge. All activities have standard operating procedures without harming the natural ecosystem and have been developed in consultation with international experts.

Green Discovery is also a company making valuable contributions towards society, culture and environment, specializing in supporting and providing employment for local people in areas where Green Discovery Laos are having tourism activities. Therefore, this company supports more than 2000 households all over the country. Green Discovery also maintains close ties with renowned international organizations operating in Laos, such as ElefantAsia, IUCN, WCS, and WWF.

Oxalis Adventure and Green Discovery Laos can support some areas to promote, coordinate, and cooperate to ensure the effective protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the two sites in accordance with the IUCN criteria identified in the Transboundary Management Framework. Some commitments as follows:

  • Oxalis Adventure and Green Discovery Laos cooperate with Hin Nam No National Park and Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park to develop their transboundary tourism products
  • Oxalis Adventure and Green Discovery Laos cooperate with Hin Nam No National Park and Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park to develop their transboundary tourism products
  • Exchange training programs on safety, conservation, services for staffs, managers and local communities
  • Cooperate on exchanging interns and training at each other's business locations
  • Share experiences in management, system building and community tourism development
  • Building and cooperating in the development of common products between the two National Park
  • Exchange risk management assessment between Oxalis and Green Discovery Laos

In the expectation that Hin Nam No National Park will be designated as Laos’s first World Natural Heritage in 2023, there is interest in extending the business model between Oxalis Adventure and Green Discovery Laos to ensure high-quality visitor experiences on both sides of the border. The first step is the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between Oxalis and Green Discovery Laos on September 15, 2022.

Some main elements of the cooperation agreement between Oxalis Adventure & Green Discovery Laos:

The objective of this memorandum of understanding are:

  • Oxalis Adventure and Green Discovery Laos cooperate with Hin Nam No National Park and Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park to develop their transboundary tourism products. Building and cooperating in the development of common products between the two National Parks.
  • Cooperation and knowledge sharing in safety, conservation, product development and rescue work.
  • Cooperate in exchanging interns and training at each other's business locations
  • Coordinate with 2 National Parks in developing marketing programs.
  • Sharing experiences in management, system building and community tourism development.

The first step in the transboundary tourism cooperation between Oxalis Adventure and Green Discovery is the application of the “Xiều Oxalis” policy - All guests who have already participated in Green Discovery Tours will receive a 10% discount when joining the Oxalis Adventure Tours. In contrast, visitors who have taken the Oxalis Adventure Tours will also get a 10% discount on the Green Discovery Tour.

Read more information about Oxalis Adventure tours: https://oxalisadventure.com/tour/

Read more information about Green Discovery Laos tours: https://greendiscoverylaos.com/tours/

By Oxalis Adventure

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