People of Hin Nam No
There are various ethnic groups living around the Hin Nam No NPA, such as Makong, Tri, Yoy, Phoutai, Kaleung, Vietic, and Salang/Kris (this ethnic group has only 28 families). The population is considered not very high, being approximately 7,000 people from 22 villages (2005). There are no villages situated within the protected area. However, there might be more than 10,000 people who are beneficiaries of this protected area.
Most of the villagers rely on farming, gardening, collecting non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and scrap metal collection for their livelihoods. Slash and burn cultivation, which used to be practiced in Khet Taplao and Nongma, is no longer allowed inside the protected area. Livestock raising is also an important contributor to household incomes and livestock are considered living assets for villagers that they can sell when they need ready cash.
Hin Nam No NPA has the Ho Chi Minh trail running through it, particularly along the road from Bualapha to Lang Khang, which was a target for bombing during the Indochina War. Nowadays, unexploded ordnances (UXO) still remain in the area and form obstacles for local livelihoods. Numerous villagers lose their lives every year in accidents from scrap metal collection.
People of Hin Nam No
The population living directly around Hin Nam No NPA is approximately 8,000 people from 19 villages, which is considered not very high. There are no villages situated within the protected area any longer. Although there were a few settlements within the current boundaries many years ago, they were moved out long before Hin Nam No was declared an NPA.
There are various ethnic groups living around Hin Nam No, including the Makong, Tri, Yoy, Phoutai, Kaleung, Vietic, and Salang (also known as Kris). The Salang is considered the first of these ethnic groups to have inhabited the Hin Nam No area and are characterized as having no permanent houses and subsisting on a diet based on wild roots. There are less than 30 households of this ethnic group remaining in the area and possibly the country. The Salang have a wealth of knowledge about survival in limestone forests, including finding and storing water, making Lao Tao (an alcoholic drink made from palm leaves), and hunting wild animals with crossbows.
Most villages in the area rely on farming and collecting non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for subsistence. Some still rely on scrap metal collection for their livelihoods. Slash and burn cultivation is no longer allowed inside the protected area. Livestock raising also makes an important contribution to household income.
Hin Nam No’s rugged topography and limited accessibility has resulted in low developmental pressure. The key threats of wildlife poaching and illegal logging are being addressed by patrolling and enforcement measures by the government and through a co-management approach, which was started in 2010. The co-management plan addresses the current lack of staffing and finance by emphasizing the role of local people in the protection of the area. On the village level, villagers are now responsible for patrolling, biodiversity monitoring and surveys, data collection, research, tourism, livelihood and outreach activities in their village zone, which was created through a participatory process.