Bio-Human Ecology
Livelihood & Anthropology
Ecological capital and the story of a land lover
Quang Binh province, a narrow strip of the central, viewing on the Vietnam map, it looks like the slender waist of a puberty girl. During the war against the United States, Quang Binh which used to be seen as at the wind waves has become an indomitable and valiant symbol of the Vietnamese people in the struggle for national liberation. U.S. Air Force after the trip of destructive attack to the North, the entire remaining bombs rained down Quang Binh. This made Quang Binh as a bomb bag that it’s post-disaster so far - after more than 30 years, there is still hidden potential of threats in every inch of ground. Besides mine and bomb which caused by the war, are difficulties made by humans; this land also faces other numerous obstacles brought by nature. That is the harsh weather and climate, the barren and infertile soil and so forth. When the country united, as in a verse: "Súng gươm vứt bỏ lại hiền như xưa’, meaning throwing away the guns and swords as so to return the peace, Quang Binh goes back for its re-building and re-construction. Over the past many years, Quang Binh now changed. However, in order to have the ‘green’ as today, this land is indeed a marvel of many people, day-and-night silently and patiently on their homeland.
Mr. Pham Van Phuoc is a farmer in Lam Trach commune, Bo Trach district, Quang Binh Province. Like many other Vietnamese farmers, taking off the army uniform after the war, he returned to the land. However, the land in his motherland is now not as it used to. Not just ruined, rough and variegated, wither up of the land surface that hidden underneath the gentle good looks of the ground, yet dissolved into the silent flows from the ground, heavily weighed on belly buttons which his ancestors, parents, relatives and fellow have been buried over many years ago - each has consolidated the land of Quang Binh, are rife with dangers. Un-explosive bombs of the enemy remained in this place are also silent as the land, only what it promises to man is not as the land.
Every corner across this hot sunny land of the central was squirmed by U.S bombs. Hometown of Mr. Phuoc which located on 559 roads, the arterial roads of the Vietnamese people and army in the American war, were poured down by uncountable number and types of bombs of the enemy. Until today, when we are visiting the garden, Mr. Phuoc sometimes stops to show us the remains of the B52 bomb craters around the garden. The craters now look somewhat less death and grief by the bushes and mosses on the land of Quang Binh. However, beneath such the carefree green, then the black mouths are always openning and greeding exhaustedly.
Mr. Phuoc said: - "A few years ago, when just came back, there were still full of holes like these, each is about 5 meters from other, bombs upper and under the ground…". But, he determined: - “staying here to do garden requires me to choose from – one is alive, the other is dead. So, I did not dare to do, still did, if something happens that is due to the god…”. Then, he smiled freely and humorously as his remaining single tooth in the mouth that looks just like an arm rising to bolster for what he said: - "... But, in the end the victory is still belonged to us ... ".
Mr. Phuoc is telling about the story of collecting bombs to make the garden

Over the past 30 years, the hands of that farmer are still hard working every day. Every day, he clean-up each bomb, and shell, the dangerous remnants of the former fierce war, in order to gradually greening the garden and forests that seemed to have permanently lost the life. Beyond such a hard and dangerous work is a love for the land.
Now, the family of Mr. Phuoc has become the owner of a garden with an area of over one hectare, which is set up in line with the principles of sustainable ecological agriculture. The tendency is that there is an increased impact of humans on nature, by which a multitude of chemicals and fertilizers are brought to use for the purpose of escalating the output of agricultural products. This has become major threat to human health. Then, a series of the products which is branded as ‘Ecology’ becomes advantages for the well-off class. However, the motivation of Mr. Phuoc which wants to keep his garden with the virgin of nature is not so. Which is probably since he silently picked up each bomb, collected each shell in the garden, Mr. Phuoc was thinking of an attitude of gratitude and fairness to the land. - "... In life, people have to know how to love and nurture the land by feeding land, then, the land shall feed the tree, and human... Has had the love of human, the bad land can become very beautiful. Sometime later, this garden would be the most beautiful place in Lam Trach commune... ". I was really admired after hearing those words from a farmer who is silent with his garden which encloses many bombs as well as harsh sun and wind, but with lots of feelings. Well! It is hard to exhaust our words to say about the man who dared bring both sweat and their lives to return the green on land.
As soon as the green gradually returns on fields and gardens, lots of farmers whose life long time ago depends on the forest started to think about gardening. In the past, they could quickly get money from forest while it takes time to generate incomes from gardening. The forest is currently almost finished, the model of Mr. Phuoc began to provide its efficiency in a sustainable way; so many people started to learn from him to switch from slash-burnt cultivation to gardening or making household gardens. Some people seek for land to make farms. Then, Mr. Phuoc becomes a friend of many families in this region to come to share experiences.
Until today, besides the economic efficiency, the garden of Mr. Phuoc became a good practice in terms of community development and environment protection mentioned in many reports of Bo Trach district and Quang Binh province authorities. It is also one of the few models to create an attraction for the investment of several foreign organizations.

Mr. Phuoc: In near future, this garden would be the most beautiful place in Lam Trach commune

However, not all projects are accepted by Mr. Phuoc. Temptation of money is not easy to overcome, especially when people's lives are still struggling with hundreds of thousands of difficulties, facing dangers and uncertainties. However, had refused the easy "gifts" which are not made by his own hands, unfamiliar with what a simple but passionate of his hometown, Mr. Phuoc and farmers who love the land in Lam Trach particularly, all over Quang Binh in general, and more wide, all over the places where there are people who love, appreciate and devote to the land would so grow up, so rich more up on their land in the heart of the home, among people who had a time share with them ​​every storm, every bomb, every hunger. And now, they share each other a branch of the tree, pig, chicken for breeding, each capital, and lessons learned about doing business, as well as all the joy of achievement and prosperity
From an arid land, chopped by bombs, and then becoming a lush garden, it is not only the fruit of labor, but from deep, which is the result of cognitive, emotional, sharing between people and land as well as with the hometown. The garden of Mr. Phuoc besides has created the material value from products harvested on the land, creating a seed source to provide people in the region; still makes up a value – a capital which has ecological and ethical meanings. His garden becomes a place for people to navigate for thinking, sharing experiences... That is the spiritual value that ​​its energy of inspiring can only gain from the love.
After more than 30 years of reunification, the Ho Chi Minh highway is completed as an opportunity to Quang Binh in particular and the country in general entered the development stage with the high speed and an unprecedented opportunity. However, today development with its trend of the world is no longer judged by the normal growth index as before in which sustainable and safety factor has been regarded as one of the top criteria of development goal. To achieve this, the harmony of man, nature and culture is a request should be guaranteed in which the crux of it lies in the simple and humble as Mr. Phuoc, who not only know to make the rich, but also cherish the cultural and spiritual values ​​and ethical behavior with nature and humans.
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Ecological Livelihood Understanding
Third volume on Community Spirit Forest Land Right Update
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Launching the Community Spirit Forestland Right Update
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TEW's approach to gender and development
TEW approach to ethnic groups in the highlands
Social Capital and a ‘warm hand’ woman
Social Capital for Being Human
Women Empowerment and Sinh Mun Development Project


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