Vietnam is one of the most important countries in the world for primate conservation. In 2016, during a field survey led by Fauna & Flora International (FFI), 500 grey-shanked doucs were discovered in Kon Plong, nearly doubling the known global population. This site is a Key Biodiversity Area and provides habitat for two critically endangered primates (the douc and the yellow-cheeked gibbon), among a host of other important species. The grey-shanked douc remains critically endangered and is threatened by deforestation and habitat fragmentation. Doucs also remain regular victims of illegal wildlife trade, bushmeat hunting, traditional medicine and the pet trade.  


The aim of this project is to help address the root causes of forest loss and degradation by enabling community resource-use planning around a new protected area, supporting both women and men in securing land tenure, developing strategies for sustainable livelihoods and providing livelihood diversification opportunities. 

Our work

To conserve the grey-shanked douc and the myriad other species that share its habitat, we are working with government and community partners to make protected area management and enforcement more collaborative and effective, increasing the voice of marginalised communities in natural resource management. 

 This work includes ensuring that key stakeholders are engaged with an integrated, district-wide business plan for sustainable land-use and landscape management, which recognises local perspectives.  It also entails providing technical support to improve local livelihoods and reduce poverty in ten communities around the protected area. 

Key milestones

  • 2021

    Partners trained in using the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART), with good feedback.

  • 2021

    Leaders of district and provincial government highly support the idea of creating a new protected area.

  • 2020

    A provincial conservation workshop agrees to upgrade around 40,000 hectares of Kon Plong forest to a ‘special use forest’ (a new protected area).

  • 2020

    An in-depth gibbon survey is conducted and finds an estimated 140 family groups of the northern yellow-cheeked gibbon in Kon Plong.

  • 2019

    A local volunteer network is created to protect wildlife and forests in Kon Plong.

  • 2018

    The project to save the grey-shanked douc is officially started.

  • 2015-2016

    A population of around 500 grey-shanked doucs is discovered by FFI through two in-depth surveys.

Project partners

  • GreenViet Biodiversity Conservation Centre  
  • Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research 
  • Kon Tum Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development  
  • Kon Plong Forestry Company and Thach Nham Protection Forest Management Board 
  • Kon Tum Provincial People’s Committee and Kon Plong District People’s Committee