People Resource Conservation Fund ( PRCF) , an Conservation NGO working to strengthening the local communities to manage their natural resources.
I worked directly with the organisation in a community-based gibbon conservation project in northeastern Viet Nam in 2005 and 2006. At that time PRCF had a small office but impressively with dedicated and professional staff, both international and local, in biology, species conservation, forestry management, community based rural planning and development. PRCF was our project’s partner conducting an initial resource use assessment and socio-economic study landscape of our eastern black-crested gibbon conservation area in the Tay and Nung ethnic communities of Cao Bang province. What was unique in PRCF’s approach to conservation was its commitment and strong actions in developing local expertise by collaborating with local universities and research institutes, supporting local researchers and encouraging participation of local communities in all aspects of its work.
In Vietnam, PRCF is working with local people and authorities in biodiversity conservation. PRCF's staff are professional, dynamic and committed to work in the field. PRCF are contributing to conservation of endangered species of Vietnam.
PRCF is serious about people-centered biodiversity conservation. Their approach is hybrid of sorts -- part international organization specialized expertise and part local organization with knowledgeable and committed national staff. The activities PCRF supports and the unique geographical areas served represent some of the more difficult conservation challenges we face: critically endangered species; complex challenges to sustainable landscapes; and economic marginalization due to ethnic trends and poverty cycles. PCRF is making a difference in the communities and countries that is serves. I am certain they would welcome your support, advise and volunteered contributions.
I have been working with PRCF for over three years. It is a great organization which focusses mostly on grassroot level conservation and capacity building. Together we have successfully established a community forest in Karen State, Burma and trained the villagers who are currently conserving the forest on their own. We also conjoinlty produced a hoolock gibbon status survey in Khe Shor Ter Forest, Burma by using the pro-people method. Summarized, I guarantee that this organization has genuine capacity and desire to work with all stakeholders for the purpose of pro-people natural conservation.
I have been involved with PRCF since 2004. Initially in my free time supporting to develop its biodiversity conservation programme in Vietnam, by developing project ideas, helping write grant proposals and providing technical advice in my fields of expertise. In the past few years I have become more involved regionally, including a scoping visit to the Philippines, involvement in regional strategy workshops and acting as Exec. Secretary to the Board. I am happy to give my free time to PRCF. It is staffed and supported by very committed individuals who put in great energy in response to PRCF's vision and collegial working spirit. The vision of PRCF places strong emphasis in supporting local communities in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management, which is both extremely challenging in this region and inspirational.
PRCF is a relatively small environmental NGO working in several countries in SE Asia focusing on biodiversity, ecosystems, and landscapes of global conservation significance. For me what makes PRCF different to other conservation NGOs is their long term presence on the ground at their field sites and the emphasis on working with remote and often ethnic minority or tribal community groups. I worked for PRCF for just over 1 year in 2006-2007, managing an environmental education project at Ba Be National Park in northern Vietnam. PRCF has maintained a programme at Ba Be for a number of years and works closely with both the park staff and the resident ethnic Tay and Nung minority groups in conserving this very special limestone landscape. Much of their funding for this work comes from the Regional Network for Indigenous Peoples and indeed they facilitated the hosting of a RNIP workshop in 2008 at Ba Be, where ethnic minority leaders and staff of similar projects gathered to discuss rights-based approaches to conservation and development. My fondest memories were of the annual Tay New Year festival where we used to run a stall with environmental education activities for local children - very messy and lots of fun!
I haven't worked for People Resources and Conservation Foundation, but I am familiar with their work and projects. Although they are small organization, they have a very strong local presence and this helps them to achieve greater impact. PRCF focuses on involving the remote communities in identifying the best ways to conserve their environment, and very often this means conserving some of the most valuable landscapes or species in the Asia-Pacific region. PRCF staff are important link between local people and global research findings and markets. However, it's not always easy to be present on the ground, as it requires funds and resources. It is therefore very good to share PRCF work with the general public and secure more support to continue their conservation and capacity building work.
PRCF is composed of dedicated staff, both on the management level as on the field level. The projects they implement are truly focused on conservation of biodiversity. What impressed me when I met the team in Indonesia is the loyalty to the organization based on their view that PRCF works on the ground with communities, something they themselves can help shape through their own actions. They are happy to work for PRCF because the nature of the organization lets them do that and they feel that PRCF is really focused on the community level. Funds that go to PRCF represents well spent money, as only a minimum goes into overhead, without a bloated set of staff. Topics that PRCF typically seeks to cover focuses on threatened and endangered species, looking for community based resource management options wherever possible.