USAID Green Annamites Project Leaves Legacy of Conservation, Resilience, and Prosperity in Central Vietnam

In February, ECODIT closed out the USAID Green Annamites Project, USAID/Vietnam’s flagship environmental project in central Vietnam. Since 2016, this $24 million project has worked with provincial governments, communities, and the private sector in Vietnam to reduce emissions and deforestation; conserve biodiversity; boost incomes for local forest-dependent communities; and mobilize investment from the private sector for environmental initiatives. Activities included building the capacity of institutions and provincial governments to protect forests, reduce climate change, and manage biodiversity; supporting forest-dependent communities to engage in sustainable alternative livelihoods; establishing carbon markets; and facilitating partnerships with the private sector. The Project met or exceeded all of its targets, laying the groundwork for Vietnamese governments, communities, and businesses to continue working together to protect Vietnam’s natural resources. 

As a result of the project, Vietnam has reduced its emissions and conserved its unique and precious biodiversity. More than half a million hectares are now under improved management, and 11.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent have been reduced, sequestered, or avoided. Moreover, the country saw a lot of biodiversity achievements not captured by data alone. For example, in an event that was celebrated throughout the country, the country’s Elephant Habitat and Species Conservation Area saw the birth of its first baby elephant since its establishment—a sign that the environment there is now healthy enough to support the gestation and rearing of new baby elephants. 

The project also enhanced the prosperity of local communities by teaching them how to better manage natural resources and supporting them to adopt new environmentally friendly alternative livelihoods such as eco-tourism and handicrafts. As a result, more than 15,000 people saw their incomes rise.

However, the project’s most enduring legacy may be that it established a firm foundation for Vietnamese governments, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, and communities to continue working to increase resilience, incomes, and biodiversity far beyond the life of the project. Nearly 100 institutions now have increased capacity in climate change adaption and sustainable landscapes, and with project support, the government has designated areas of high biodiversity as protected areas or national parks. Moreover, the project succeeded in mobilizing more than $59 million in private sector investment from both large companies such as Ikea supplier Scansia Pacific and small agricultural and handicraft cooperatives—nearly three times its target. 

“The USAID Green Annamites Project is a strong example of ECODIT’s approach to sustainable development in action,” said ECODIT President Joseph Karam. “We team up with a broad range of partners to lay the groundwork for durable, long-lasting change. You can see the impact of our work around the world.”

ECODIT is a U.S.-based small business with 27 years of experience working with governments, businesses and local communities to advance environmentally and socially responsible development in more than 50 countries. To learn more about ECODIT, visit and follow the firm’s social media accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.