SDM Project: Assessment of Red Dao local knowledge on herbal bathing and forest protection



Culture Identity and Resources Use Management (CIRUM)






Viet Nam


community‐owned, ecotourism, forest, protection, livelihoods


Summary Sheet

The summary sheet for this case study is available here.

SDM website

More information is available here


Over the past 8 years, CIRUM has supported to confirm legal rights for community forest land and traditional herbal medicinal use of the Red Dao ethnic minority community in Sai Duan village, Phin Ngan commune, Bat Xat district, Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam. On the basis of promoting and providing service in traditional herbal bathing, the target community has been starting an organic model of community soft1 eco-tourism as a good way to share experiences of how to combine local knowledges with sound use of forest resources and improve livelihood in a sustainable way.

CIRUM has conducted a field research to point out approach to local knowledge, customary law in forest use and protection for sustainable development and find ways to apply to similar communities. A participatory field survey helped to identify natural native trees, especially medicinal herbs in the forest, which are essential to keep rare and valuable species for cultural values (i.e. community ritual ceremonies) and herbal use. As a result, CIRUM has completed a case study reflecting its approach to support community forest protection and suitable use of herbs for creating more income sources and developing community-owned enterprise valuing traditional herbal bath and local eco-tourism products. In addition, the completion of 16-minute video documentary is published and served to share with IPSI members and find further exchanges and cooperation in the future.

Paddy fields on Red Dao villager terraces in Sai Duan village
The Red Dao women, who involve in survey on native species and herbs
Discussion with the Red Dao community at the herbal bath service of Sai Duan village