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Community member learning in a community-based ecotourism project in northern Vietnam Tran, Linh Thuy 2014

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COMMUNITY MEMBER LEARNING IN A COMMUNITY-BASED ECOTOURISM PROJECT IN NORTHERN VIETNAM byLinh Thuy Tran M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2006A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES(Educational Studies)THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA(Vancouver)December, 2014©Linh Thuy Tran, 2014ABSTRACTTourism development sometimes focuses too much on short term monetary benefits and inadvertently causes environmental and social degradation. Community-based ecotourism (CBET) is an alternative model of tourism development that has the potential to avoid certain  negative side-effects while promoting environmental, cultural, and economic sustainability. Adult  learning and education and gender issues are two critical but under-researched areas in ecotourism development. Informed by a combination of theoretical concepts in adult learning, environmental adult education, and women's empowerment in community development, this study examines the content, process, and outcomes of community member learning in three aspects of a CBET project in Vietnam. These include: 1) The development and management of the CBET project; 2)  The protection and conservation of the local environment; and 3) Local women's empowerment.  Field research for the study was undertaken on a model CBET project in Giao Xuan commune near Xuan Thuy National Park, Vietnam, a wetland recognized for its importance to environmental conservation by the Ramsar Convention. The study took an interpretive case study approach incorporating qualitative research methods of interviews, participant observation, and document analysis. Thirty-one research participants took part in the study, including seven project staff and consultants, and twenty-four community members.Study findings indicate that even though there is much room for the improvement of the planning and implementation of the CBET project, community members in the Giao Xuan CBET project have actively learned to make CBET an effective strategy linking the development of  iiecotourism with sustainable development. The CBET project has brought a new source of income to the local community, promoted local environmental conservation and made positive changes in local gender roles and relations. Study findings contribute to knowledge of the effectiveness of CBET as a means of community development, the role of adult learning and education in CBET, and the integration of a gender perspective into the planning and implementation of CBET. iiiPREFACEPublication: An abridged version of Chapter Seven was published as: Tran, L., & Walter, P. (2014). Ecotourism, gender and development in northern Vietnam. Annals  of Tourism Research, 44, 116-130. I designed the study in consultation with Dr. Pierre Walter. I collected data that included interviews, observations and documents. I translated and analyzed the data. Dr. Pierre Walter and I co-wrote the publication. However, I rewrote many sections of Chapter Seven in my own words.Ethics Approval:This study was approved by the Behavioural Research Ethics Board at the University ofBritish Columbia. UBC BREB number: H11-01752.ivTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract.......................................................................................................................................... iiPreface........................................................................................................................................... ivTable of Contents........................................................................................................................... vList of Tables................................................................................................................................ xiiList of Figures............................................................................................................................. xiiiAcknowledgements..................................................................................................................... xivDedication....................................................................................................................................xviChapter 1: Introduction................................................................................................................ 11.1 Research Problem............................................................................................................ 31.2 Ecotourism in Vietnam.....................................................................................................61.3 Research Questions..........................................................................................................81.4 Significance of the Study................................................................................................. 91.5 Dissertation Organization...............................................................................................11Chapter 2: Literature Review.....................................................................................................122.1 What Is Community-Based Ecotourism?.......................................................................132.1.1 Authentic Ecotourism........................................................................................... 132.1.2 Community-Based Tourism.................................................................................. 152.1.3 Indigenous Ecotourism......................................................................................... 162.1.4 Community-Based Ecotourism Definition Summary...........................................182.2 Community Member Learning in Community-Based Ecotourism (CBET)..................18v2.2.1 Learning Knowledge and Skills to Manage and Implement CBET.....................182.2.2 Learning to Construct and Implement an Ecotourism Curriculum.......................232.2.3 Learning Other Cultures and Reinforcing Local Values and Cultures.................282.2.4 Raising Self and Others' Awareness of Environmental Conservation..................312.3 Gender Issues in Community-Based Ecotourism.......................................................... 332.4 Chapter Summary...........................................................................................................35Chapter 3: Conceptual Framework........................................................................................... 373.1 Overview of Conceptual Framework.............................................................................373.2 Definitions of Non-Formal Education and Informal Learning...................................... 393.2.1 Non-Formal Education......................................................................................... 393.2.2 Informal Learning.................................................................................................413.3 Paulo Freire's Educational Approach............................................................................. 423.3.1 Banking Education................................................................................................433.3.2 Conscientization....................................................................................................443.4 Clover's “Conscientization” and “Educative Activism”................................................473.5 Experience and Learning................................................................................................483.6 Learning and Transformation......................................................................................... 523.7 Individual and Collective Learning................................................................................573.8 Longwe's Women's Empowerment Framework............................................................. 593.9 Chapter Summary...........................................................................................................64Chapter 4: Methodology............................................................................................................. 66vi4.1 Research Site.................................................................................................................. 664.2 Interpretive Case Study Approach..................................................................................724.3 Research Steps................................................................................................................744.3.1 Gaining Access to the Research Site.................................................................... 744.3.2 Participant Recruitment........................................................................................764.3.2.1 MCD Staff and Consultants.....................................................................774.3.2.2 Community Members.............................................................................. 794.3.3 Conducting Interviews......................................................................................... 834.3.4 Conducting Observations..................................................................................... 854.3.5 Collecting Documents.......................................................................................... 884.3.6 Data Analysis and Interpretation.......................................................................... 894.4 The Role of the Researcher............................................................................................ 904.5 The Trustworthiness of the Research Study and Associated Ethical Considerations.....934.5.1 Procedural Ethics..................................................................................................944.5.2 Situational Ethics..................................................................................................944.5.3 Relational Ethics.................................................................................................. 974.5.4 Exiting Ethics..................................................................................................... 1004.6 Chapter Summary.........................................................................................................104Chapter 5: Learning to Develop and Manage the CBET Project......................................... 1055.1 Non-Formal Learning: Fundamental Knowledge and Skills for Doing CBET...........1065.1.1 Community Needs and Local Ecotourism Potential Assessment, an Inception viiWorkshop and a Study Tour to Raise Awareness of CBET Possibilities ...................1085.1.2 CBET Planning and Management Workshop.....................................................1125.1.3 Training in Skills and Knowledge to Provide Ecotourism Services..................1165.1.4 Computer Skills and English Training............................................................... 1185.2 Informal Learning........................................................................................................ 1245.2.1 Learning Leadership, Hosting and Guiding on the Job......................................1245.2.1.1 Leadership..............................................................................................1255.2.1.2 Hosting...................................................................................................1285.2.1.3 Guiding.................................................................................................. 1385.2.2 Learning from Exchanging Knowledge and Experience with Colleagues........1405.3 Learning Outcomes: Beyond Doing CBET................................................................. 1445.3.1 Mastering Ecotourism Knowledge and Skills....................................................1445.3.2 Applying Ecotourism Knowledge and Skills in Daily Life................................1485.3.3 Becoming Lifelong Learners..............................................................................1505.3.4 Non-Financial Benefits from New Relationships..............................................1525.3.5 Increased Self-Confidence................................................................................. 1535.4 Chapter Summary.........................................................................................................155Chapter 6: Learning to Protect and Conserve the Local Environment...............................1576.1 Non-Formal Learning: Raising Community Members' Environmental Knowledge...1586.1.1 Workshops on Local Wetland Resources........................................................... 1596.1.2 Exchanging Knowledge and Experience............................................................161viii6.1.3 A Learning Competition..................................................................................... 1636.2 Informal Learning........................................................................................................ 1646.2.1 Initiating an Environmental Awareness Program...............................................1656.2.2 Community Learning Spaces............................................................................. 1686.2.3 Learning from Visitors....................................................................................... 1756.3 Impacts of Environmental Learning Activities............................................................ 1796.3.1 Impacts on Environmental Knowledge.............................................................. 1796.3.2 Impacts on Environmental Attitudes.................................................................. 1856.3.3 Impacts on Environmental Actions.................................................................... 1886.3.3.1 Rehabilitating and Protecting the Local Mangrove Forest....................1896.3.3.2 Forming and Enforcing Regulations on Household Trash.....................1916.4 Chapter Summary.........................................................................................................196Chapter 7: Learning About Gender Equality and Its Impacts on Local Women's Empowerment............................................................................................................................1987.1 Learning About Gender Equality in the CBET Project................................................1997.1.1 Gender Awareness Raising Workshop................................................................1997.1.2 Training of Trainers Workshop...........................................................................2027.1.3 Taking a Leading Role in the CBET Project's Activities...................................2057.2 Impacts of Learning about Gender Equality on Local Women's Empowerment.........2087.2.1 Welfare............................................................................................................... 2087.2.2 Access.................................................................................................................210ix7.2.3 Conscientization................................................................................................. 2137.2.4 Participation....................................................................................................... 2187.2.5 Control................................................................................................................2207.3 Chapter Summary.........................................................................................................222Chapter 8: Discussion and Conclusions...................................................................................2248.1 Learning to Develop and Manage the CBET Project...................................................2248.1.1 The Impacts of the Community-Based Approach on Community Member Learning and Participation in the CBET Project.........................................................2258.1.2 Learning Centred on Experience........................................................................2298.1.3 From Incidental to Self-Directed Learning........................................................ 2328.2 Learning to Protect and Conserve the Local Environment..........................................2338.2.1 The Role of Local Knowledge........................................................................... 2348.2.2 Individual Learning and Transformation............................................................2368.2.3 Action-Oriented Collective Learning Activities and Social Change..................2418.3 Impacts on Local Women's Empowerment.................................................................. 2448.4 Recommendations for CBET Practice in Giao Xuan...................................................2468.4.1 Improving the Educational Activities and Interventions in the CBET Project. .2478.4.2 Promoting Critical Reflection and Experiential Learning..................................2518.4.3 Promoting Action-Oriented Collective Learning............................................... 2548.4.4 Increasing Community Participation..................................................................2548.5 Research Limitations and Recommendations for Further Research............................256x8.6 Conclusions.................................................................................................................. 2598.7 Closing Remarks.......................................................................................................... 260References...................................................................................................................................264Appendices..................................................................................................................................289Appendix 1: Letter of Initial Contact for Project Staff and Consultants............................289Appendix 2: Interview Consent Form for Project Staff and Consultants...........................291Appendix 3: Interview Protocol for Project Staff and Consultants....................................293Appendix 4: Letter of Initial Contact for Local Host Families.......................................... 294Appendix 5: Interview and Observation Consent Form for Local Host Families.............296Appendix 6: Letter of Initial Contact for Other Community Members.............................299Appendix 7: Interview Consent Form for Other Community Members............................301Appendix 8: Interview Protocol for Community Members............................................... 303Appendix 9: Xuan Thuy National Park and Giao Xuan Commune Introduction from Tourism Brochure...............................................................................................................304Appendix 10: Countryside Visit and Ramsar Site Journey Description from Tourism Brochure............................................................................................................................. 305Appendix 11: Examples of Tourism Destinations and Activities from Tourism Brochure306Appendix 12: Recommendations for Tourists from Tourism Brochure.............................309xiLIST OF TABLESTable 3.1 Longwe's Women’s Empowerment Framework............................................................ 62Table 4.1 MCD Staff and Consultants........................................................................................... 78Table 4.2 Community Members.................................................................................................... 81Table 5.1 Components of the Capacity Building Program to Help Build a CBET Model in Giao Xuan.............................................................................................................................................106Table 5.2 Skills and Knowledge for Providing Ecotourism Services.......................................... 117Table 7.1 Strategies to Improve Local Women's Involvement and Capacity..............................202xiiLIST OF FIGURESFigure 4.1 Nam Dinh Province – The Research Site on the Vietnamese Map.............................. 70Figure 4.2 Xuan Thuy National Park and the Buffer Communes.................................................71Figure 5.1 A Local Traditional House......................................................................................... 129Figure 5.2 Inside Layout of a Local Traditional House with an Open Space and No Private Bedrooms.....................................................................................................................................129Figure 5.3 A Bed with a Curtain to Create a More Private Space for Visitors............................131Figure 6.1 The Local Ecolife Cafe.............................................................................................. 171Figure 6.2 Inside of the Ecolife Cafe...........................................................................................172Figure 6.3 A Corner of the Community Learning Centre............................................................174Figure 6.4 Environmental Education Pictures and Posters in the Community Learning Centre 175xiiiACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThere are many people I would like to thank for their help, support, and encouragement throughout my graduate studies and the completion of this dissertation.I express my deepest gratitude to the helpful guidance of my supervisory committee. My eternal gratitude goes to my supervisor Dr. Pierre Walter. I would have not gone this far without his invaluable help and support. During my studies at UBC and especially during the process of conducting this research study, Dr. Walter has generously shared his expertise and provided me with his insightful guidance, constant support, and encouragement that have helped me to keep trying my best to pursue this challenging but worthwhile journey. I also would like to sincerely thank my committee members, Dr. Shauna Butterwick and Dr. Tom Sork, for their insight and very helpful advice for this research study. Your critical comments and advice have helped me to look into the research problems and analysis at a more profound level.I would like to thank the Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD) staff for their support and enthusiastic encouragement of this research study. I am the most appreciative for the Community-based Ecotourism project staff and consultants and Giao Xuan community members who participated in this research study and generously shared with me their views and experience about the Giao Xuan CBET project. My sincere thanks and deep respect go to all Giao Xuan community members who opened their doors and their hearts to me and who are truly lifelong learners whom I admire and from whom I have learned much. I hope they continue on with the project and wish them the best of luck and success in their journey of building sustainability in their community.xivI would like to take this opportunity to thank all the friends, both in Canada and Vietnam, who have encouraged me throughout the pursuit of my graduate studies. I am indebted to my best friend, Tran Thi Nga, who has always been willing to offer her support and time both in my academic and life journey. Your kindness, support, and friendship have been very precious to me. My special thanks to my family. I would like to thank my parents Tran Trung and Nguyen Thi Kim Thu for instilling the value of education in me and for having been always there for me emotionally and spiritually. My heartfelt thanks and love to my husband, Carl Francis Falk. His love and endless support has meant so much to me throughout this journey. I also want to thank my daughter Julie Linh Falk for her unconditional love. She is a sweetheart who has helped me to recognize what really matters.This research study was generously supported by a Standard Research Grant from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to Dr. Pierre Walter; a University of British Columbia Four Year Fellowship, a University of British Columbia Special Graduate Scholarship, and a Doctoral Research Award from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada.xvDEDICATIONTo my mother, Nguyen Thi Kim Thu, and my father, Tran Trung, for everything you have taught and inspired me. Especially to my mother who passed away while I was working on this research study and who would have been proud of me. I love you and miss you so much, mom! To my husband, Carl Francis Falk, and my daughter, Julie Linh Falk, who cheered me all along my graduate studies journey with their unconditional love and support. xviCHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTIONI was born two years after the war between the USA and Vietnam. Children in my generation grew up without having to witness bombs, shootings, separation, and death; however, we still experienced difficult times during the reconstruction of the country. After many years of war, the country suffered from heavy losses of both human resources and infrastructure. My hometown was a typical small Vietnamese city with streets linked to stores, schools, parks, and markets. Cities in Vietnam are very densely populated and many city kids of my generation did not have much exposure to the natural environment. Most of the space in the town was occupied by housing, office buildings, schools and other buildings. In school, we learned about life in the countryside – about things like rice, water buffalos, farms, farm animals, and farmers – but this knowledge was abstract, from books and lectures. Our learning environment was contained within the four walls of the classroom. In this way, we learned about rice without ever seeing a rice field. We learned about farmers but we did not meet a single farmer in person. We learned about different historical places and events but we did not have the chance to actually go to see such places.Unlike today, people then did not have enough money to travel around to learn about other places and people. I remember that my family did occasionally have the chance to go on trips, but I wished that we could have had more money to travel. One trip we did take opened my eyes to the experiences of those in poorer areas. It was a trip to the countryside in another province. The first destination was a historical place named Hoa Lu, which was an ancient capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th century (968 – 1010) located in Ninh Binh province. After visiting Hoa Lu, we also took a tour of Tam Coc, which has three natural caves situated along a local river with ceilings about two meters above the water. I had many new experiences during 1these trips and learned firsthand about the lives of poor rural people. The first time I saw water buffalos and touched a wet rice field in person was during my family’s trip to Hoa Lu and Tam Coc. But the most memorable experience on that trip was the meeting between my family and a  local woman who rowed a boat for us through three caves along a river. The trip was my very first out-of-school lesson about other people's hard life.In addition to myself, my parents, and my older brother, the boat held a tour guide, the local woman, and her young daughter child (3-4 years old). I remember that the woman explained that she needed to bring her child along because there was no one to take care of her while she was working. During the trip, we talked to the local woman and learned that many people like her had to work hard in order to have enough money to afford food for their families. She worked full time as a farmer, but still had to work many extra hours as a tour guide to earn some extra money. According to her, due to financial hardship, many people in her community did not have the chance to go to school, so they all tried to work very hard with the hope that one day they could save enough money to send their children to school. They all hoped that with education their children would have an easier life. The story of the local woman on that tour stayed with me for many years. From the experience of that trip, I realized that I myself was very lucky to have the resources and opportunities to study at good grade schools and later at good universities. While I wished that my family could have had more money to travel, I knew that other families like that of the woman tour guide hoped only to have enough money for food and to send their children to school. The story of the gap between the rich and the poor and the inequality of educational opportunities for people became even clearer to me when I went abroad to study. I started wondering about the learning opportunities available for marginalized people in disadvantaged 2communities. Can such opportunities help people learn and achieve a better life? All of the experiences, observations, and understandings of education and life that I have accumulated throughout my life have inspired this study on adult learning and education for poor Vietnamese people in a community development project. 1.1 Research ProblemIn response to negative impacts on local communities caused by mass tourism in the last two decades, various alternative models of tourism have been introduced. The goal of these alternative models is to benefit and empower local communities and ultimately to help achieve  sustainable tourism development1. Such alternative models include green tourism, soft/low impact tourism, pro-poor tourism, sustainable tourism, ecotourism and most recently, community-based ecotourism (CBET). CBET has come to be seen as a variant of sustainable community development (Scheyvens 1999, Björk 2007, Stronza & Gordillo 2008). Done properly, CBET should contribute to the environmental conservation of wildlife and wilderness, allow local communities to generate new sources of livelihood predicated on this conservation, and reinforce or revive traditional culture and lifeways (Zeppel, 2006, Butler & Hinch 2007, Honey 2008). CBET is also seen as a site for educating visitors about local culture and human rights and for increasing visitors' environmental awareness ( Higgins-Desbiolles, 2009; Honey, 2008, Suansri, 2003).Whether the sustainable development goal of CBET is achieved depends on many stakeholders involved in the CBET project, especially community members, visitors, and project  consultants and the staff of organizations. In order to successfully implement a CBET project, 1 In this dissertation, the term “sustainable development” encompasses and highlights the interconnected sustainability of all social, economic, cultural and environmental components in the development process. 3community members need to learn how to manage a CBET project in the most effective way. They also need to have appropriate methods for educating visitors about their local culture and environment. Meanwhile, whether CBET can be a site of the promotion of cross-cultural knowledge and environmental conservation also depends on visitors' knowledge, behaviour, attitude, and willingness to learn and share their knowledge with local communities. In addition,  the success of a CBET project also very much depends on whether a CBET project's consultants and staff employ appropriate policies and practices that might best support local communities (Honey, 2008; Suansri, 2003).In the last decade or so, research has been conducted on many different aspects of CBET, but not much has been done on the components of learning and teaching. For example, research has explored CBET as a tool for economic development and its impact on local livelihood (Manyara & Jones, 2007; Stronza, 2007; Zeppel, 2007). Likewise, CBET's role in local environmental conservation and promotion of cross-cultural understanding is perhaps one of the most researched topics (Beaumont, 2001; Christie & Mason, 2003; Fuller, Caldicott, Cairncross, & Wilde, 2007; Haas, 2003; Lee & Moscardo, 2005; Powell & Ham, 2008; Zambrano, Broadbent, & Durham, 2010; Zeppel, 2008; Wearing & Neil, 2009).  Literature has also explored the dynamic relation between power and local participation and ownership of CBET initiatives (Blackstock, 2005; Buckley, 2003;  Fletcher, 2009; Johnston, 2003; Reed, 1997; Southgate, 2006; Sproule, 1999; Stronza & Gordillo, 2008; Victurine, 2000; Wood, 1998; Zeppel, 2007). However, there is a general lack of research done directly on the learning and teaching aspect of CBET. Instead, this topic has been briefly covered among many other themes in CBET research (Weaver & Lawton, 2007). Most research that has directly examined learning and teaching only focuses on whether CBET can be a potential tool for environmental conservation through 4educationally-oriented programs for visitors in wildlife tourism. Very little research has been done on community member learning in CBET. Thus, while CBET is a rich site of adult learning and teaching, it is still understudied. This is true even though learning and teaching play a significant role in the process of implementing and developing CBET initiatives and are central  to all of the major goals of CBET (Weaver & Lawton, 2007; Walter, 2009). In addition, even though CBET is known for its potential positive impact on local communities, it is no stranger to the social, psychological and political complexities of development initiatives at large. Factors such as external partnerships, internal cooperation,  capacity-building, funding, dependency, leadership, local institutions, development approaches,  land rights, cultural identity, and relations of class and gender can all contribute to the success or failure of CBET projects (Jones, 2005; Lacher & Nepal, 2010, Laverack & Thangphet 2007; Nepal, 2004; Weaver & Lawton 2007; Stronza & Gordillo, 2008; Hitchner, Apu, Tarawe, Aran, & Yesayaet, 2009). With several notable exceptions (Dilly, 2003; Pleno, 2006; Reimer & Walter, 2013; Schellhorn, 2010; Scheyvens, 2007; Stronza, 2005; Tran & Walter, 2014; Tucker & Boonabaana, 2012), research in the field of ecotourism has been mostly “gender blind.” In a recent review of research in ecotourism, Weaver and Lawton (2007, p. 1168), for example, examined over 75,000 abstracts related to ecotourism in 6,000 periodicals, noting that ecotourism is now firmly established as an academic field of inquiry. And yet among the vast corpus of research in the field, the authors only identified two studies peripherally related to gender. Other social, political  and cultural complexities of development are also important in CBET, but my study focuses primarily on gender relations since women’s empowerment was a key educational objective of the CBET project I chose to study. 51.2 Ecotourism in Vietnam The integration of Vietnam's economy into the regional and international economy has caused the Vietnamese Government to reform its policies on economic structures in many fields including Tourism. After the “renovation” policy of “doi moi” was implemented in 1986, the Vietnamese Tourism industry was shifted from a highly centralized State-owned mechanism into one that is more decentralized, market-based, and open to private and foreign tourism operators (Leksakundilok, 2004; The National Tourism Ordinance, 1999). The global tourism industry's promotion of sustainable tourism has also made the Vietnamese Government move towards the development of tourism forms that ensures sustainable practices and outcomes (Bui, 2009; Lipscombe & Thwaites, 2003). Ecotourism and Cultural-Historical Tourism have been identified as two forms of tourism that are promoted in the national tourism development strategy (The National Assembly of The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 2005; The Standing Committee of the National Assembly,1999).The Vietnamese Government has introduced a number of initiatives that encourage its goal of sustainable tourism development. Some examples of these initiatives are The National  Tourism Ordinance 1999, The Regulation on Ecotourism Activities in the National Parks, The  Natural Preservation Areas, The National Master Plan for Tourism Development 1995 – 2010,  The National Tourism Action Plan 2006 – 2010, The Tourism Development Strategy 2001 –  2010, The National Tourism Action Program 2007-2012 (promulgated after joining the World Trade Organization), Tourism Development 2020, and Vision  2030. The above policies indicate the importance of sustainable tourism development as a national goal and strategy. They provide a legal policy foundation for the implementation of national tourism development to promote the  national economy while ensuring the conservation of biodiversity, societal, cultural and 6environmental sustainability.Vietnam has also actively participated in different regional and international sustainable  tourism development organizations and programs. Vietnam is a member of the Word Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the Asian Tourism Association (ASEANTA), and the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). In 1989, Vietnam became a member of The Ramsar Convention on the conservation and sustainable use of wetland resources, which includes regulations on ecotourism activities in wetland areas. In 1992, Vietnam signed the Sustainable Agenda 21 at the United Nations Summit in Rio. In the same year, Vietnam joined the six Greater Mekong Sub-region Countries Program, which aims to promote subregional economic relations. The program promotes tourism as a strategy for contributing “substantially towards the Millennium Development Goals of poverty alleviation, gender equality and empowering women and sustainable development in the sub-region by 2015” (Khanal & Babar, 2007, p. 1).The integration of the Vietnamese tourism industry into the regional and international tourism market has provided remarkable economic benefits for the country. The revenue from tourism has increased sharply in the last two decades and continues to grow. For example, it is reported that in 2009, tourism was generating revenue of 32.40 trillion VND, approximately 24 times more than that of 1990, when it was 1.34 trillion VND. Revenue from the tourism industry has contributed approximately 5% of the national GDP (Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, 2009). In 2004, Vietnam was ranked by the World Tourism and Travel Committee as 7th among 174 countries in the world for increases in visitors. There has been a continuous increase in the number of both domestic and foreign tourists per year in Vietnam. In 1990, the number of domestic tourists was 1,000,000, and 250,000 for international visitors. By 2009, the number of 7domestic and international tourists was 11,700,000 and 1,893,605, respectively (Ibid).Vietnam has gained remarkable revenue from the tourism industry thanks in part to the government’s reform of the structure and administration of tourism. Vietnam's integration into the global tourism industry has also encouraged the Vietnamese Government to enact a number of policies on the promotion of sustainable tourism development. The number of National Parks has increased from 3 to 30 since the “renovation” policy of “doi moi”. Vietnam is now internationally recognized as “a destination for exotic nature-based tourism” (Suntikul, Butler, & Airey, 2010, p. 201). The success of CBET at this initial stage of development is currently unclear and may comprise a critical turning point for both the environment and local communities. Even though Vietnam has been developing rapidly and has been relatively successful in reducing poverty, its Environmental Sustainability Index is the lowest in Southeast Asia - revealing the fact that Vietnam is facing many challenges regarding the environment and sustainable development (MCD, 2007a). Furthermore, there are concerns about whether local communities really benefit from CBET. The Vietnamese Tourism industry may be vulnerable to inadequate cooperation across different stakeholders and among different levels of authorities regarding the implementation of sustainable tourism practices (Bui, 2009; Le. 2006; Lipscombe & Rik, 2003; Leksakundilok, 2004). 1.3 Research Questions This research study examines the non-formal education and informal learning of community members in a CBET project in Giao Xuan commune (which will be introduced later),  and the impacts of learning on local people in the commune. The study has the following research questions:  81. What do community members learn in non-formal and informal settings in order to develop and manage the CBET project in Giao Xuan? How do the learning processes take place? What are the outcomes of the learning processes? How do these outcomes relate to community members' knowledge, skills, and values? 2. What environmental learning activities do community members experience in the Giao Xuan CBET project? How do these environmental learning activities take place? What impact do these environmental learning activities have on community members'  environmental knowledge, attitude, and actions?3. What do local people learn about gender equality in the Giao Xuan CBET project? What impact does learning about gender equality and the planning and implementation of the CBET project have on changes in gender roles and relations as well as the empowerment of local women in the Giao Xuan community?   1.4 Significance of the StudyAdult learning and education is critical to the success of CBET (Weaver & Lawton, 2007; Walter, 2009). However, very little research on this topic has been conducted. Among the research that has been conducted directly on the learning and teaching aspect of CBET, most has focused only on visitor learning. To date, with the exception of Walter (2009), who studied community member learning in CBET, extant research has examined the impact of visitor education on changing visitors’ environmental knowledge and behaviour, mostly in wildlife ecotourism (Beaumont, 2001; Orams, 1997; Orams & Taylor, 2005; Zeppel 2008). Other 9research has focused on CBET as a site for educating visitors about the community and local ways of life (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2009; Suansri, 2003; Walter & Reimer, 2011). The present study contributes to the discussion of a very important but under-researched aspect of adult education in CBET; that is, community member learning. The research results may be of value to concerned academics in the field not only because the aspect of learning and teaching in community-based ecotourism is new, but also because empirical research on community-based ecotourism in the Vietnamese context is still rare.This study contributes to a growing body of knowledge on ecotourism as sustainable development. In addition, this study illustrates the complexities of integrating a gender perspective into community-based ecotourism, and how this may result in positive benefits for local women. The study also demonstrates the general utility of applying gender analysis tools commonly used in Gender and Development projects to the specific case of community-based ecotourism. Thus the study can be an important source of knowledge for international, national and local ecotourism development agencies and organizations. These include governmental,  intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. These agencies and organizations can use the study findings to create more appropriate policies and programs for the development of ecotourism that might best support local communities.   Last but not least, this dissertation provides recommendations for the Giao Xuan community which may help local people identify ways of improving their particular CBET project so that it helps their economic development while preserving their local culture and environment. Finally, since the CBET project in Giao Xuan commune is a pilot project for community-based ecotourism in other communities in Vietnam, this research is well-positioned to help develop a wider model of CBET in Vietnam.101.5 Dissertation Organization This dissertation includes eight chapters and is organized as follows. Chapter One provides a brief introduction to my personal background and previous experience as these have inspired this dissertation. This chapter also includes an introduction to the context of sustainable tourism development in Vietnam, research questions, and the significance of the study. Chapter Two provides an overview of the different forms of CBET that have been defined and used in the literature. The chapter continues with a review of empirical research on community member learning and gender issues in CBET development. Chapter Three reviews theoretical concepts of non-formal education and informal learning, environmental adult education, and women's empowerment in development projects. These theoretical concepts helped to inform my thoughts and ideas for developing this research study and they also helped me to unpack and make sense of the study findings. Chapter Four introduces the research site, provides a justification for the methodological approach employed in this study, presents various research steps including gaining access to the research site, participant recruitment, and data collection and analysis,  identifies my position as a researcher, and describes associated ethical considerations to the trustworthiness of the research study. Chapters Five, Six, and Seven report findings that respond to the three main research questions of this dissertation. Chapter Eight includes a discussion of study findings, recommendations for the Giao Xuan CBET practice, research limitations, recommendations for future research, and closing remarks.11CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW  In the introductory chapter, I noted that community member learning and gender issues are two very important but under-researched aspects in CBET development. Since these two aspects of CBET are the focus of my study, in this chapter I present a review of  research that has been conducted on these issues. This review helps me to understand the practice of community member learning and gender issues in CBET development. In addition, it also helps me to more clearly delineate areas where community member learning can occur, how gender issues are examined in CBET, and what specific research gaps exist. The notion of ecotourism is contested (Cater, 2006; Duffy, 2006; Weaver and Lawton, 2007), because it depends on “the overall concept of tourism development, the perspective of the definers and the purpose of its application” (Leksakundilok, 2004, p. 23). Thus, I begin this chapter by reviewing different forms of CBET that have been defined and used in literature including: 1) Authentic ecotourism; 2) Community-based tourism; and 3) Indigenous ecotourism. In the second section, I review different knowledge and skills that community members learn in CBET. First, community members engage in local capacity building programs to learn fundamental knowledge and skills to manage and implement CBET projects (Denman, 2001; Suanri, 2004). Second, they learn to construct and implement ecotourism curriculum, such as various activities that visitors will do during their CBET trips (Walter, 2009). Third, community members have opportunities to learn about other cultures and reflect on and reinforce their own local values (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2009). And finally, they learn to raise awareness of environmental conservation (Powell & Ham, 2008). In the last section of this chapter, I present a review of literature on the complexity of gender issues in CBET (which vary depending on 12different local contexts), and the impact of education on gender relations in CBET projects has on the empowerment of local women. 2.1 What Is Community-Based Ecotourism?Community-based Ecotourism typically involves travel to locations where the natural en-vironment thrives. Ideally, CBET projects are locally managed and maintained in a sustainable fashion by those indigenous to the tourist destination in such a way that the travellers are edu-cated about the local ecosystem and are able to contribute to the preservation of the area. Walter (2010) outlines some basic principles and common themes of community-based ecotourism: 1) Principles of local participation, control or ownership of ecotourism initiatives; 2) A focus on environmental conservation and local livelihood benefits; 3) The promotion of customary and indigenous cultures; and 4) The promotion of local and indigenous human rights and sovereignty over traditional territories and resources. (p. 3)In a further categorization, Walter (2010) defines three kinds of “grassroots” ecotourism. These are: 1) Authentic ecotourism; 2) Community-based tourism; and 3) Indigenous ecotourism. In the section that follows, I will describe these three “grassroots” forms of ecotourism.  2.1.1 Authentic Ecotourism“Authentic” ecotourism or “real” ecotourism is a term used by Honey (Honey & Stewart 2002; Honey, 2008; see also Walter, 2010). It is based on a definition of ecotourism constructed by the International Ecotourism Society (TIES).2 Ecotourism here refers to “travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people;” “authentic” 2 The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 and committed to promoting ecotourism. It aims to “make  tourism a viable tool for conservation, protection of bio-cultural diversity, and sustainable community development.” (TIES, 2011)  13ecotourism is described by Honey (2008) as: Travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas that strives to be low impact and (often) small scale. It helps educate the traveler, provides funds for conservation, directly benefits the economic development and political empowerment of local communities, and fosters respect for different cultures and human rights. (p. 33)  “Authentic” or “real” ecotourism focuses first and foremost on raising ecotourists’ awareness of the environment and the need for conservation, especially in natural areas where the tourism occurs. In addition, it is essential that local culture is respected and local community members  are involved in ecotourism practices in order to benefit and empower local communities.Honey (2008) identifies seven characteristics that “authentic” or “real” ecotourism should have: 1) Involves travel to natural destinations; 2) Minimizes impact; 3) Builds environmental awareness; 4) Provides direct financial benefits for conservation; 5) Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people; 6) Respects local culture; and 7) Supports human rights and democratic movements. (pp. 29-31)Authentic ecotourism is seen as an alternative to mass tourism, and minimizes and prevents the negative social and environmental impacts that are caused by mass tourism. Because of its mandate, a key principle in operating and managing “authentic” ecotourism is to make sure that increasing environmental knowledge is taken into account, local knowledge and values are appreciated, and local benefits and human rights are supported and promoted. Therefore, the general assumption underlying this model of ecotourism is that knowledge is empowering and can increase the intention and actions of individuals to actually help in conservation efforts and preservation of the environment. However, the operation and management of authentic ecotourism practices and development are not limited only to the local community. Authentic  ecotourism can also be developed by agencies and organizations outside of the community or it 14can be implemented through partnerships with local communities and other outside stakeholders (Honey, 2008).   2.1.2 Community-Based TourismSuansri (2003), in her Community-based Tourism (CBT) handbook, defines CBT as:Tourism that takes environmental, social, and cultural sustainability into account. It is managed and owned by the community, for the community, with the purpose of enabling visitors to increase their awareness and learn about the community and local ways of life. (p. 15)Similar to Honey's (2008) notion of authentic ecotourism, the issues of society, culture and environment are covered in the concept of CBT provided by Suansri. However, if Honey stresses the importance of increasing the knowledge of ecotourists and local residents about environmental and cultural conservation, Suansri sees the local community as the core focus of CBT.In contrast to authentic tourism in which the operation and management of tourism can be conducted by agencies or organizations outside of the community, CBT highlights community “ownership” (Suansri, 2003, p. 18; Walter, 2010). This means that the ultimate goal of CBT is to get community members involved in all aspects of tourism practice and development, and the purpose of CBT is to meet the needs of the local community. Local community members are the main actors in CBT and are believed to have overall authority. These members are responsible for and have rights to manage the natural resources as well as the social and cultural values in their community. Community members with local wisdom are ideally involved in designing and organizing tours, operating activities included in the tours, educating tourists about local cultural  and ecological values and livelihood, and providing local products and services to tourists. For 15example, they might provide local food, means of transportation, and accommodation for tourists (Leksakundilok, 2004; Suansri, 2003; Walter, 2010). Therefore, the underlying assumption of the CBT model is that community control is critical and results in a host of beneficial outcomes for local people.CBT is considered a powerful tool for a kind of community development that brings a wide range of economic, social, cultural, political and environmental benefits. However, Suansri (2003) argues that CBT can only become an effective long-term tool of community development if the following principles are adequately and thoroughly taken into account: 1) Recognize, support and promote community ownership of tourism; 2) Involve community members from the start in every aspect; 3) Promote community pride; 4) Improve the quality of life; 5) Ensure environmental sustainability; 6) Preserve the unique character and culture of the local area; 7) Foster cross-cultural learning; 8) Respect cultural differences and human dignity; 9) Distribute benefits fairly among community members; and 10) Contribute a fixed percentage of income to community projects. (p. 13)2.1.3 Indigenous EcotourismIndigenous communities have experienced much suffering caused by the invasion of mass tourism. In order to have space for natural protection, conservation areas and tourism, many indigenous communities were forced out of their native lands. Consequently, many of them suffer from poverty and have lost their rights to resources and their ancestral lands and resources (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2009; Nepal, 2004; Zeppel, 2006). Similar to Suansri’s community-based tourism, indigenous ecotourism is seen as a tool for community development, but it is considered first and foremost as a strategy to protect, regain and promote indigenous communities’ rights and ownership to their ancestral land, natural resources, and intellectual,  cultural and spiritual values (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2009; Zeppel, 2006). In this case, indigenous 16control is assumed to be the most critical aspect that leads to environmental conservation and empowerment of indigenous communities.Historically, many indigenous communities were colonized or are still considered colonized. Socially and politically, many of them are still in a marginalized segment of society  and are often among the poorest as well. Geographically, however, indigenous communities often reside in rich natural areas with many wildlife resources (a favourable condition for developing ecotourism). Yet these locations are often in remote areas where the infrastructure is either in poor condition or not developed at all (Fuller, Caldicott, Cairncross, & Wilde, 2007; Zeppel, 2006). All of these issues make it more difficult for indigenous communities to develop ecotourism. Therefore, it is understandable that indigenous communities sometimes need support and assistance from outside agencies like international and local NGOs or multilateral organizations for the ecotourism development process.    Even though indigenous communities often are perceived as needing assistance from outside agencies, indigenous communities have their own principles for ecotourism that they implement and develop in their own territories. According to Zeppel (2006), indigenous ecotourism is: 1) Based on indigenous knowledge systems and values; 2) Based on promoting indigenous customary practices and livelihoods; 3) Used to regain rights to access, manage and use traditional land and resources; 4) Used to manage cultural property such as historic and sacred sites; 5) Takes place under the control and active participation of local indigenous people; 6) Includes indigenous communities in ecotourism planning, development and operation; 7) Managing indigenous cultural property in terms of land, heritage and resources; and 8) Negotiating the terms of trade for the use of ecotourism resources. (p. 12)172.1.4 Community-Based Ecotourism Definition Summary In general, the three fundamental forms of CBET overlap, but have slightly different foci with regard to their main purpose. Whereas the “authentic” ecotourism model focuses more on conservation and the content that is taught to ecotourists, community-based tourism and indigenous tourism models focus more on community control and cultural preservation (Walter, 2010). In practice, not all ecotourism projects neatly follow a single form. And even though the three forms of CBET have some shared principles, the principles may be implemented and developed differently depending on each form's focus and strategy as well as the context where CBET occurs.  2.2 Community Member Learning in Community-Based Ecotourism (CBET)The definitions of CBET discussed in the previous section indicate that education is an important component in CBET development. Even though there is a dearth of literature on learning in CBET, especially on community member learning, research done to date has pointed out some aspects in which community members experienced learning. These aspects of learning include: 1) Learning knowledge and skills to manage and implement CBET; 2) Learning to construct and implement an ecotourism curriculum; 3) Learning about other cultures, and reinforcing local cultures and values; and 4) Raising oneself’s and others' awareness of environmental conservation.   2.2.1 Learning Knowledge and Skills to Manage and Implement CBET CBET is quite often developed in communities in which economics is poor but natural 18wonders are rich and unique  (Honey, 2008). Local people who participate in CBET usually do not have enough knowledge, skills, and experience to successfully develop and manage CBET initiatives due to their lack of both formal and informal education and training opportunities  (Laverack & Thangpher, 2009; Tran, 2002; Victurine, 2000). Thus, local communities need support and training to develop their CBET initiatives. Such support and training are known as local capacity building programs (Fuller, Caldicott, Cairncross, & Wilde, 2007; Nepal, 2004). Local capacity building programs are usually sponsored and provided to local communities by external agencies such as NGOs and government agencies (Suansri, 2004; Trejos, Chiang & Huang, 2008) and are often delivered through workshops, technical assistance in the field, and follow-up training for skills enhancement. Typically, local capacity building programs contain: 1) Awareness raising workshops related to the CBET and 2) Training that provides skills and knowledge needed for planning, operating, and managing the CBET initiative (Denman, 2001; Suanri, 2004; Victurine, 2000). CBET awareness raising programs are often provided at an early stage of CBET with an attempt to provide local communities with general background knowledge on CBET. In these programs, local people are provided with information and knowledge on environmental conservation, and potential benefits that CBET can bring to local communities if operated appropriately. In  addition, through these programs, local people also learn about possible environmental, social,  cultural and economic impacts of CBET on local communities (Denman, 2001; Nepal, 2004). The most common skills and knowledge constructed in capacity building curriculum are ecotourism product development, management and leadership skills, financial control, negotiating skills with people inside communities and with outside agencies, marketing, 19knowledge on legal issues, and networking (Denman, 2001; Laverack & Thangphet, 2007; Walter, 2009). Knowledge and skills on hosting guests are also covered. These include hospitality skills, language training and cross-cultural knowledge, guiding skills, knowledge of foods and cooking, sanitation and medical care (Christie & Mason, 2003; Suansri, 2004; Victurine, 2000; Walter, 2009). Comparatively little research has been done on how people learn in CBET community capacity building programs. However, the research that has been done indicates that, for the most part, knowledge and skill transmission has been the main pedagogy of local capacity building programs, and such a top-down development approach has not empowered and benefited communities (Leksakundilok, 2004). For example, in a study on tour guide training programs, Christie and Mason (2003) point out that the current training tour guide models focus too much on “knowledge transmission and skill acquisition” (p. 14). They then propose a model of transformative tour guide training in which tour guides not only learn knowledge, skills and practical guiding experience, but also how to embrace different values and ways of learning from tourists. This proposed model of tour guide training opens up space for potential transformative experiences for both tour guides and tourists. Some researchers highlight different approaches that are shown to be more effective than the knowledge and skill transmission approach, including the “participatory approach” (Laverack & Thangphet, 2007) and the “learning by doing” (Victurine, 2000) approach. In particular, it has been claimed that the application of a participatory approach, which emphasizes community participation and empowerment, can help local people identify what they need to learn. The participatory approach also helps local people learn about their strengths and weaknesses and to 20ultimately control and manage their CBET initiative. Essentially, it has also been suggested that  training in local capacity building programs is an ongoing venture in which the content and pedagogy needs to be adaptive and modified throughout the CBET implementation. Onsite experiential learning where local people learn and apply skills and knowledge through real tasks in CBET with the assistance and onsite feedback of trainers has been reported as an effective form of learning in local capacity building programs (Victurine, 2000). From a broader perspective, other researchers find that establishing networks among CBET initiatives is an effective way of providing technical support to local communities.  Establishing networks can help CBET ventures to promote “common quality standards” (Denman, 2001, p. 21) and thus obtain a better and more sustainable practice and competitiveness (Wood, 2007). Tran (2004) suggests that training for local people in countries where CBET is still relatively new (e.g., Vietnam) should be conducted locally, domestically and internationally. He emphasizes the importance of exchange agreements among different CBET initiatives so that local people can have opportunities to learn and exchange their knowledge and experience with people who work in the tourism field in different locations. Researchers pinpoint barriers that greatly affect local people's process of obtaining knowledge and skills for tourism development in communities. Contradictory views between training program providers and local communities toward the objectives, scope, and methods used to operate CBET projects have been reported as a main barrier for the effectiveness of community capacity building programs (Fuller, Caldicott, Cairncross, & Wilde, 2007). Fletcher (2009) and Palmer (2006) point out that some capacity building programs provided by external agencies promote a Western global agenda and ideology and therefore do not respond to the 21needs and circumstances of local communities. In research on a CBET project in Fiji, Faralley (2011), for example, found that a mismatch between Western notions of democratic decision-making and local Fijian systems of governance, cultural concepts, kin groups and clan systems worked against the success of the project.A lack of trainers' understanding of local people and context is another barrier for meaningful participation of local people in capacity building programs. For example, academic prerequisites for training programs are often too difficult for local people from rural areas (Sproule, 1999). Some workshops are ineffective just because workshop facilitators or instructors, who might be knowledgeable but are not familiar with community-based projects, use too much jargon in an area of knowledge that local people find unfamiliar (Trejos et al 2008). And even the venue where the training occurs and the length of the training programs can also make it difficult for local people to get involved from the beginning to the end. For example, the length of time may be too long and the location might not be situated in a convenient and accessible location for local people. Local people often have too many other duties that they need to address in their homes and communities. It may be impossible for them to become involved in a long training program that takes place outside of their communities (Southgate, 2006). The constraints of time and finance that providers of local capacity building programs often face can also make it more challenging for successfully building local capacity. It takes  time and resources to increase local people's  knowledge, skills, experience, and confidence so that they can independently manage the CBET initiatives in their communities (Aref, 2001;  Halpenny, 2003; Tran, 2004). Many local communities have failed to continue the CBET ventures after the projects sponsored by external agencies finished. This was partly due to time 22and resource constraints in local capacity building programs. Local people in these cases were not fully ready to run projects by themselves because they were not provided with enough opportunities to develop adequate leadership and management skills to maintain and develop the projects (Manyara & Jones, 2007). Victurine’s (2000) research on capacity building programs for community-based tourism entrepreneurship suggests that the long-term commitment of donors or trainers is required for successful local capacity building programs. In addition to adequate time for working with local people and equipping them with needed skills and knowledge to provide ecotourism services, Denman (2001) also highlights the importance of providing some training on assessment skills to local people. Key indicators such as “economic performance, local community reaction and wellbeing, visitor satisfaction and environmental changes” are highly recommended to be introduced to the community so that local people would be able to regularly assess the performance of CBET in their communities and make adjustment for improvement even after external agencies withdraw from communities (Denman, 2001, p. 24). 2.2.2 Learning to Construct and Implement an Ecotourism Curriculum Developing and delivering an ecotourism curriculum is a critical component in a CBET project and it is also a learning process for local people. Local people (usually with consultation of tourism experts) have to decide what aspects of local knowledge and values to include in ecotourism curriculum. Ecotourism curriculum is often constituted with a diverse range of local  knowledge pertaining to the environment, culture, history, and local livelihood. Environmental  knowledge comprises local ecological systems, wildlife, marine life, vegetation, and traditional  knowledge of natural conservation (Beaumont, 2001; Kontogeogropoulos, 2005; Kwan, Eagles, 23& Gebhard, 2010; Lai & Nepal 2006; Lee & Moscardo, 2005). Knowledge of local traditions, lifeways, language, music, art, cultural heritage, and so on, constitutes the theme of cultural  knowledge (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2009; McIntosh, 2004; Johnston, 2003; Walter, 2009). A wide range of knowledge on local livelihood is also covered including agriculture, fishing, hunting, food processing, animal husbandry, and medicinal herbs and plants (Kwan, Eagles, & Gebhard, 2010; McIntosh, 2004; Walter, 2009). Local people also need to plan and develop learning resources to offer to visitors and the pedagogy that they will employ to teach visitors. Different resources for learning include books, magazines, brochures, local community websites, local information centres, local museums, and other resources related to CBET in local communities (Kwan, Eagles, & Gebhard, 2010; Walter, 2009). One of the most common pedagogies used in ecotourism curriculum includes interpretation by guides (Orams & Taylor, 2005; Powell & Ham, 2008). Interpretation is defined as “the process of communicating to people the significance of a place or object so that they enjoy it more, understand their heritage and environment better, and develop a positive attitude to conservation” (Moscardo, 1995, as cited in Beaumont, 2001, p. 320). It is noted that the content and design of ecotourism tours have a powerful effect on the outcome of changes in the ecotourists’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. Indeed, a well-designed ecotourism interpretive program can contribute to the inspiration of positive behaviour and attitudes, and the practical  support of tourists toward sustainable local development (Powell & Ham, 2008). Many advocates for the positive influence of ecotourism on ecotourists have done research with participants who were involved in some kind of educationally oriented programs or interpretive activities during the tours (Beaumont, 2001; Powell & Ham, 2008; Zeppel, 2008). A successful 24interpretive program is supplemented by the important role of tour guides who greatly contribute to the success of delivering the program. If interpretation is considered an educational process in ecotourism, tour guides are seen as “educational agents” in this process (Christie & Mason, 2003, p. 4). Thus, the local guide's role is not simply to convey information, but to facilitate learning so that they can have a positive influence on the change of ecotourists' knowledge. Transmission of local knowledge and values through telling stories on local history or sharing personal experiences is another pedagogy applied by local people in CBET, especially in indigenous communities (Zeppel & Muloin, 2008). This pedagogy is often rooted in indigenous cultures and has been applied in attempting to raise the awareness of both indigenous and non-indigenous people about lands and resources that have been taken away, damaged natural environments, racism, and cultural erosion. Local people ultimately hope to raise the self-awareness and self-esteem of indigenous people about their culture and environmental knowledge, and change non-indigenous people’s perspective on indigenous communities (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2009; Kent, 2006; Zeppel, 2007).  To help visitors gain a deeper understanding on local traditions and lifeways, local people have to incorporate various activities into an ecotourism curriculum and learn to implement them in a way that can help visitors obtain hands-on experience through participating in the activities.  For example, in homestay programs, host families do not simply provide food and accommodation to visitors but they prepare and share meals together with visitors. By doing this, local people can help visitors to obtain knowledge of and experience in cooking local dishes (Walter, 2009). In addition, local people also incorporate different cultural and livelihood activities as part of the ecotourism curriculum such as fishing, beading, weaving, planting, 25hunting, and farming (Nepal, 2004; Stronza, 2007; Zeppel, 2007) or local cultural activities such as dancing, singing, and storytelling (Beaumont, 2001; Higgins-Desbiolles, 2009; Johnston, 2003; McIntosh, 2004). In addition to providing information and knowledge related to local cultural and livelihood activities to visitors, local people need to learn how to give clear and practical instructions on how to do such activities and encourage visitors to participate and do these activities by themselves (Walter, 2009; Walter & Reimer, 2011).  It is reported that providing hands-on experience to visitors and opportunities for visitors to learn directly from local people's knowledge and experience is one of the most effective pedagogies employed in CBET. It has been pointed out that experiential learning was a “meaningful way” to obtain local knowledge, as noted, for example, by a visitor in his trip to New Zealand:  I personally find it better when someone is talking to me and you’re there and seeing things relate to the information he/she is giving you……Interacting with Maori people is most important because that is the only way you learn about the culture; from having interaction with that culture…’s not just a paragraph in a book, it’s a personal and interactive experience. It’s more meaningful that way. (McIntosh, 2004, p. 10)The existence of a partnership is often part of constructing and implementing an ecotourism curriculum in many communities. The partnership can occur between local community and private companies or between a local community and local or international  NGOs (Stronza & Gordillo, 2008). Social and organizational skills are an essential component that local community members need to obtain in order to be engaged in partnerships while implementing CBET. Working cooperatively with other agencies requires community members to learn how to negotiate, make decisions, and manage and gain support from partners. Again, such skills can be obtained among local members themselves, but often times can also be 26obtained through working with other outside partners (Walter, 2009, Stronza, 2007). Substantial research has shown the challenges that local communities face while constructing and implementing an ecotourism curriculum. For instance, Zeppel (2006) argues that ecotourism has been used as a tool for indigenous people to express their world-views and cultural values towards the bonds and reciprocal relationship between the natural environment and humans. By sharing their views, indigenous people want to introduce their indigenous knowledge and cultural identity to non-indigenous populations. In addition, by doing this, they hope to change non-indigenous people’s perspectives on indigenous communities as well as reinforce the distinctiveness of their cultures (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2009). However, indigenous eco-cultural values and practices are sometimes in conflict with mainstream principles. For example, for many indigenous communities, activities like hunting and fishing are considered a form of traditional knowledge. Those activities are not simply indigenous subsistence activities,  but they are also a way of conserving their identity and cultural values (Lai & Nepal, 2006; Nepal, 2004; Zeppel & Muloin, 2008). Therefore, some indigenous communities want to introduce such activities to ecotourists as one of their traditional activities (Nepal, 2004).  However, fishing and hunting are contradictory to Western conservation and sustainable development ideology (Cater, 2006; Lai & Nepal, 2006; Zeppel & Muloin, 2008). A lack of indigenous employees is another issue indigenous communities face while implementing their CBET ventures and this challenge can threaten traditional indigenous cultural  ways and knowledge. Zeppel and Muloin (2008) point out that non-indigenous and indigenous staff have different views and ontology towards wildlife. Non-indigenous staff see wildlife under the scientific eye and therefore the information they convey to ecotourists mostly focuses on 27“biological facts and species information” (p. 133). However, this is not usually the way indigenous people interpret wildlife. To many indigenous people, wildlife is often associated with social and cultural aspects. Therefore, instead of providing biological and species information to ecotourists, indigenous guides often “verbally presented traditional uses and personal stories about wildlife along with aboriginal ‘dreaming’ or creation stories about totemic animal species” (p. 133). In such cases, where non-indigenous staff do not appropriately convey the spirits of indigenous cultures, the potential of promoting ecotourists’ authentic cultural understanding might be limited. If economic and political aspects are considered “key motivators” for ecotourism projects, environmental and cultural issues are seen as “key outcomes” (Zeppel, 2007, p. 334). However, the desired outcomes of ecotourism curriculum operating in local communities are sometimes contradictory depending on how and by whom the outcomes are constructed. In many cases, researchers have observed that the ecotourism curriculum in many rural areas of less developed countries is conceptualized and practiced under Western views rather than local communities’ views (Cater, 2006; Fletcher, 2009). Western ideology and culture is promoted through ecotourism training programs or the construction of ecotourism curriculum that is assisted and funded by external agencies. Such promotion of Western constructed ecotourism curriculum may influence change in local cultures (Fletcher, 2009).2.2.3 Learning Other Cultures and Reinforcing Local Values and Cultures  In order to construct the content of ecotourism curriculum, community members often share and learn knowledge related to local natural resources and traditional experience in 28livelihood practices. Tour guides can learn much from community elders who often have thorough and insightful understanding and knowledge of community history, traditional cultures and values (Walter, 2009). A number of researchers highlight that learning among local community members in CBET can help raise local people’s pride in their own cultures and lifeways and create cohesion among local community members (Fuller, Caldicott, Cairncross, & Wilde, 2007; Wearing & Neil, 2009). The introduction of local cultures and customs from community members to visitors in CBET can be an effective tool for local communities to maintain, restore and promote local  cultural practices and traditions (Haas, 2003; Higgins-Desbiolles, 2009; Wearing & Neil, 2009). However, it has also been claimed that the need for foreign currency has influenced the tourism development and plans in many local communities. In order to attract more visitors, cultures are commercialized to meet the needs of visitors and are then not necessarily authentic or meaningful to local communities. Cultural practices that were done only by local community members on some special occasions are now performed publicly as often as needed for the interest of visitors; many traditional activities have been turned into tourism service activities,  and so on. These changes raise concern over the reality that sometimes what ecotourists observe and witness is not the authentic cultures of local communities but just “staged authenticity” (Wearing & Neil, 2009, p. 124). Interacting with visitors provides community members another opportunity to learn. They can improve their language skills through communicating with foreign tourists (Kontogeogropoulos, 2005). A substantial amount of knowledge and skills is obtained unintentionally by local people through “trial and error” with visitors. Questions raised by 29tourists also help ecotourism staff (especially tour guides) to reinforce and improve their local knowledge (Walter, 2009, p. 525). In addition, local people gain cross-cultural knowledge and skills from hosting visitors who come to local communities from different cultures (Walter, 2009). Even though hosting visitors from different countries can create an opportunity for promoting cross-cultural understanding between local people and visitors, it can also cause social problems catering to tourists such as drugs, gambling, and prostitution (Lask & Herold, 2005; Leksakundilok, 2004). It has also been claimed that cultural learning exchange depends much on both local people and visitors' knowledge, attitudes, and willingness to learn and share their culture and values (Denman, 2001; Christie & Mason, 2003; Suanri, 2004). Some research has been concerned with the power relationship between visitors and host communities in which ecotourists treat local cultures and communities as “products” that they have “consumed” with their tours (Wearing & Neil, 2009, p. 122), and thus CBET is no longer a site of cultural learning but has turned into a site to degrade local cultures. For example, ideally, ecotourists are expected to be “culturally respectful of local customs, dress codes and social norms” (Zeppel, 2007, p. 324). However, many activities done by ecotourists have caused negative impacts on local cultures and in many cases disturb, disrespect and even damage local communities’ culture and spirits. Such activities include, going to the places that are considered sacred to local people and are not to be visited by outsiders (e.g., burial places), and camping on art and ceremonial sites (Smith, Scherrer, & Dowling, 2009). 302.2.4 Raising Self and Others' Awareness of Environmental Conservation A substantial body of literature suggests that CBET can be seen as an educative tool that helps people involved to raise their environmental knowledge and sense of environmental conservation (Beaumont, 2001; Powell & Ham, 2008; Zambrano, Broadbent, & Durham, 2010; Zeppel, 2008). One stream indicates that CBET can actually contribute to local communities'  conservation of their natural resources. Those in favour of this stream assert that CBET has created many new jobs for local communities. These are jobs which replace or at least partly shift a community away from harmful activities associated with exploiting natural resources for short term benefits; for example, overfishing, excessive logging, and slash and burn agriculture (Stronza, 2007; Zeppel, 2007).It is believed that the income that CBET brings to local communities helps to raise local  people's awareness of the importance of protecting and conserving the local environment. CBET often occurs in natural and wildlife settings and the success of a CBET project depends partly on maintaining the quality of natural resources (Wood, 2007). By preserving a sustainable environment, local people can then develop CBET, which in turn ensures a source of stable income for local communities and helps preserve natural resources (Kiss, 2004; Kontogeogropoulos, 2005; Stronza, 2007) Some research underscores that CBET projects do not automatically change local people’s sense of the need for environmental conservation. Their sense of environmental conservation depends on the nature of CBET and the benefits that it brings to local communities. In particular, in order for community members to pay more attention to environmental conservation, the income that communities gain from CBET needs to be high enough to cover 31the local communities’ basic livelihood first (Kiss, 2004). In addition, environmental conservation beliefs and practices in local communities are influenced by those who actually own or have rights to manage and control local resources (Stronza, 2007). It has been argued that local communities will have a more responsible sense of protecting the local environment and resources if they have rights to use, manage and develop them (Doan, 2000; Sproule, 1999).The premise that CBET is necessarily associated with the improvement and promotion of environmental conservation often lacks the support of empirical research (Kiss, 2004). Along similar lines, Stronza (2007) points out that supporting research often takes for granted that an increase in employment and income from tourism will make local people reduce exploitation of  natural resources, and consequently, will lead to better local environmental conservation. In contrast, Stronza (2007) found that CBET can economically help local livelihood, but it does not necessarily create a better sense of conservation. She indicates that some changes in local communities’ activities, which are believed to contribute to environmental conservation (e.g.,  stopping hunting and fishing), occur not as a result of changes in the sense of environmental conservation but because of other reasons. For example, local people are too busy when involved in ecotourism work and have no time left for hunting and fishing. In some cases, local people may even use their income from tourism to buy more equipment to assist in farming and the exploitation of natural resources. In this case, natural resources are depleted faster and easier (Stronza, 2007). In addition, an increasing number of ecotourists from the minority world have traveled to CBET sites in the majority world, usually by airplane (Mowforth & Munt, 2009)3. This reality raises a concern over the use of a huge amount of gas and emission caused by long 3 In this dissertation, the terms “the majority world” and “the minority world” refer to economically poor and economically rich countries, respectively. It actually is the case that economically poor countries have most of the population; meanwhile economically rich countries represent a small part of the population. 32distance transportation that can contribute to global warming (Duffy, 2006). Moreover, even though many of ecotourists are educated people with a college degree and often have a genuine interest in learning about local environment, cultures, and people (Honey, 2008), some critics have argued that the penetration of ecotourists into sensitive natural areas can cause and threatens local protected areas (Butler, 2004; Wall, 1997). 2.3 Gender Issues in Community-Based Ecotourism The literature on gender and tourism has explored multifaceted aspects of gender identities, roles and relationships in tourism development policy and practice (Aitchison 2005; Fergusen, 2011; Gentry, 2007; Hall, Swain, & Kinnaird, 2003; Kinnaird & Hall, 1994; Swain, 1995). Concerns have arisen over a gendered division of labor in ecotourism, and the intensification of women’s traditional gender roles through participation in CBET projects (Reimer & Walter, 2013). Local women who participate in CBET are often limited to certain  kinds of low paid jobs such as cooks, cleaners, waitresses, and craft sellers; meanwhile, men often take higher paid jobs such as tour guides, taxi drivers, boat operators, and maintenance workers (Sproule, 1999; Gentry, 2007). It is clear from the above studies that the type of jobs that local women are often limited to in CBET are not only low wage jobs but also the kind that intensify their traditional reproductive labor in cleaning and cooking in the domestic sphere.        However, it has also been suggested that the involvement of women in CBET can make changes in both men's and women's traditional roles both in the home and community. For example, in a comparative study of gender, tourism development and poverty reduction in southwestern Uganda, Tucker & Boonabaana (2012) found that men’s traditional gender role as 33“breadwinners” changed with women’s participation in tourism. The study also indicates that women’s new roles helped to change oppressive cultural and religious gender norms and negative attitudes toward women, but their workload increased significantly. At the same time,  with new tourism income, some women were able to hire domestic helpers or otherwise arrange to share the burden of their reproductive labor in caring for children and elderly family members. The overall effect of women’s participation in tourism was to increase income spent on family and children’s needs (education, food, clothing), promote community development among a network of women, and allow them to invest in and own property (land and rental housing), thus securing a measure of economic security, independence and increased confidence in their relations with men. In a similar vein, Stronza’s (2005) research on a community-based ecotourism project in the Peruvian Amazon found that women assumed additional burdens of labor when working in an ecotourism lodge. However, since their husbands spent more time on ecotourism work and less time on other productive and community work, many women took over some of their husbands' traditional responsibilities such as making decisions on selling produce or attending community meetings. To some extent, these new responsibilities opened up new gender roles and increased women's decision-making power and involvement in community affairs. Likewise, Tucker (2007) provides evidence that in tourism development in Turkey, Muslim women, whose mobility was limited by patriarchal traditions to the private sphere of the home, adopted new gender roles in paid tourism employment in the public sphere (e.g., working as tourism entrepreneurs, service staff, and hotel receptionists) which helped to promote new gender identities and relations.   34Research has also shown how adult education and gender mainstreaming in CBET development can be an influential factor on changes in gender roles and relations and the empowerment of local women. For instance, Empowering Women in Nepal (EWN), a training and leadership program for women trekking guides in the Himalayas, has trained over 400 women ecotourism guides, many of whom have successfully started their own ecotourism businesses (EWN, 2013; Jackson, 2010). As part of EWN’s ecotourism training, women learn about patriarchy, women’s rights, safety and assertiveness. Many have gone on to effectively challenge oppressive patriarchal relations in ecotourism guiding and in wider Nepali society. In other countries, however, women who became ecotourism guides without such training have been less successful at confronting male oppression: they have been accused of being prostitutes, endured the threat of male violence, have been positioned as too weak to guide, or simply pushed aside by more aggressive men guides (Schellhorn, 2010; Scheyvens, 2007). 2.4 Chapter SummaryThree main variations of CBET were discussed in this chapter: 1) Authentic ecotourism; 2) Community-based tourism; and 3) Indigenous ecotourism. Even though there are differences in the main focus of each form of CBET in practice, community members are involved in all  three forms of CBET and experience ample learning. Two typical sites of learning are local community capacity building, and the construction and implementation of an ecotourism curriculum. The main areas of knowledge and skills that community members learn include: 1) Knowledge and skills to manage and implement CBET; 2) Ecotourism curriculum construction and implementation; 3) Cross-cultural knowledge and local values reinforcement; and 4) Self 35and others' awareness of environmental conservation. This review of literature has identified some important aspects that inform this study. First, community member learning in CBET takes place in both non-formal and informal settings. Second, the approaches employed by outside agencies to assist local communities to set up and implement a CBET project have a significant influence on community member learning processes and outcomes. Third, the promotion of local livelihood, environmental conservation and culture is expected to be a key goal of CBET development. And lastly, gender is a critical and debated but under-researched issue in CBET development, but adult education about gender mainstreaming in CBET can help to promote the empowerment of women. 36 CHAPTER 3: CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORKThis chapter provides a discussion of theoretical concepts of adult learning and education, and women's empowerment in community development that is intended to guide my understanding of learning that community members experienced in the Giao Xuan CBET project and the impact of the CBET project on local gender roles and relations. An overview of the conceptual framework for the study, its rationale, and the ways in which it frames research findings is first presented. A detailed review of theoretical concepts on adult learning and education, and women's empowerment in community development follows.3.1 Overview of Conceptual Framework Learning in CBET often takes place in non-formal and informal settings. The educational approach(es) employed in a particular local capacity building program in CBET can have a significant influence on the learning content, processes, and outcomes that community members experience. The local capacity building program was an important component in the development of the Giao Xuan CBET project. Outside experts such as ecotourism, environmental, and economic experts and MCD project staff came to Giao Xuan and helped to build capacity so that local people could develop and implement the CBET project. Thus, it is  necessary to review educational approaches that have been applied in capacity building in community development projects. The conceptual framework of educational approaches, as informed by Freire (1973) and Clover (2002a, 2003, 2004), guide my analysis of non-formal education activities included in the Giao Xuan CBET project across the three finding chapters in this study. 37Moreover, literature also suggests that local community members in CBET experience ample informal learning, so the nature of different forms of informal learning are also reviewed. I draw my analysis of informal learning from the conceptualization of informal learning presented by Foley (1998; 1999; 2001), Livingstone (2001), and Schugurensky (2000). The review is a fundamental framework that helps me to unpack various informal learning settings and processes that Giao Xuan community members encounter to develop and manage the CBET project (Chapter 5), protect and conserve the local environment (Chapter 6), and make changes in local gender roles and relations and empowering local women (Chapter 7).  This chapter also reviews other aspects of adult learning including: 1) Experience and learning; 2) Learning and transformation; and 3) Individual and collective learning. Experiential  learning has been shown to be one prominent form of learning that takes place in CBET (Walter, 2009; Walter & Reimer, 2011) and experience is fundamental to learning in adulthood (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007; Miller, 2000). Thus, the conceptualizations of experience and learning help me both to analyze how community members learn from their experience and to identify the impact that experiential learning has on community member learning outcomes in  the CBET project. Moreover, CBET is an important pedagogical site of social movement learning and social movements are considered a site of both personal and collective learning (Hall & Turray, 2006; Kilgore, 1999). Learning activities in social movements are believed to lead to personal transformation and social change (Welton, 1993). Therefore, I also include components on transformative learning, and individual and collective learning in this chapter. Finally, since one research question of the study concerns gender equality learning in CBET and its impact on gender roles and relations, I present a conceptual framework that is 38informed by Longwe's (2002) five levels of women's empowerment framework: welfare, access, conscientization, participation, and control. This framework has been around for many decades in the context of gender and development, but has only been recently proposed for use in gender analysis in CBET by Walter (2011), and Tran and Walter (2014). I use this framework to inform my discussion of changes in local gender roles and relations and empowerment of local women in the project (Chapter 7).3.2 Definitions of Non-Formal Education and Informal LearningEven though formal, non-formal and informal learning are considered three broad forms of learning in adult learning and education, often times researchers use these terms but do not provide a clear definition (Colley, Hodkinson, & Malcom, 2002). It has also been argued that “there was no single agreed definition of what learning is” (Colley, Hodkinson, & Malcom, 2003, p. 2). Below I provide definitions of non-formal education and informal learning used in my study. 3.2.1 Non-Formal Education  Non-formal education refers to the form of education that is organized and systematic (e.g., by some educators or some organizations) with curriculum and facilitators, but does not necessarily occur under the direction of a government or the formal schooling system. Non-formal education can take place in many different settings including social movements, charity organizations, churches, working places, community settings and it can be conducted through workshops, seminars, and lectures (Hall & Turay, 2006; Holst, 2002). 39Merriam, Caffarella and Baumgartner (2007, pp. 30 -31) summarize four subtypes of non-formal education: 1) A complement to the formal system; 2) An alternative to the formal  system; 3) A supplement to the formal system; and 4) Being associated with international development programs. Complementary non-formal education refers to education that benefits people who do not have the chance to obtain basic skills and literacy that are supposed to be provided by the formal education system. Alternative non-formal education indicates education that is often offered in indigenous communities. This alternative non-formal education links to traditions and cultures of particular communities that often have their own ways of teaching and learning. Supplemental non-formal education can quickly provide knowledge and skills to help learners meet the rapid changes in social, economical, and educational needs in case it takes time for formal curriculum to be organized and put into place. Finally, international development programs are often implemented through community development projects and aim to provide local communities with needed knowledge and skills so that local communities can improve their  living conditions or take action for social change. In CBET, non-formal education often takes place in the local community capacity building program for community members provided by governmental or non-governmental organizations that help community members with the formation and implementation of CBET projects in their communities (Denman, 2001; Victurine, 2000; Walter, 2009). In addition, non-formal education is seen in educationally oriented programs incorporated in CBET projects which often aim at promoting local cultures and environmental conservation ( Higgins-Desbiolles, 2009).  403.2.2 Informal Learning Informal learning is understood as “any activity involving the pursuit of understanding, knowledge or skill which occurs without the presence of externally imposed curricular criteria” (Livingstone, 2001, p. 4). It happens when "people teach and learn from each other naturally and socially in workplaces, families, community organizations and other social settings" (Foley, 1998, p. 141) and it is sometimes “tacit” and “embedded in actions” (Foley, 1999, p. 3). Based on the above definition, informal learning can take place by community members during the implementation of a CBET project. They can learn informally through interacting and working with various stakeholders involved in the CBET project such as fellow villagers, visitors, external staff, ecotourism or environmental experts or colleagues in other CBET sites, and local authorities (McIntosh, 2004; Walter, 2009). Schugurensky (2000) argues that the definition of informal learning is too broad and he suggests three forms of informal learning including: 1) Self-directed; 2) Incidental; and 3) Socialization. At a very basic level, self-directed learning is a form of learning in which learners intentionally take initiative in their learning and do not need assistance from “educators”.  However, the self-directed learning process can include a “resource person” (Schugurensky, 2000, p. 3). Meanwhile, incidental learning happens almost “by accident” when learners communicate with others or through actions as they go about their daily life (Foley, 1998, p. 141). However, after their unintentional learning experience, learners do notice that they have learned something from their experience (Schugurensky, 2000). Socialization or tacit learning is a form of learning in which learners are neither intentional nor conscious of learning when it occurs. 41It has been argued that studying adult learning in informal settings is particularly difficult and has not been adequately studied (Overwein, 2000). Part of the reason is there is not always curriculum or set material that people are learning (Livingstone, 2001). Sometimes people just  learn from each other from an informal conversation. There are all kinds of informal learning happening around us without us even noticing it taking place. This kind of learning happens anywhere and anytime. Even though this makes the study of adult learning in informal settings difficult, this form of learning is critically important to learning in adulthood because it has a  great potential to influence many individuals (Livingstone, 2001). 3.3 Paulo Freire's Educational ApproachThe educational approach written in Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire in 1970 has been implemented and influential in many development contexts (Mayo, 2004). In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, different important educational concepts were developed. Freire's work aims to inspire the poor to make liberating changes from an oppressive reality. In addition, he also gives suggestions to educators on working together with the poor and/or inspiring the poor so that they can empower themselves to recognize and challenge established norms and behaviours in society.Even though Freire's educational approach was developed against the background of a literacy program he started in Brazil, the pedagogy that he developed can be implemented in other community development contexts where participants are from marginalized and poor conditions. The local people in the context of my study represent such an example. However, it is essential for me to keep in mind that the application of Freire's educational concepts should be 42solidly tied to the local social and historical context as well as the ideology of local people in the  Giao Xuan CBET project. This section focuses on discussing two main educational concepts developed in Freire's work including “banking education” and “conscientization.”3.3.1 Banking EducationOne of Freire's basic assumptions is that education is inherently political (Yoo, 2007; Taylor, 1993). There is no kind of neutral education that only communicates information without carrying some other kind of message or without some kind of non-political purpose. “Banking education” is a term used by Freire to describe a type of education used by the dominant group in society to "domesticate" those of lower social classes. In this kind of education, learners act like a "bank" and teachers "deposit" information in them: In this model, the teacher is the subject of the learning process, and the learners are its objects; the role of the teachers is to 'deposit' contents in the mind of the learner, as if it were a tabula rasa to be filled with information. Hence, the teachers is considered as knowledgeable and the student as ignorant. (Schugurensky, 1998, para. 5) In other words, the purpose of the teaching is to transfer the information that the educators are supposed to teach. Students are not encouraged to think critically about any of the information that is given to them. The role of an educator is to “regulate the way the world 'enters into' the students” and to “'fill' the students by making deposits of information which he considers to constitute true knowledge” (Freire, 1978, p. 65).  For Freire, banking education is oppressive because it is structured and implemented in the way that minimizes students' creativity and promotes the interests of the oppressors. Thus, the banking education concept implies that an educated person is the person who can adapt to the world envisioned and created by the oppressors (Freire, 1978). Freire also pinpoints 43consequences of banking education: The more students work at storing the deposits entrusted to them, the less they develop the critical consciousness which would result from their intervention in the world as transformers of that world. The more completely they accept the passive role imposed on them, the more they tend simply to adapt to the world as it is and to the fragmented view of reality deposited in them. (Freire, 1978, p. 62)Freire's concept of banking education is critical in understanding the politics of education in various contexts. However, the over-simplicity in Freire's categorization of people in society as the oppressed and the oppressors has been criticized (Blackburn, 2000). Blackburn also argues that the oppressed people may not see themselves as powerless, may not even want to be empowered in certain ways, and have their own ways of showing their power such as “sabotage, non-cooperation, and the secret observance of a distinct culture and identity” (Blackburn, 2000, p. 10).3.3.2 Conscientization Freire's concept of conscientization describes the process in which the oppressed recognize and understand the existing structure that shapes their lives, critically assess it in the connections to social, political and economic structures, explore the capacity to change, and take action to change the existing situation. The ultimate goal of this process is social transformation on existing inequities in society in order to have more socially fair and just conditions for everyone (Freire, 1973). Therefore, particular kinds of education can help to "emancipate" or "liberate" oppressed people from their subordinate position in society.Freire proposes some alternative ideas for how education can occur that is not oppressive but empowering. The teachers and learners have different roles and the methodology of teaching 44is different: "In Freire's problem-posing model, the teacher becomes the facilitator, the traditional  class becomes a cultural circle, the emphasis shifts from lecture to problem-posing strategies,  and the content, previously removed from the learners' experience, becomes relevant to the group" (Schugurensky, 1998, para. 6). Therefore, the teacher is a person who guides discussion instead of a person who "deposits" information in his/her students (see also Taylor, 1993; Gadotti, 1994; Kane, 2001). The learners are to critically think about the problems they are presented with instead of accepting the information that is given to them.This highlights the key difference between “problem-solving” and “problem-posing” methods of education (Connolly, 1980). In problem-solving education, teachers present problems to analyze and for their learners to solve. Usually the problem is not necessarily relevant to the lives of the learners and it assumed that there is only one solution to the problem. In problem-posing education, learners are allowed to critically reflect on ideas presented. Learners and teachers discuss and challenge each other and can connect the content to other situations or contexts relevant to the daily lives of the learners (Connolly, 1980).Learning in this setting occurs through "dialectical dialogue." Dialogue here refers to a kind of discussion. Dialectical means the process of considering different viewpoints or positions simultaneously and seeing how these positions are interrelated, work together or are in conflict. Therefore, learners are encouraged to discuss problems and critically consider different viewpoints. Learners are also encouraged to use some of their own experiences and to be open to other learners' opinions. Under Freire’s description of “banking education” it is only the learners who are “learning” information from the teachers, meaning that learners absorb whatever knowledge the 45teachers impose upon them. In non-oppressive or empowering education, both the learners and teachers learn from each other. This is sometimes why the roles of teachers and learners are described as “teacher-student”, “student-teacher” (Mayo, 2004; Taylor, 1993; Gadotti, 1994; Kane, 2001). Teachers continually challenge their own assumptions about the knowledge they have acquired in light of dialogue with students. Learners do the same, such that people in both roles can transform and learn.Critical reflection is an important component in Freire's non-oppressive or transformative education. Critical reflection cannot be understood and promoted without adequately considering the context through which critical reflection occurs. The process of critical reflection that takes  place in an informal setting like in a community where learners are marginalized, disadvantaged groups who might “have been silent all their lives” can be very different from the one that occurs in a situation in which learners are from privileged groups of people such as university students (Schugurensky, 2002, p. 66). To engage such groups of marginalized people in an ongoing reflective dialogue, it is essential to have a community with caring and respectful members.  Learners need to feel safe to share their stories and experiences, and feel comfortable with reflecting on their own views as well as others’ views and experiences (Schugurensky, 2002; Duveskog & Friis-Hansen, 2009; Easton, Monkman, & Miles, 2009). In addition, critical reflection may be manifested in vastly different ways depending on particular cultural contexts.  Critical refection is not simply a cognitive process but it can be ecological, spiritual, art-based,  and holistic (Clover, 2002b; Knowles & Coles, 2002; Miller, 2002; Morrell, 2002; Wane, 2002).463.4 Clover's “Conscientization” and “Educative Activism”  This section explores Clover's concepts of “conscientization” and “educative activism” which guided my understanding of how non-formal and informal environmental learning activities took place in the Giao Xuan CBET project. It also helped me to identify the influences  that these environmental learning activities have on community members' environmental  knowledge, attitude, and actions in Chapter 6. Drawing on Freire's approach of conscientization and praxis in adult education, “conscientization” and “educative activism” in Environmental Adult Education presented by Clover (2002a, 2003, 2004) aims to empower local people to help them recognize their own capacity as agents of change. According to Clover (2003), “it is not solely a matter of individual behaviour change” but “a process of political and social learning” which helps to raise critical awareness and promotes individual and collective action for socio-environmental change and makes concrete “links between the environments and social, economic, political and cultural  aspects of people’s lives” (Clover, 2003, p. 10). “Conscientization” and “educative activism” values ordinary people's knowledge. The creation of new knowledge on the environment is grounded and constructed through the practice of people's existing knowledge and experience. Local knowledge is also important to socio-environmental change. In particular, local women's rich ecological knowledge and their critical  roles in the construction and promotion of local knowledge are recognized and emphasized. Socio-environmental change only occurs if the people most affected are directly and actively involved (Clover, 2000). Teaching and learning processes are seen as moving away from the top down and 47information transmission approach. Instead, “conscientization” and “educative activism” approaches emphasize an engaged, participatory, and collective process. Collective learning and action are more influential on social-environmental change than individual learning and action.  Individual behaviour changes can be ignored or dismissed but changes done and enforced by a large group of people can have powerful influence on changes in the local community as a whole. Learners should be provided with opportunities “to reflect collectively and critically upon the root causes of environmental problems” and “to learn to think and struggle together to develop the abilities, skills, and confidence to move different agendas forward” (Clover, Jayme, Hall, & Follen, 2013, p. 13)  3.5 Experience and Learning In addition to educational approaches, various aspects of learning also have a significant influence on community member learning process and outcomes in community development projects. Researchers have discussed multiple aspects of experience and learning that emphasize the connection between personal life experience and learning (Dewey; 1963), discuss the nature of experience (Fenwick, 2003), point out various propositions of experiential learning (Kolb & Kolb 2005), and relate experience and learning to learners' informed action or transformation (Lange, 2009; Wittmer & Johnson, 2000). In adult learning, research shows that people can learn from their personal experience, but not all life experiences are educative and life experience can work for some learners but not for others (Dewey, 1963). In addition, experience in learning also refers to learning by doing. People learn by actually doing things, drawing lessons from actual practice, refining and changing things if necessary (Fenwick, 2003). 48Drawing on the work of John Dewey, Kurt Lewin, and Jean Piaget, Kolb (1984) proposed a theory of “experiential learning” which is defined as "the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience” (Kolb, 1984, p. 41). Kolb's experiential learning model contains four main components: 1) Concrete Experience; 2) Reflective Observation; 3) Abstract Conceptualization; and 4) Active Experimentation. In this learning cycle, learners can be involved in new experiences (concrete experience), observe and reflect on their concrete experiences (reflective observation), construct new ideas and concepts (abstract conceptualization), and then test these new ideas and concepts in real life situations (active experimentation). Learners can then obtain new experiences from their actual experiments and thus resume their cycle of learning. These four components of experiential learning do not necessarily need to occur in order but are normally considered as a cycle. For example, learning does not necessarily always start with a “concrete experience.” In this learning cycle, “concrete experience” and “abstract conceptualization” can be seen as two ways of obtaining experience and “reflective observation” and “active experimentation” help to transform learners'  experiences.  Even though Kolb's experiential learning theory has been influential on adult education (Bergsteiner, Avery & Neumann, 2010; Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007), critiques have been made on certain aspects of this theory. It has been argued that Kolb's experiential learning theory emphasizes individual experience but does not give adequate attention to individual contexts. Fenwick (2001) argues that “specific contexts shape an individual's experience in different ways” (Fenwick, 2001, p. 11). Thus, she affirms that “experiential 49learning cannot be discussed apart from its political, social, and cultural contexts” (Fenwick, 2001, p. 24). Similarly, Vince (1998) emphasizes the importance of considering social power relations in understanding individuals' experiential learning. According to Vince (1998), individual unequal positions in society can have an effect on whether individual experience is voiced or/and accepted due to the dynamics of power relations.Another critique of Kolb's experiential learning theory is that its learning process is cognitively biased and rational (Fenwick, 2001; Holman, Pavlica, & Thorpe, 1997; Jordi, 2011). Michelson (1998) describes the rational process in Kolb's experiential learning theory as similar to many “Western knowledge-practices” (p. 217) in which knowledge is constructed with “the mind/body split and the privileging of mind over the body” (Michelson, 1998, p. 218). Scholars also proposed a more holistic and integrative conceptualization of experiential learning which acknowledges both the role of emotion, feeling and rational processes in the construction of experiential knowledge (Michelson, 1998; Jordi, 2011).Adapting Kolb's experiential learning theory, a programme in environmental education and environmental studies of the Audubon Expedition Institute (AEI) designed a curriculum with four stages: “preparation, direct experience, reflection and transformation, and application” (Wittmer & Johnson, p. 113). It was asserted that students in the program experienced a transformative learning process. Going beyond the goal of personal transformation of Kolb's theory, AEI's students, as a result of experiential learning with “real people, place, and circumstances,” were expected to not only change  at the personal level, but also at the social level. Their learning was seen as “much deeper and more profound way because of their intimate involvement with the subject” and actually led to informed actions that responded to social-50environmental inequity (Wittmer & Johnson, 2000, p. 120)In a similar vein, Lange (2009) also reported on how experiential learning can lead to a transformative process with learners. In an adult sustainability education course, Lange (2009) designed a course with different learning activities that offered learners a chance to reflect on their own activities; examples included doing an ecological footprint of their lifestyles, and reflecting on their daily habits and on their perspectives of what it means to be “successful, happy, productive and secure” (Lange, 2009, p. 199). They also visited communities to learn from the hands-on experience of community members and critically reflected on community members' sustainable activities. These included visiting an organic farm, an organic restaurant, and a woman who makes tree-free paper by recycling old clothes. Other researchers have highlighted the importance of the “learning by doing” aspect of experiential learning in different contexts of EAE. Sumner (2008), for example, calls for attention and recognition of organic farming practice and knowledge contribution to sustainable development. In her research, Sumner calls organic farmers “lifelong learners” who gain knowledge and “the way of knowing and looking at the world” through hands-on experience, critically reflecting on their everyday farming practice and practically solving their problems (Sumner, 2008, para, 41).  Arguments in support of experiential learning maintain that experiential learning cannot only help learners to personally transform but also provides them with “tools, inspiration, and dedication to transform culture and society” (Wittmer & Johnson, 2000, p. 113). Experiential learning, according to Belanger (2003), is a form of learning that challenges the formal education system. Such learning needs to be more “life-rooted, life-oriented, and life-wide” (p. 87) in order 51to enable a learner “to relate newly acquired knowledge to his or her own experience with his or her environment” (p. 85). Educators recognize that such experiential knowledge is in danger of being lost and it needs to be restored, maintained and enhanced for the sake of local community's benefits (Strathy & Tabunakawai, 2004).   3.6 Learning and Transformation  As one of the major theoretical traditions of adult learning and education, transformative learning and its role in understanding how people learn has been highly profiled in the adult learning and education literature. Since its introduction in 1978 by Jack Mezirow, many aspects of transformative learning have been critically analyzed and discussed, including its nature, key elements, the process of transformation, and its relationship with other aspects that have influence on learning (Taylor, 2007). At a very basic level, transformative learning refers to a process of how people shift from their old perspectives, assumptions and expectations to a new, meaningful and justified way of knowing by making sense of experiences that happen in their lives (Mezirow, 1996, 2000). Mezirow's conceptualization of transformative learning was influenced by Habermas' notion of instrumental learning and communicative learning. Instrumental learning refers to learning that is  “task-oriented problem solving to improve performance,” whereas communicative learning is “learning what others mean when they communicate with you.” (Mezirow, 2000, p. 8). Perspective transformation is considered a core aspect of transformative learning. Perspective transformation refers to the process of reconstructing a frame of reference to a new “more fully developed” perspective (Mezirow, 1996, p. 163). Mezirow (2000) described 10 52phases in the process of perspective transformation that may occur, but not necessarily in the same order: 1) Disorienting dilemma; 2) Self-examination with feelings of fear, anger, guilt, or shame; 3) Critical assessment of assumptions; 4) Recognition that one's discontent and the process of transformation are shared; 5) Exploration of options for new roles, relationships, and actions; 6) Planning a course of action; 7) Acquiring knowledge and skills for implementing one's plans; 8) Provisional trying of new roles; 9) Building competence and self-confidence in new roles and relationships; 10) A reintegration into one's life on the basis of conditions dictated by one's new perspective. (p. 22)Among the above 10 phases, it is believed that “disorienting dilemma” is critical and may lead to “epochal” transformation, which happens very suddenly and dramatically. However, the process of transformation can also be “incremental,” which involves a series of transformations related to points of view (Mezirow, 1995, 2000). Critical reflection is considered to play an essential role in the process of perspective transformation (Mezirow, 1998). By critically reflecting on our own assumptions (“subjective reframing”), and on others' viewpoints (“objective reframing”; Mezirow, 2000, p. 23), we may experience a process of reinforcing or discarding our current frame of reference and embracing a new one which is more “inclusive, discriminating, open, emotionally capable of change, and reflective” and may help us to “generate belief and opinions that will prove more true or justified to guide action” (Mezirow, 2000, pp. 7-8). In other words, people may consciously think about their own assumptions or knowledge in light of learning others’ viewpoints or encountering new knowledge or experiences. This leads people to refine their perspective or knowledge system hopefully in a better way.If critical reflection is considered to play an essential role in the process of perspective transformation (Mezirow, 1998), reflective discourse is believed to be an important medium 53through which transformative learning can occur, develop and be enhanced (Mezirow, 2000). The discourse in transformative learning is not the kind of dialogue which aims to decide who is right and who is wrong about a certain issue. It is instead an active dialogue in which people who are involved in the dialogue seek a better and more justified understanding of assumptions and belief. This process is conducted by critically assessing one's assumptions with supporting insightful evidence and arguments and by being open to others’ perspectives and being willing to examine others’ perspectives and experience in one's own assumption justification process (Mezirow, 2000). Mezirow (2000) asserts that in the learning journey of a person, the process of making sense of meaning, seeking informed and justified meanings and making responsible actions is likely to occur in adulthood when a person is mature enough to understand his/her experience and to assess when and how an idea or argument is justified. Mezirow also believes that transformative learning theory is particularly appropriate for understanding how adults learn because it aims to obtain a framework that focuses on examining different aspects of the learning process as well as helping people to understand how adults learn in diverse settings (Mezirow, 2009).   Mezirow's transformative learning theory focuses mainly on individual change. The theory describes what individuals have (i.e., meaning systems) and what they must individually go through in order to change their meaning systems and perspectives. However, some critics argue that its focus on individual learning is one of its weaknesses. Miles (2002) points out the importance of incorporating “progressive personal change and progressive social change” (p. 23). Kasl and Elias (2000) elaborate on how transformative learning can occur for groups of 54people:Transformative learning is the expansion of consciousness in any human system, thus the collective as well as individual. This expanded consciousness is characterized by new frames of reference, points of view, or habits of mind as well as by a new structure for engaging the system’s identity. Transformation of the content of consciousness is facilitated when two processes are engaged interactively: the process of critically analyzing underlying premises and the process of appreciatively accessing and receiving the symbolic contents of the unconscious. Transformation of the structure of the consciousness is facilitated when a learner is confronted with a complex cultural environment because effective engagement with that environment requires a change in the learner’s relationship to his or her or the group’s identity (p. 233).Critiques have been also made on Mezirow's overemphasis on the rational process of learning and inadequate attention to learners' context (Clark & Wilson, 1991; Taylor, 2001). For example, Taylor (2001) notes that learners' critical reflection process of transformative learning is often described as a rational process. Meanwhile, Brookfield (2000, 2009) emphasizes the importance of taking power and hegemony into account in understanding critical reflection. He affirms that ideology critique needs to be a central part of critical reflection because it helps  people to be aware of how dominant ideologies are shaped and reinforced to maintain and promote an unjustly economic and political society (Brookfield, 2000).Not all transformations are as a result of a rational learning process theorized in Mezirow's transformative learning theory. There exist other ways of learning that are also believed to contribute to potential transformations. Some examples include the art-based techniques approach that helps to create a transformative learning environment (Butterwick & Lawrence, 2009), learning that emphasizes the “inner world” of learners which defined as “soul work” or “inner work” (Drikx, Mezirow, & Cranton, 2006, pp. 125-126), and spiritual learning that helps people see “the interconnectedness of life at every level of cosmos” (Miller, 2002, p. 100) and helps Indigenous communities to “transform their historical circumstances and become 55active participants in their own health and well-being as well as make significant contributions to  global existence” (Shilling, 2002, p. 155).In addition to the discussion of transformative learning on human issues, scholars have also made an effort to integrate the natural world and environmental issues in this paradigm. Miller (2002) looks into transformative learning from a spiritual perspective and calls it  “compassionate knowing” (p. 99). Compassionate knowing occurs when we deepen our engagement in the world and become an integral part of everything and everything is an integral part of ourselves (Miller, 2002). The description of compassionate knowing supports the planetary view of transformative learning which suggests that transformation helps human beings to know their interconnection with the physical world (O'Sullivan, 1999). In addition, Lange (2009) also shows that learning in a natural setting can contribute to helping learners experience compassionate learning. For example, learning activities may take place in “undisturbed native aspen parkland” instead of in a classroom. Learners may engage in activities like “sitting against a swaying tree, lying on the peaty of earth in tall grass watching clouds” and “coming to understand the life cycle of a tree” with the guide of an environmental educator.  Immersing oneself in a natural world, relaxing, and being away from “immediate concerns” help learners deepen their understanding of  their self-being, come to know their “body and intuitive knowledge” and their connection with other-beings (the natural world, other peer learners, the instructor) in a new profound way (Lange, 2009, pp. 199-201).    In addition to the above critiques on Mezirow's conceptualization of transformative learning, the overuse of transformative learning theory in understanding and explaining adult learning has been criticized and challenged by Newman (2012). Newman (2012) points out six 56flaws of transformative including: 1) Transformative learning is described as being different from other learning in kind rather than degree; 2) Transformative learning is presented just as the reworking of one's identity but not consciousness; 3) Transformative learning refers to a finite learning experience, but, in fact, learning experience is cumulative and continual; 4) The emphasis of “discourse” as the centre of a transformative learning process; 5) Learners' mobilization/change in behaviour is seen as transformation in a lot of transformative learning literature; and 6) The relation of spirituality and transformative learning in which “spirituality is thrown into the mix as if its inclusion were unproblematic” (p. 46). Moreover, Newman claims that what has been termed “transformative learning” is basically just “good learning” (Newman, 2012, p. 36). Newman then proposes nine different aspects of learning including “instrumental, communicative, affective, interpretive, essential, critical, political, passionate, and moral” and  asserts that “good learning” takes place when all of these nine aspects of learning present (Newman, 2012, p. 51).3.7 Individual and Collective LearningAlthough learning is often understood in terms of individuals, theories in social movement learning argue that learning can happen to groups of people and possibly must happen in a collective way for social change to occur. Kilgore (1999) argues that learning in social movements can be understood from the perspective of collective learning. Social movements happen because groups of individuals are concerned with some social issue and come together to try and solve it. Informal learning in social movements may be better understood by focusing on how groups of individuals learn and achieve their goals rather than focusing on individual 57learning processes. Kilgore’s (1999) theory has several individual-level components, “identity, consciousness, sense of agency, sense of worthiness and sense of connectedness” (p. 196), and several group-level components, “collective identity, group consciousness, solidarity and organization” (p. 197). The theory basically states that the group components interact with each person’s individual-level components and vice versa to determine how individuals and groups develop and change.    Collective learning can occur in a group of people, different groups within a community, or between groups in a local community and outsiders. “Environmental adult education is one framework within which adult educators can facilitate collective learning opportunities for adults  around ecological concerns in order to formulate concrete responses” (Hill & Clover, 2003, p. 1). Karlovic and Patric (2003) reported a process of collective learning that took place among a group of women who were all concerned about the tension between the responsibility of taking environmentally ethical action and their daily-life activities. It was shown that a collective  learning process, which emphasized collective critical reflection, sharing experiences and resources, recognizing and embracing the differences among people in groups, helped those women to be open about their concerns. It also helped them to critically discuss root causes of the issues and possible actions, which otherwise might have been challenging for them to figure out individually. The paper also illustrated that the involvement of people in collective learning  responds to a sense of “connectedness” and “worthiness,” as termed by Kilgore (1999, p. 197), by which individuals want to see themselves connected to other people and as worthwhile contributors for the collective cause of the group.   A substantial amount of research also supports the position that collective learning in 58environmental adult education is promoted by the common visions of social-environmental justice within groups of people. People want to fight for this vision and find it necessary to learn and act together to promote their shared visions. The Kondhs (Indigenous people in India), for example, have come together to learn about their lost culture, and the causes of injustice and racial discrimination in their community (Kapoor, 2003). Together they have formed an organized group of 60 villages to revitalize their culture, re-obtain their rights over environmental management and protection, and restructure the relationship between Indigenous people and state government. The Kondhs have illustrated the strength of collective learning in increasing a sense of community. This has also led to collective actions to help local people to cope with challenges and to change the existing conditions in their community (Kapoor, 2003).3.8 Longwe's Women's Empowerment Framework  Leach (2003) synthesizes four main gender analysis frameworks in the Gender and Development field including: 1) The Welfare approach; 2) Women in Development approach (WID); 2) Gender and Development (GAD); and 4) Gender Mainstreaming (GM). According to Leach (2003), at the most basic level, the Welfare approach attempts to support women with their needs in their reproductive roles as wives and mothers in the domestic sphere. Meanwhile, WID is rooted in the Western feminist movement in the 1970s and focuses on harnessing women's productive roles and their contribution to economic development. GAD emerged in the late 1980s and mid 1990s due to the ineffectiveness of WID in addressing the inequality within gender relations. GAD includes the gender efficiency and gender empowerment approaches. Gender efficiency is described as an approach in which gender analysis is incorporated “in the 59planning of all development interventions” in order to understand “men's and women's roles and responsibilities” in development (Leach, 2003, p. 9). Meanwhile, gender empowerment is an approach that attempts to increase women's awareness of “the gender structures and power relations within which they operate their self-confidence and their participation in the the development process” (Leach, 2003, p. 10). GM builds on gender efficiency and gender empowerment strands in GAD. This approach aims to integrate good aspects of both gender efficiency and gender empowerment strands into various steps of development work (e.g., design, implementation, and evaluation) to ensure both men's and women's concerns are addressed in order to promote gender equality.Since its emergence in the mid 1990s, GM has been widely adopted and promoted in numerous government educational institutions and community development projects implemented by both governmental and non-governmental organizations. GM has been criticized on its lack of consideration of local diverse contexts (Bacchi & Eveline, 2010; Morley, 2010; Silfver, 2010), which has been characterized as a “one size fits all” (Silfver, 2010, p. 480) or “top down” approach (Karlsson, 2010, p. 510) that has led to ineffectiveness of promoting gender equality. In the worst case, instead of contributing to “emancipation” in an effort to bring about gender equality, the implementation of GM without consideration of local contexts might reinforce “neo-colonial legacies” (Silfver, 2010, p. 493). To resolve this critical problem, a call  has been made for the need to conduct an intersectional analysis when GM is applied (Morley, 2010; Unterhalter & North, 2010). The intersectional analysis should cover various social aspects that can influence each other and have an impact on gender issues such as ethnicity, social class, kinship, culture, and religion (Para-Mallam, 2010; Silfver, 2010).60Concerns have also been raised on GM as a technical strategy. It focuses on the link between women in education to economic development rather than a potential empowerment approach that brings about equality in gender relations (Moser & Moser, 2005; Unterhalter & North, 2010). For example, GM's effectiveness in some educational and development programs, which have been implemented by international organizations such as the World Bank, has been assessed based heavily on the number of women and men or boys and girls included in the programs and less on the empowerment intent of GM (North, 2010; Vaughan, 2010). In some cases, the inclusion of gender issues in a development project has become a condition for receiving funding from donors, thus some NGOs included GM in their proposals without a thorough understanding of GM or even without an intention of spending funds on gender issues (Wendoh & Mollace, 2005). Silfver (2010) argues that: Gender mainstreaming in its technical guise was difficult to grasp because it did not make it under the skins and into the bones of women or men. It never could as they were not the ones setting agendas. (p. 492) Walter (2011) has proposed how gender analysis frameworks employed in Gender and Development research and planning might be applied to community-based ecotourism; in particular, using Longwe's framework for women's empowerment (March, Smyth, & Mukhopadhyay, 1999). This framework has been tested and refined over several decades of research, theorizing and work in the field of Gender and Development (Leach 2003; March, Smyth, & Mukhopadhyay 1999; Moser 1993). As in the above description of gender analysis frameworks in Leach (2003), Longwe's women's empowerment framework has its roots in the second strand of GAD that is gender empowerment and closely links to the GM approach.Table 3.1 below summarizes the main elements of Longwe's Women Empowerment 61framework and how it may be applied in order to examine the level of women empowerment in CBET projects . Table 3.1Longwe's Women’s Empowerment Framework (March, Smyth, & Mukhopadhyay, 1999)ControlParticipationConscientizationAccessWelfare⇧Increasing Equality⇧Increasing EmpowermentControl – equal control in decision-making over factors of production and distribution of benefits Participation – equal participation in decision-making processes related to policymaking, planning and administrationConscientization – conscious understanding of gender roles and a gender division of labor, and that these can be changed to be more equitable Access – equal access to factors of production (land, labor, credit, education, public ser-vices) Welfare – equal access to material welfare (food, income, shelter, medical care)  As shown in Table 3.1, Longwe's framework includes five levels of women's empowerment: 1) Welfare; 2) Access; 3) Conscientization; 4) Participation; and 5) Control. The framework also indicates a direction for movement of the level of empowerment from welfare to control showing a greater increase in the level of empowerment. Even though the five levels of empowerment are presented as hierarchical levels, they are meant to be circular and mutually 62reinforcing in practice (Longwe, 2002). Longwe’s Women's Empowerment Framework can be used to examine what impacts an ecotourism project with an integration of a gender perspective in the planning and implementation have on local women's empowerment. Specifically, the level  of women's empowerment can be indicated by assessing to what extent women experience the five levels of empowerment through their participation in an ecotourism project. However, it is noted that the five levels of Longwe's framework might or might not occur as the result of women's participation in an ecotourism project. Longwe's Women's Empowerment Framework also incorporates an analysis of the gender division of labor in reproductive, productive and community roles (March, Smyth, & Mukhopadhyay, 1999). In analyzing these gender roles, it is useful to reference three forms of work within the gender of labor in CBET synthesized by Walter (2011). According to Walter (2011), reproductive labor includes childcare, elder care and care of the ill, provision of meals, cleaning, housework, clothing, and the emotional labor of hosting guests. Productive labor points to the production of food, shelter, handicrafts, teaching of language, dance, weaving, rituals, etc, to tourists, and income-generating activities such as tour guiding, vending, and small business. Community labor focuses on activities such as organizing and running an ecotourism cooperative, attending meetings, developing policy, resolving conflicts, marketing, coordinating with tour businesses, and representing the project to outsiders. Longwe's Women's Empowerment Framework emphasizes the critical role of development projects in overcoming gender inequality by capturing a dynamic range of equality,  empowerment and gender needs in women's participation (March, Smyth, & Mukhopadhyay, 1999). However, the framework does not directly address the complexities that may occur in an 63ecotourism project in relations to gender and its intersections with social class, ethnicity, social  structures, hierarchies of power, cultural norms, and social contexts. Moreover, it may also encourage a focus on women rather than gender relations, and an understanding of empowerment as a linear, static process of change. Despite the above limitations, Longwe's Women's Empowerment Framework is still a powerful analytical tool to examine women's' participation in ecotourism projects which helps to make changes in policies and practices of ecotourism projects that bring the best benefits to both men and women in local communities (Walter, 2011).    The importance of gender perspectives in understanding the benefits and effects of community-based ecotourism for local women and men participants has steadily increased in the last decade (Dilly, 2003; Pleno, 2006; Swain & Swain, 2004; Scheyvens, 2000, 2007; Schellhorn, 2010; Stronza 2005; Tucker & Boonabaana, 2012; Walter 2011). Research has also shown that adult non-formal education is essential for CBET development in local communities  (Denman, 2001; Victurine, 2000). Thus, gender analysis in adult non-formal education in CBET development is a critical step to help CBET developers and local communities understand the local context and the complexity of local gender roles and relations. As a result, they can make good decisions on the integration of contextually appropriate and effective educational programs in CBET, which can potentially contribute to the success of developing CBET as a sustainable livelihood in local communities.3.9 Chapter SummaryThis chapter has elaborated a conceptual framework for unpacking and analysing community member learning and changes in gender roles and relations. In both non-formal and 64informal settings, community member learning can be individual or collective, experiential or  transformative, incidental, tacit or self-directed; the educational approaches applied in non-formal education and other activities incorporated in a community development project have a  significant influence on what and how local people learn. Local people are more likely to recognize their capacity as agents of change, and use their knowledge and experience to take informed action to solve and manage local issues when educational approaches applied in community development projects are non-oppressive and empowering. The conceptual framework included in this chapter also suggests that individual learning can contribute to changes in both learners and community, however, collective learning and actions create much more significant socio-environmental changes. Finally, Longwe’s empowerment framework helps us to understand the multifaceted ways in which women may experience empowerment in CBET, and the role of non-formal education in the process of change in gender roles and relations.65CHAPTER 4:  METHODOLOGYThis chapter presents an introduction to the research site. The site is a CBET project that has been implemented in Giao Xuan commune (district), one of the buffer zones of Xuan Thuy National Park, Vietnam. The chapter also introduces interpretive case study as the methodological approach employed in this study. A detailed description of the data collection and analysis methods is included. The chapter then presents the role of the researcher. Finally, the chapter discusses the trustworthiness of the research study and associated ethical considerations. 4.1 Research SiteThe Giao Xuan community-based ecotourism project is situated on the alluvial coastal estuary on the Red River Delta adjacent to Xuan Thuy National Park, in Nam Dinh province, about 150 km southeast of Hanoi. In 1989, the Park was recognized by the International Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands as Southeast Asia’s first Ramsar site (i.e. a wetlands of international importance). In 2003, Xuan Thuy was officially upgraded and approved as a national park, and in 2004, recognized by UNESCO as part of the Red River Delta World Biosphere Heritage Site (Xuan Thuy National Park, 2013). The park itself covers approximately of 15,000 ha of extremely biodiverse coastal wetlands, including mangrove forests, intertidal mud flats, islands and marshes. The park is a wintering area for migratory water birds and a stop-over in the migration of non-water birds. All told, the park has 219 species of birds and 110 aquatic plant species, 500 species of seabed organisms and zooplankton, and a large variety of marine animals such as shrimp, fish, crabs and oysters (Xuan Thuy National Park, 2013). There are five buffer communities surrounding the Park: Giao Thien, Giao An, Giao Lac, 66Giao Hai and Giao Xuan. These buffer communities are situated on approximately 8,000 ha of land. No one now lives within the Park’s core boundaries. However, small-scale collection of aquatic products is allowed provided it does not harm the natural environment in the core zone (e.g. using destructive fishing practices, cutting trees, hunting birds, polluting water) (Nguyen, 2012, p. 1). Currently, only small scale collectors, who are mostly women, are allowed access to the park, while commercial aquaculture, run mostly by men, is forbidden. However, even in the buffer zones, population growth and economic development has created environmental problems which threaten local livelihood. These include over-harvesting of clams, oysters and crabs, over-fishing, clearing of mangroves for aquaculture, and pond pollution run-off (MCD, 2007a). This has led to a decline in biodiversity, loss of ecological services provided by aquatic plants and marine life, loss of natural habitat, and increased coastal sedimentation (MCD, 2007a). As a potential solution to these environmental problems, in 2006, Giao Xuan commune (district) was chosen by the Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD), a Vietnamese non-profit environmental organization, to be a pilot site for the development of a community-based ecotourism project. Giao Xuan is a coastal commune of almost 10,000 people known for its distinctive churches and pagodas, traditional architecture and cuisine, and rural lifestyle. Local ecotourism attractions include bird watching, boat trips through the mangroves, biking and trekking, accommodation and local cuisine in traditional Vietnamese homes, participation in rice farming and shellfish harvest, visits to local churches, pagodas and a marketplace, viewing of traditional opera (cheo), and trips to see the making of homemade fish sauce (nuoc mam), rice wine and processed jellyfish. Across the community of Giao Xuan, the main sources of livelihood are wet rice 67cultivation (50%), coastal fishing and aquaculture (36%) and services (14%) (Than, 2011). Women comprise 51% of the local population and 60% of them are considered to be poor (MCD, 2007a). Commercial clam farming started in Giao Xuan in 1990, when the first nets were installed in the intertidal zone. Connections with Chinese traders then provided a ready market for clams, the number of farms rapidly expanded, and many clam farmers, who were exclusively men, became wealthy (Le, 2008). By contrast, clam collecting, done mostly by poorer women and girls, still produces relatively little income, and is often done under harsh conditions on land leased from rich farmers. It is estimated, on average, that women stand in ocean water from eight to 10 hours a day, up to 20 days per month (MCD, 2007a). A good number of men migrate to Hanoi to do seasonal labor in construction or other temporary work as well. Women traditionally generate income in small trade, manage household property and budgets, cook, clean and take care of children. Following Confucian gender norms, wives are subordinate to their husbands, younger siblings to older siblings, and children to parents. Men traditionally are family breadwinners and control major financial decisions.The Giao Xuan CBET project, entitled “Empowering women, improving lives, and conserving the environment through community-based eco-business in Xuan Thuy National Park area” was funded by the Small Project Facility of the European Commission in 2006. The project was implemented by MCD, and eventually secured US$100,000 funding from the European Union and the McKnight Foundation for 2006-07. CBET funding then continued at reduced levels from 2008 to 2011 as part of a second larger project on sustainable livelihoods and environmental conservation in coastal areas, funded by the European Union and Oxfam Novib. The Giao Xuan project’s overall objective was “to strengthen and develop the skills and 68capabilities of community members (especially poor women and fishermen) in conservation-based eco-business to address poverty and improve living standards through sustainable livelihoods that conserve the environment” (MCD, 2007a, p. 4). A variety of activities were collaboratively implemented by the local community, MCD, and other project partners with the aim of promoting community participation and benefits. Within this larger aim, a key objective  was to: “Increase women’s participation and management of alternative sustainable livelihoods” (MCD, 2007a, p. 4). By 2012, six years after the Giao Xuan CBET project was established, the project had hosted approximately 2,000 domestic and international tourists. About 40 households now gain supplementary income from the project through guiding, homestay, food services and cultural performances, earning on average $USD 24 per month per household (Than, 2011). The Giao Xuan CBET Cooperative for Community Eco-tourism, founded in 2010, is now a legal entity, and the ecotourism project is recognized as a successful CBET model for other communities. Based on Giao Xuan’s success in meeting conservation, livelihood and gender equity goals, MCD plans to implement similar projects for other buffer communities in Xuan Thuy National Park. The Giao Xuan project has also hosted numerous CBET experts and community members from other provinces to visit and learn about the formation and operation of CBET in coastal areas. 69Figure 4.1Nam Dinh Province – The Research Site on the Vietnamese Map(Wikimedia Commons, 2014)44 The map was obtained from on October 10, 2014 and is available for reproduction and modification under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License version CCBY-SA 3.0, which allows fair use of the image for research purposes.70Figure 4.2Xuan Thuy National Park and the Buffer Communes (MCD, 2006g)714.2 Interpretive Case Study ApproachMerriam (1998) describes three kinds of case studies: 1) Descriptive case study; 2) Interpretive case study; and 3) Evaluative case study. A descriptive case study is what researchers do when they have little or no theory and the end result might not be to develop any theory. The researcher just describes what they found in the research project (Merriam, 1998). In the interpretive case study, the researcher wants a “rich, thick description” of the data they collect  (Merriam, 1998, p. 38). In addition, the researcher also wants to understand “with the intent of analyzing, interpreting, or theorizing about the phenomenon” (Merriam, 1998, p. 38). Finally, Merriam (1998) describes an evaluative case study approach as involving some “explanation” of the phenomena being studied as well as some “judgement” about an educational program, for example (p. 39). This research employed an interpretive case study approach, which allowed me to describe under-researched areas in CBET in great detail including community member learning and the complexity of relationships in gender and ecotourism development.Among the possible critiques of case study research (see Flyvbjerg, 2006, for a review), there is one that stands out as most prominent. This critique focuses on the generalizability of case study research (Campbell, 1975; Flyvbjerg, 2006; Merriam, 2009; Myers, 2000; Stake, 2000). The critique is that if we learn a lot about one particular case, there might not always be sufficient information that can be learned or applied to research about other cases. However, case studies are often chosen because they are very unique or unusual cases (Stake, 2000) and many different cases combined can also be examined to see if they share similar characteristics and extend the generalizability of case study research (Campbell, 1975). The case chosen for this research study is one of the very first CBET projects in the buffer area of Xuan Thuy National 72Park, Vietnam, part of the UNESCO Red River Biosphere Reserve. The CBET pilot project in Giao Xuan has been used as a model for ecotourism development in other provinces of Vietnam. Therefore, this case study is significantly important for the long term development of community-based ecotourism in Vietnam and may apply to other cases at least within Vietnam.Another critique about case study research has to do with the role of the researcher. In particular, some think that case study research is too subjective. Researchers have a strong role in the research and maybe able to make a study’s results fit with their expectations. However, it is  also argued that the researchers' powerful interpretive role is not more problem for case study research than for other kinds of research (Flyvberg, 2006). Stake (1995) defines several roles that a case study researcher might have: 1) Teacher; 2) Advocate; 3) Evaluator; 4) Biographer; and 5) Interpreter. He mentions that the interpreter role is one of the most important. The researcher is  in the perfect position to be able to combine such complex information that they gather from research and communicate the details to readers (Myers, 2000). Interpretive research is seen as “a chain of interpretations that must be documented for others to judge the trustworthiness of the meanings arrived at the end” and concerns arise over how the researcher can provide research results that are “compelling, powerful, and convincing” (Creswell, 2007, p. 206). To promote good qualitative research, Tracy (2010) suggests eight different criteria that help qualitative researchers to obtain good practice in qualitative work. The eight criteria suggested by Tracy (2010) have guided the overall process of conducting this research and include: 1) Worthy topic; 2) Rich rigor; 3) Sincerity, 4) Credibility, 5) Resonance, 6) Significant contribution, 7) Ethics, and 8) Meaningful coherence.734.3 Research StepsThis section describes various steps that were used to collect data for this study including: 1) Gaining access to the research site; 2) Participant recruitment; 3) Conducting interviews; 4) Conducting observations; 5) Collecting documents; and 6) Data analysis and interpretation.  4.3.1 Gaining Access to the Research SiteBefore my first field research trip  to Giao Xuan in August 2011, in an earlier trip to Vietnam in the same year, I took a CBET tour in Giao Xuan commune to determine whether Giao Xuan could be a feasible site for my research study. Before this trip, I learned about the Giao Xuan CBET project  through the Internet and the website of MCD. The exploratory field trip in early 2011 was an opportunity for me to obtain real experience and a better sense of the project, the community, and community members. After this trip, I made my final decision that I  would choose Giao Xuan as the research site for my doctoral research project. During this exploratory trip I had the chance to become acquainted with many key people in Giao Xuan involved in the CBET project. One of MCD’s staff introduced me to the Head of the Giao Xuan CBET Cooperative. With the help of the head of the Giao Xuan CBET Cooperative, I met with some of the local people involved in the CBET project. Because of time constraints, I could only meet with five host family members, two tour guides and three cooperative leaders individually at their houses. At these short meetings, I talked to local people mostly as an ecotourist, but I was also honest with them about my interest in learning more about their community, their CBET project and the possibility of conducting research on this topic. Beyond my expectation for such a short trip, I was  welcomed warmly and local people with 74whom I spoke all showed their support and willingness to assist if I came back and conducted research in their community. This trip allowed me to gain initial access to the Giao Xuan community. This initial access helped me to obtain rapport with the Giao Xuan community more easily during my fieldwork starting  in August, 2011. Gaining access does not necessarily mean immediately obtaining rapport with study participants. Establishing rapport takes time, respect, sincerity and trust from both researchers and local people. DeWalt and DeWalt (2002) assert that “rapport exists when both investor and informants come to share common goals5. The participants in the setting or events under study must come to agree to help the investor, however they understand the project” (p. 44). One of the strategies that I used to obtain rapport included honesty about myself and my research with local people. One task that I did during the “entering the field” phase was being explicit about the purpose of my presence in the community and being explicit about the purpose of my research. To make this happen, I planned to set up a meeting with all of the CBET Cooperative members at the beginning of my fieldwork. However, due to the various daily schedules of community members, it was very difficult to find a time for meeting with all of them as a group. For example, a tour guide who was working at sea did not come back home every day. Some local women had to work at their stores the entire day and did not get home until quite late in the evening. I eventually opted to meet with community members individually depending on their  most convenient time and place. In these meetings I introduced myself, learned about the person and his/her family, introduced my research and my plan while I was in Giao Xuan, discussed with them about the possible contribution that my research might make to the CBET project in 5 I prefer using the terms “researchers” and “participants” in my research instead of the terms “investors” and  “informants.”  75their community, and answered all of their questions related to myself and my research project.   Another key principle to help establish rapport is “learning appropriate behaviour in a setting, showing respect for people in a setting, being a good and careful listener” (DeWalt & DeWalt, 2002, p. 40). In my case, I needed to keep in mind that even though I am Vietnamese, and I speak the same dialect as people in Giao Xuan, I still needed to learn about Giao Xuan community’s culture and customs, since different places in the same country can be different in many ways. I talked to the CBET Cooperative members, elders and other ordinary local people about their customs and traditions and asked their advice about things that were appropriate for me to do and not to do in their community. I also sought from MCD’s staff, who had worked with local people in Giao Xuan for several years, advice such as how to obtain bureaucratic approval to conduct research in the local community, possible local red tape that I would have to face when conducting research, and their experience in working with local people.    4.3.2 Participant Recruitment I recruited thirty-one participants for this study; my recruitment process is outlined in the next section. The key research participants were fourteen community members who directly participated in the CBET project. I choose them because the study's main focus was on understanding the learning processes and outcomes of this group of research participants. However, I also included seven MCD staff and consultants in this research study because they worked directly with community members in planning and implementing the CBET project, and thus may have had an influence on community members' learning processes and outcomes. Specifically, I expected to learn about MCD staffs' and the project consultants' expectations for 76the development of the CBET project in Giao Xuan commune. I wanted to learn about their thoughts on skills and knowledge that they believed were necessary for the local community members and the local community members' role in the construction of CBET curriculum and its  implementation. In addition, I also included ten local people who did not participate in the CBET project in order to obtain their general views toward the CBET project and the impact of educational activities and interventions incorporated in the CBET project on community members. MCD Staff and Consultants In the exploratory field trip in early 2011, I first visited the MCD office in Hanoi, introduced myself and my plan to conduct a research project on the Giao Xuan CBET project. One of MCD's working agendas was to support research on community development issues in Giao Xuan. Thus, I was warmly welcomed by MCD's director and had a meeting with the staff in the Department of Community Development of MCD. During this meeting MCD staff expressed their strong support for my research project in Giao Xuan.In my official field trip started in August, 2011, I made another visit to MCD's office. I presented a summary of my research proposal and asked them for their comments and suggestions from the perspective of CBET experts. Mr. Le, Thanh Hai – a CBET expert and the CBET coordinator of MCD was assigned to be my main consultant to help me during the time I conducted research in Vietnam. With the help of Mr. Le, Ms. Nguyen (the director of MCD) and other key project staff such as Ms. Vu and Ms. Tang, I was introduced to other key staff and consultants of the Giao Xuan CBET project.77I had individual meetings with these MCD staff and experts and shared with them the research objectives and my plan for conducting the research. I also explained the reasons why I wanted to include them in the research and answered all of their questions. Fortunately, all MCD staff and consultants enthusiastically offered their help because they saw me as a colleague who shared a common interest in contributing to the community development field in Vietnam. In Table 4.1, I provide some basic information on the MCD staff and consultants who participated in this research study.Table 4.1 MCD Staff and Consultants Name Title Main DutiesLam Project staff - Providing support and consultations to community members during the process of CBET skills and knowledge training- Helping with the construction of the Giao Xuan CBET regulations Ba Project staff - Collaborating with community members to set up Ecolife Cafe and the local Community Learning Centre - Making arrangement and preparations for workshops, meetings, conferences, and other project activities Nam Project staff - Providing consultations on CBET business skills and organizations- Providing assistance with marketing, connecting with other tourism and business agencies, examining tourism markets. - Connecting with credit sources and other financial sources to invest in and support for the Giao Xuan CBET development- Providing consultations on future development directions for CBET in Giao XuanAn Project staff - Being in charge of managing general project activities 78Name Title Main Dutiesincluding assessing local resources for forming the CBET model, constructing the Giao Xuan CBET model, connecting and inviting ecotourism experts and educators/trainers for the local capacity building programPhuc Project consultant - Providing workshops on CBET awareness raising- Providing consultations on setting up plans for CBET development - Providing consultations on constructing ecotourism tours- Reviewing Giao Xuan CBET publications  Vinh Project consultant - Assessing local potential resources for the CBET development - Providing consultations on constructing the Giao Xuan CBET model and ecotourism products and services- Providing consultations on unexpected challenges during the planning and implementation of the CBET project- Reviewing the Giao Xuan CBET publications- Connecting and introducing tourism experts to the CBET project Sinh Project consultant - Consulting on local logistic support and environmental conservation and management - Consulting on eco-tour operation4.3.2.2 Community MembersSince I had already met with some community members in my previous trip in early 2011, when I returned to Giao Xuan in August, 2011, my access to the local community went very smoothly. I first stayed at Ms. Kim's house. She was one of the host families and also a member of the Giao Xuan CBET Cooperative. Ms. Kim was formerly the Head of the Giao Xuan Women’s Association and actively participated in many communal activities. I decided to stay at  her house first because one of MCD's staff recommended that she would have knowledge of many community members, especially local women and could introduce me to other local people 79in the commune. With Ms. Kim's and Mr. Kha's help (Mr. Kha was the head of the Giao CBET Cooperative at that time), I was introduced to all host families and tour guides in the CBET project. In August, 2011, when I conducted my field work, one host family was not in the commune. Therefore, I was able to approach only eight out of nine host families in the CBET project.I had individual meetings with the host families at their houses (10 community members in total). Through these meetings, I introduced myself again, talked about my research project and invited them to participate in the research. Before leaving the meetings, I also provided the host families with a written letter of initial contact to ensure that they thoroughly understood the purposes of the project and the treatment and rights of research participants. After the first week of getting to know local people, I started spending time with each host family though the CBET home stay program. I joined host families' daily life activities, got to know family members of host families and also gave them time to better understand me. I made it very clear that  community members did not have to make the decisions right away on whether or not they wanted to join the research project, but all of them seemed to willingly join the research without  hesitation. They all assured me that they would be very happy to help me with my research. Ms. Kim and Mr. Kha also helped me to arrange individual meetings with four local guides. In addition to the meetings, I joined all ecotours that were conducted during the time I  was doing my fieldwork. Through the individual meetings and the tours, the local guides and I had opportunities to learn about each other. Again, I introduced my research and invited them to be research participants. I successfully recruited all four local tour guides and they were very enthusiastic and happy to join the research. 80Finally, I used a network sampling strategy (Merriam, 1998) to recruit local people who were not directly involved in the CBET project. With this group of participants I tried to recruit  people who held various positions including local teachers, local administrative staff, farmers, store retailers, and retired people. I also tried to recruit both men and women. I asked the host families and local guides to introduce me to other  community members who did not directly participate in the CBET project. In addition, I also took the initiative to meet with local people  through participating in local events such as a spiritual ceremony for moving an old tree in order to widen the local road. I met with some other local people by going to their retail stores to buy food or to make copies of some documents. I visited the local secondary school where I recruited four teachers to join my research. After local people already become familiar with my presence in the local community, I approached some of them and invited them to join my research. Again,  I very carefully introduced the purpose of my research and the reasons why I was inviting them to be research participants. What follows in Table 4.2 is a summary of information on community members.  Table 4.2 Community Members Name Gender CBET duty/job* Community members who participated in the CBET project:Kim Female - Head of the Giao Xuan CBET Cooperative 2013 – present- Host family- Former head of the Giao Xuan Women's Association - Agriculture81Name Gender CBET duty/jobTam Female - Host family- Member of the CBET Cooperative Management Board (2013 – present) - AgricultureKha Male - Host family - Former Head of the CBET Cooperative (2010 – 2012)- Member of the CBET Cooperative Management Board- Food storeSan Female - Host family - Food store Long Male - Host family- Agriculture Thi Female - Host family- Agriculture Nga Female - Host family- Agriculture- Wet Rice Retail Store- Wage labor collecting marine and aquacultureLy Female - Host family- Agriculture - Medical herb cultivation - Wage labor collecting marine and aquacultureGia Male - Host family - Agriculture - Local SecurityThanh Female - Host family - AgricultureDu Male - Tour guide- Working on the sea82Name Gender CBET duty/jobMinh Male - Tour guide - Local Mangrove Forest Guard- Retail Store Lan Female - Tour guide- Member of the CBET Management Board (2010 - 2012)- Agriculture - Wage labor collecting marine and aquacultureHa Female - Tour guide- Agriculture - Wage labor collecting marine and aquaculture* Community members who did not participate in the CBET project:Na Female - AgricultureHinh Female - Agriculture Ban Female - Retail storeBinh Male - Veteran/ElderKhu Male - Xuan Thuy National Park staffLe Female - Xuan Thuy National Park staffTrung Male - Principal of the local secondary schoolNinh Male - Vice principal of the local secondary schoolHai Male - Teacher of the local secondary school Tu Male - Teacher of the local secondary school 4.3.3 Conducting InterviewsI conducted interviews with all MCD staff and consultants in Hanoi except for one 83project consultant, the Director of Xuan Thuy National Park, whom I interviewed in Giao Xuan. The interview times and places were decided by the interviewees. With each MCD staff and consulting expert, I conducted from one to three rounds of interviews depending on the availability of the participants and the needs to have follow-up interview(s) in order to clarify the participants' opinions and obtain a better understanding of the themes arising from the first round. Each round lasted for an hour to an hour and a half. All the interviews were audio tape recorded.  With host families, most of the interview sessions were conducted during the time I stayed at their houses. I joined host families with everyday life activities such as going to church on Sundays. In some other families I went to pagodas. I also helped some local families in the wet rice fields and joined one of the local women in her rice store to sell rice. I became a good friend with one of the local tour guides who was kind enough to show me around the community. She was also the one who let me know when and where there were some social events in the commune such as a spiritual ceremony in the commune, a local funeral, and a local wedding. I let community members schedule the interview times, dates, and places that worked the best for them. Some people preferred the interviews to be conducted at their house, and some preferred a local coffee shop. In addition to the scheduled interviews, many interview sessions were conducted very spontaneously wherever and whenever both community members and I found convenient (with their permission). Many interviews were recorded or taken notes (with community members' permission) during the tea time after dinner, a break time from working in the rice field, and on the way to some local tourism destinations.  With community members who did not participate in the CBET project, some of them 84preferred me to conduct the interviews at the offices where they worked. Some interviews were conducted at their houses or retail stores. Many interviews took place during theevenings when I joined a group of local women to walk every evening after dinner. I conducted at least two to three rounds of in-depth interviews individually with each community member. In addition, three host family couples were interviewed between two and four times each. Each interviewing round lasted approximately from one to two hours. The first round was unstructured and open-ended so that the participants could freely share their viewpoints and experiences in the CBET project. After the first round, the following round was semi-structured around themes arising from the previous sessions and from my research questions. In addition to tape recording, I also took my own notes in the interviews. These notes were not a copy of whatever participants said, but notes on some participant quotes that caught my attention, which helped me to form other related questions. I also noted some nonverbal behaviour from the participants which could not be recorded by the recorder; for example, the anger or disappointment of local women when talking about the family violence in the local community, or the excitement or the sense of local people's humour when they talked about their hosting experience. I noted key responses of the participants as well. These notes helped me keep up with the pace of the talk and thus enabled me to have a more consistent and meaningful conservation with the participants.4.3.4 Conducting ObservationsParticipation observation is defined as “a method in which a researcher takes part in the 85daily activities, rituals, interactions, and events of a group of people as one of the means of learning the explicit and tacit aspects of their routines and their cultures” (DeWalt & DeWalt,  2002). In particular, among different strategies of collecting data as an observer, I chose to be an “observer as participant” (Merriam, 1988, Yin, 2009). Being an observer as participant, my observer role was revealed to the local community and all research participants in research and my role as a participant was subordinate to my role of observing. To capture of the strength and limitations of this kind of observation, Merriam (1988) points out that: “Using this method, one may have access to many people and a wide range of information, but the level of the information revealed is controlled by the group members being investigated” (p. 93). When I conducted observations I understood the above limitation from a different perspective. I believed that the participants in my research should have the right to control and share whatever information and experience they were comfortable with and I respected their decisions on what to share. I also took it as a challenge for me to establish a trustful relationship with the participants so that they could share with me their stories, experiences and knowledge in the most comfortable way. Merriam (1988) recommends that a researcher should first “become familiar with the setting” and “see what is there to observe” before “serious data collection can begin” (p. 91). In the exploratory trip to Giao Xuan commune in early 2011, I obtained a general understanding about the research site, local people, and the CBET project in Giao Xuan. However, during the first week of my official fieldwork, I also intentionally made observation notes to “refresh” this “getting familiar with the setting” stage. Joining local events and local people's daily life  activities, the volunteer program, and the CBET tour helped me to see what I could observe and 86also let local people become familiar with my presence in their community.“A checklist of elements” synthesized by Merriam (1998) from different authors was adapted as a guide for participant observations during CBET tours and homestays with local people. This checklist includes the following elements: 1) The physical setting; 2) The participants; 3) Activities and interactions; 4) Conversation; 5) Subtle factors; and 6) Your own behaviour (Merriam, 1998, pp. 97-98).The participant observation method applied in this research was conducted in many different situations. I took observations in ecotourism tours, through daily life activities during the time I stayed in the host families' houses, and during some local events. Joining CBET tours provided me a chance to observe and explore how local guides interacted with visitors, what type of local knowledge was incorporated in the tours and how local guides introduced such knowledge to visitors. After the tours I often met with the local guides and had conversations with them about things that occurred in the tours as well as their thoughts about their experience in the tours. Living with local people helped me to observe and learn about traditional local knowledge, practices and culture through their daily life activities. While I was staying in Giao Xuan, several groups of visitors came to visit. This was a great opportunity for me to see how local people set up their place to accommodate visitors and how they interacted with visitors. I  could also compare typical daily life with a day when host families had visitors in their house. In addition, I witnessed what men and women in the household did in terms of housework. To my surprise, many men in the household helped quite often with housework. However, I still noticed a typical day filled with the activities that local women had to experience lasted from early  87morning until late at night, especially with families whose husbands worked far away from home.I took notes in as much detail as possible during the observation process. I typed more comprehensive notes later after the observation session was conducted. In some cases, because of the busy schedule of some particular days, I typed a brief summary of my observations and some prominent remarks and filled in the details later. 4.3.5 Collecting Documents All relevant documents that I could find related to the project were reviewed. This included the Giao Xuan CBET project summary, Giao Xuan CBET periodic progress reports, government documents related to the Giao Xuan CBET project, local, national and international  articles, information on the project website, any data on the Giao Xuan CBET project in previous studies, and visitors’ and volunteer’s reports or feedback on CBET tours. All documents used in the project’s CBET curriculum, workshops and training sessions, and any documents distributed to tourists were also collected. These included documents such as brochures, tour programs, and references of local cultural codes. In addition, all the writings related to the project site’s location, history, and socio-economic status were included to help contextualize the data. To help me collect documents for this project, I first searched for documents from all available public sources, like the CBET project website, website of the MCD, local and national journals, and libraries. MCD staff provided me with related project documents. I also reached out for advice from the project consultants. Some of them guided me to very useful resources on ecotourism development in Vietnam. 88To help me obtain knowledge of Giao Xuan's social, historical, political, and economic context, I was introduced to the elders of Giao Xuan commune. I talked to six elders in the community. I met them individually at their houses and had informal conversations with all of  them. I asked them about the history, traditions and customs of the commune. One of them who was 93 years old and the former head of the commune told me many interesting stories about the history of the commune and about the difficulties that the commune had to face during war. Another elder provided me with a draft of a book that he and some other elders in the commune had been writing about the history and development of Giao Xuan commune. 4.3.6 Data Analysis and InterpretationThe constant-comparative method was used as the main data analysis approach in this research (Merriam, 1998, Yin, 2003). This method emphasizes the iterative process in data analysis. This means that the final research findings are a result of identifying, reflecting, testing,  revising, refining, confirming or even discarding data until themes or categories emerge. The iterative process enables researchers to obtain the most significant aspects of the case and to ensure the findings are exhaustively supported by rich data to help eventually constitute grounded theory. I followed a six-step process recommended by Creswell (2009) as a guide for data analysis of this research. First, all the data were organized and prepared for analysis. In particular, interview transcripts, documents, notes from observations, and stories told by the community elders were sorted into different types based on the sources of information obtained. In the second step, I looked through all the data obtained in order to get a general sense of what 89ideas the data told me about and evaluated how deep, credible and useful these ideas were. Third, I coded the data into categories through an iterative process. All of the possible categories were first labelled with a tentative term and were then confirmed, elaborated and revised until solid  themes emerged. Fourth, similar to the iterative process applied for coding, I generated and confirmed themes that were substantially supported by different sources of data. These themes were potentially the major findings of the research. Fifth, I identified particular sets of data that  were used to represent a narrative of findings. At the last step, I made an interpretation of the data. The interpretation was made based on all sources of data collected in the field, relevant  literature and theories on Community-based ecotourism (CBET), non-formal education and informal learning, and environmental adult education (EAE) as well as my own knowledge, background and understanding of the research topic and case. 4.4 The Role of the Researcher Banks (1998) suggests that there are four types of researchers: “the indigenous-insider,” the indigenous-outsider,” “the external-insider,” and “the external-outsider” (p. 8). Before coming to the field, I envisioned myself as both an “indigenous insider” and an “indigenous outsider.” The reason I envisioned myself as an “indigenous insider” was because I am a Vietnamese person who was raised and grew up with Vietnamese culture, understands and acknowledges Vietnamese values, culture, knowledge, and beliefs. However, since I grew up in a city and I have left my country for several years to study in Canada, the local people in Giao Xuan might have seen me not only as an “indigenous-insider” but also an “indigenous-outsider” who “has experienced an outsider culture” and might adapt to some “outsider” values, beliefs, 90and perspectives (Banks, 1998). From my experience in the field, I learned that the role of the researcher is much more complicated than just fitting into either of these roles.I think that many local people whom I recruited as the research participants in this research study saw me as an “indigenous insider.” But, it took time for them to really consider me an indigenous insider. At the beginning, local host families tried to accommodate me as a  homestay visitor. They always asked me if I had any special requests for food. Even though I always said that I would eat what their family had for their regular meals, I noticed that the meals  that they prepared while I stayed at their houses were very elaborate compared to what they told me they often had for their lunch/dinner. However, when the local host families were already familiar and comfortable with my presence, they told me that they would prepare simple everyday meals now because to them I was no longer a guest but a family member.While I was in Giao Xuan, I sometimes made a trip back to Hanoi when I needed to conduct other work (e.g., collecting documents, interviewing MCD staff and consultants). Anytime I made a trip back to Hanoi, community members often sent back with me some local specialities to my family in Hanoi. From my knowledge, local people only did such things to very close friends or relatives. For example, after cooking “nem nam” for me once – a famous local dish in which small pieces of boiled pork are mixed with seasonings and grounded toasted rice – Ms. Kim later made it and asked me to bring it to my father, who is also a fan of this dish. Some other community members would send with me eggs from chickens they raised or herbal tea that they cultivated.After my stay at Giao Xuan progressed, in addition to sharing their experiences in the CBET project, many community members comfortably shared with me other personal aspects of 91their life. Mr. Long told me stories about his children who had to leave Giao Xuan to work in the city. He also told me about his future plans for raising and supporting his extended family. Mr. Kha talked about his difficult time when he was a little kid, how he had to leave the village to work in various cities when he was only thirteen years old, and how he dealt with both evil and nice things in his life. Ms. Ha told me about how she met and fell in love with her husband. Even though local people who participated in this research might have seen me more as an “indigenous insider,” other local people who did not participate in this research study might have seen me more as an “indigenous outsider” or even “the external outsider.” Possible reasons for this could be that we did not have many opportunities to get to know and understand each other as much as the local people with whom I lived. Or it could also be the local people might just have stricter perspectives toward outsiders' behavior.While I was in the field, I joined a local spiritual ceremony for moving an old tree to widen a local road. Before joining the event, I carefully consulted Ms. Kim and a local guide about the local dress code for such events. The event took place on an extremely hot day. I wore a short sleeve shirt and and an ankle length pair of pants. Before leaving for the event, Ms. Kim approved my outfit. After that I met Ms. Ha, a local guide, who was also wearing a very similar outfit. When I arrived at  the local temple, many local people were at the event. I made  a quick observation to make sure my outfit was appropriate for the ceremony. I saw many local people wearing short sleeve shirts and some old men had their pants folded high up above their knees. At that moment I thought that I had probably dressed appropriately. Ms. Ha then guided me to a place in the temple where we could light incense, a traditional practice when people go to temples/pagodas. However, while Ms. Ha and I were lighting incense, a local woman, came over 92and signaled to Ms. Ha  that she should leave. Later on,  Ms. Ha informed me that the woman had told her that I should have worn   a proper long sleeve shirt and a longer pair of pants when I joined the event. Right after that, I approached the woman to apologize for wearing inappropriate clothes. However, it occurred to me that there are different standards for what “local” people and “outsiders” are allowed to wear to such events. Evidently, the woman did not consider me to be a local person as did Ms. Kim and Ms. Ha.My experience from the field once again taught me that the role of the researcher is complex and it is always an ongoing learning process of local codes and cultures for researchers when conducting research in local community sites. Different people may have different views towards appropriateness. In addition, different groups of local people might have different ways to perceive or treat you depending on the level of relationship you establish with them.4.5 The Trustworthiness of the Research Study and Associated Ethical ConsiderationsConducting research that involves human participants can raise ethical concerns. If any research methodologies are employed for the purpose of “extracting” information or knowledge from local settings, the research can become intrusive and oppressive. Researchers doing such kinds of research are often more concerned with their own research questions than having a positive impact on the local community (Kindon, Pain, & Kesby, 2007; Stewart & Draper, 2009; Strand, Marullo, Cutforth, Stoecker, & Donohue, 2003).  Ethics is believed to be a critical criteria to increase the quality and trustworthiness of qualitative research (Tracy, 2010). Tracy points out four dimensions of ethics that researchers need to thoroughly consider when conducting research including “procedural, situational, 93relational, and exiting ethics” (Tracy, 2010, p. 847). I made the best effort to reflect on these four dimensions of ethical considerations while conducting this research study.4.5.1 Procedural EthicsProcedural ethics refer to necessary ethical steps in conducting research that are reviewed by a board of institutional organizations to protect human subjects from harm (Tracy, 2010). This research was conducted only after obtaining ethical approval from the Behavioural Research Ethics Board of the University of British Columbia (BREB). All the steps of collecting data including gaining access to the research site, participant recruitment, conducting interviews, observations, and collecting documents (reported in the previous sections of this chapter) were conducted following the guidelines approved by BREB to avoid intrusive and oppressive research. In addition, to protect the research participants' privacy and confidentiality, I applied a number of safeguards. For example, all electronic data (audio interview files, electronic transcripts, and electronic photograph files) were stored on my laptop in the field, but encrypted and password protected. Other data on paper (paper documents, and interview transcripts) were kept securely in a locked file cabinet. Moreover, participant anonymity was ensured by using pseudonyms in the presentation of the data in this study.4.5.2 Situational EthicsSituational ethics are described as circumstances that occur in the field that researchers should reflect on in order to make ethical decisions based on the nature of each particular 94situation (Tracy, 2010). Several unpredictable situations emerged while I was conducting my fieldwork. I carefully considered these situations and tried my best to make flexible and ethical decisions and prioritize the benefits of the research participants.Among the various meetings when I first entered the field, a meeting with Ms. Ha, a local tour guide, had a powerful influence on me and alerted me to keep reminding myself of the approach that I used to conduct research with local community members. When I first met her at her house, she mentioned that many people had come to Giao Xuan and asked about the Giao Xuan CBET project and their ecotourism jobs. I then told her that I read a news article about her and some other community members. She was very excited but surprised. She told me: Many people came here and interviewed me. Sometimes I heard the same thing from other people as you just told me 'you were mentioned on the news' or 'I read about you in the newspaper', but I actually never had a chance to read such news and did not know what they said about me. (Ms. Ha)Ms. Ha's words really affected me and reemphasized to me that I needed to respect participants' rights regarding the handling and reporting of my research data. Since the article I read about Ms. Ha and other community members was written in English, I translated this article and gave both the original article and the translated copy to them in my next meetings with them.Similarly, when I collected the project documents, I read a report written by an Australian who volunteered in Giao Xuan for four months in which he included many pleasant and unpleasant memories, activities, people, challenges that he faced, and things that he valued during his time in Giao Xuan. In the report, the volunteer also narrated memories of his host family, whom he considered a second, adopted family. He also shared his views about the prospect of the Giao Xuan CBET project. In his report, he thanked the Giao Xuan community, but also mentioned that he knew Giao Xuan people would not be able to read his report (because 95it was written in English). Learning from Ms. Ha's concern, I made a phone call to the volunteer (his contact information was included at the end of his report) and asked for his permission to translate the report into Vietnamese and give it back to the local people. The volunteer was very surprised and was truly happy and even thanked me for giving back his report to the local people. When I gave community members both the original and the translated copies of the article and the volunteer's report, they seemed very excited, happy and grateful. Many of them read the article and the report immediately, and I could sense that some of them were very emotional when reading the volunteer's report. Later, I know that some community members even used the article and volunteering report as a way of introducing their CBET project to other visitors.6 I considered what I did as one way of giving back to the community. From the local people's positive reaction, I knew that my time and effort was worth it and that I made the correct decision.In another situation, I conducted interviews with a community member who did not directly participate in the CBET project, but spent much with foreign volunteerists7 since he was keen on improving his English ability. The person did not seem comfortable to be recorded but allowed me to take notes. I respected the person's decision and did not record any interview sessions. He seemed to be very cautious of what he said and corrected himself during conversations with me. For example, he shared a story and right after that he changed his mind and said: “Can you cross it out from your notes?” I did it right away upon his request. Since I could sense his cautiousness and wanted him to be comfortable sharing his experiences, for the most of the interviews, I let him freely share whatever he felt sharing without asking many 6 The volunteer’s intention was to make his report known to as many people as possible, including other visitors and local people.7 Volunteerists in this study refer to visitors who join ecotourism tours in Giao Xuan and implement various volunteer activities at the same time.96questions. When I gave the transcriptions of my notes back to him, I intentionally emphasized and made it clear that he could feel free to edit/add or cross out any information/stories that he wanted to. However, he was happy with the transcriptions of our conversation and did not edit anything in the transcription.Considering the existing patriarchal norm in Vietnam, when I conducted interviews about gender issues, I always let participants choose the place for interviews. I thought that some women might not feel comfortable talking in the presence of their husbands. In fact, some women did choose a place outside of their house for the interviews. For example, one woman chose to have interviews in a local coffee shop and another woman chose to talk to me while we went for a walk in the evening. In some cases, I also noticed that woman chose to have interviews at their houses, but once their husbands joined the conversation, the husbands seemed to dominate the conversation. In such cases, I subtly chose to talk to these women again another time when their husbands were not around.4.5.3 Relational Ethics  Relational ethics indicate the importance of researchers' thoughtful consideration of “their  character, actions, and consequences on others” as well as the researchers' engagement in “reciprocity with participants and do not co-opt others just to get a 'great stories'.” (Tracy, 2010, p. 847). My experience in this research study is “relational ethics” was the most challenging dimension of ethics that I faced.Building a trusting relationship with community members was critical for me to conduct my research in Giao Xuan. When I first came to Giao Xuan, I could sense that local people still 97saw me simply as a researcher with a higher level of formal education than them. When I invited community members to comment on the objectives, research questions, and methods of conducting the research, most community members told me that they were fine with whatever I proposed. An example of their reasoning was: “You are a highly educated person, you know what you are doing and we just try our best to help you out” (Ms. Nga). I always tried to be explicit that I really wanted this research study to reflect the local authentic perspectives. I also  emphasized that local people's opinions and advice on how my research should be conducted in a locally ethical and respectful way would be of a great value for enabling its success. As my time progressed in Giao Xuan, community members became more open to me. They started giving me ideas and advice on the procedures of conducting this research study. Local community members directed me to meet some respectful elders in the community to ask them advice on local codes such as how to interact with people when you meet them or with whom I should ask for permission to visit some local destinations (e.g., temples, pagodas, churches).As my time in Giao Xuan progressed more, I even became good friends with some community members and they genuinely treated me as a family member. Such a close relationship might have made them feel more comfortable and became more open about their life  and experience in the Giao Xuan CBET project. For example, some local women revealed that they were victims of family violence. They recounted how painful and humiliating it was for them to be physically and verbally abused by their husbands. They also admitted that it was very difficult for them to let other people know since their families would lose face (i.e., it is shameful for local people if such problems in their family are known by other people). However, they 98trusted me, wanted me to know and, to some extent, even felt a bit better when they could disclose their experience. Even though I gave them back the transcript of our conversations and obtained their approval to include the family violence issue and their thought of this issue in the research results, there was time when I hesitated to do so. I felt that those local women had told me such a secret and painful aspect of their life because they might have considered me more as a friend than a researcher. Although I was assured by them that it was completely fine for me to report/publish this issue, I still hope that my reporting of the issue will not cause any harm to them.In addition, since many local people knew me as an educated person who was studying abroad, they seemed to not only see me as a researcher but also as a potential problem solver or helper. During my fieldwork, quite often community members told me about what they or their community needed. For example, a community member told me she joined a workshop on how to cultivate clean mushrooms on dry rice straw. She then told me that she wished I could find funding for the community to implement this clean mushroom cultivation model in Giao Xuan. Some community members often told me how financial issues prevented them from being environmentally friendly. They hoped some organizations would provide funding for large trash bins to put along the local lanes and in other local public places. As one community members told me: “It would be easier to convince people not to throw trash in public places if there are many trash bins available for them to put trash in.” They also wished for a plumbing system from the water company in the local district to their commune so that they could have clean water to  use. Local teachers also told me how the limited availability of computers in the school prevented their students from opportunities to practice and master computer skills. Similarly,  99they also asked in a very subtle way if I could find donations from any organization to support equipping their school with more computers (even with used ones). Even though I know that it was normal and natural for local people to share with me such difficulties, I also felt a bit obliged in terms of what could I do to help them. However, at the same time, in my position as a researcher, there was no guarantee that I would be able to help the local community with such financial related issues. I did not want to give local people a false hope. Thus, I decided to listen to them with careful attention and respect but gave no promises.4.5.4 Exiting EthicsExiting ethics imply the steps of how researchers share and present the findings after finishing collecting data in order to “avoid unjust or unintended consequences” (Tracy, 2010, p. 847). In this research study, I employed several steps to avoid such consequences and made an effort to bring the best benefits to the local community. These steps include giving back transcriptions to the research participants, discussing the content of our interviews to make sure I understood the research participants correctly, and sharing the research results with participants.As mentioned in the “Conducting Interviews,” section 4.3.3, I transcribed interviews with the research participants and gave the transcriptions back to them. The research participants could edit anything in the transcriptions as they wished. In addition, to ensure that community members were aware of their rights to make changes in the transcriptions, a week after giving back the transcriptions I met with them individually to discuss the content of the transcriptions to make sure that I understood their views and asked if they wanted to change/add anything. Some community members did make changes to the transcriptions and I respected their decision. 100In May, 2014, I made a trip back to Vietnam to share research results with all research participants. I had two meetings with the research participants. One meeting was with the project staff and consultants in Hanoi and another one was with community members in Giao Xuan. MCD took the initiative to hold a meeting between me and the project staff and consultants at  MCD's office in Hanoi. In addition to myself, a total of eight MCD staff participated in the meeting, including the MCD director and vice director. I made a special effort to interview project staff and consultants who were not able to attend the meeting. In this meeting, I gave a presentation in Vietnamese to share the research results. After my presentation, each of the participants shared their views toward the research results. The MCD staff and consultants found that the presentation of the research results brought them an opportunity to reflect one more time on their work on the Giao Xuan CBET project. In general, they agreed with the findings, but they were also surprised with some findings. For example, some of them were surprised about the fact that many local people were not aware of the CBET project. Even though it was agreed that keeping all people informed about the CBET project was almost impossible considering the large big population in Giao Xuan, the project staff agreed that this was a possible area of improvement for future projects. MCD staff also showed their concern of the local existing family violence problem. Both MCD staff and the project consultants were interested in further possible steps that could be taken. We all shared our views toward future steps and promised to keep in touch for possible future cooperation in community development not only in Giao Xuan but also in other rural communities in Vietnam.After reporting the research results to the project staff and consultants in Hanoi, I made a trip to Giao Xuan to share the research results with the local community members. I invited a 101total of twenty six community members to the research results meeting. Among twenty six local people invited, twenty four of them were the community members whom I interviewed, one of them was a host family member who left Giao Xuan for a year to live in Hanoi with his son while I was conducting the fieldwork for this research study, and another one was the Director of Xuan Thuy National Park who played a role as a project consultant. A total of eighteen community members participated in the meeting. Later, I managed to meet individually with five  of the eight people who could not attend the meeting.In the meeting with community members whom I interviewed, I gave a presentation on the research results in Vietnamese and asked them if the research results reflected their views and experience in the CBET project and if they wanted to edit or add anything. In general, community members thought that the research results showed the key themes of their experience in participating in the CBET project and did not add anything new. Some community members wondered why I did not include local musical performers, dancers, and singers in the research study. I explained to them about the scope of my study which was to focus on the learning process of host families and local guides who had more direct experience in hosting and guiding visitors. Community members became more involved when we discussed the implications of the research results. One community member wanted to use the research findings in developing a training program for community members to improve their knowledge and skills in providing ecotourism services. Other community members pointed out the importance of the local community in taking the  initiative to find ways to promote CBET instead of solely being dependent on assistance from outside agencies. During the meeting, I noticed that only four individuals dominated the discussion including the director of Xuan Thuy National Park, the 102principal and vice principal of the local school, and the head of the CBET Cooperative. Thus, the day after the meeting, I visited the community members who were silent in the meeting individually to ask if they had any comments. Most people did not have much more to add. However, some people complained about how some aspects the CBET implementation in Giao Xuan were getting worse, such as the  poor long-term vision for future development by the Giao Xuan CBET Cooperative Management Board. In particular, I heard complaints about how local guides did not have many opportunities to guide visitors anymore because a few individuals from the host families just took over the guiding work. In addition to the presentation on the research results, posters of the research results were displayed at the Ecolife Cafe for any local people who were interested in the research results. I  asked the CBET Management Board members to inform local people about the poster and to talk to me if interested. However, during the two days I stayed at Giao Xuan, hardly anybody stopped by and asked about the posters.Even though the posters of the research results did not interest local people who did not participate in this research study, the research participants showed their great care about the research results and sincere appreciation toward my effort to come back and share the results with them. As the director of MCD said: “I greatly appreciate that you conducted the research in a very careful and thorough way.” To the project staff and consultants, the discussion about the research results brought them an opportunity to reflect again on their work in Giao Xuan and see what worked and what needed to improve. To Giao Xuan community members, it was an opportunity for them to be informed of what people studied about their community and their CBET project and to discuss what could be done to improve their CBET initiative. In the past,  103there were scientists, researchers, journalists who came to Giao Xuan to collect data but community members did not know in detail about the results of their data collection and did not know what they wrote about their community. As one community member said:Witnessing a great number of people who showed up at the meeting, I can tell how much you and your work are appreciated by local people. I am telling you, it is not very common for local people to show up at a meeting like this even with a meeting held by the local authority. So, I congratulate you. (Mr. Long)4.6 Chapter Summary This chapter introduced the research site, methodology, research steps, and the trustworthiness of the research study and associated ethical considerations. The study was conducted in the Giao Xuan commune, a rural community in northern Vietnam. I chose an interpretive case study approach to generate “thick, rich description” of data about the Giao Xuan CBET project (Merriam, 1998, p. 38). Data collection methods included interviews with MCD staff and community members of the Giao Xuan CBET project, document analysis of the key CBET project and other documents related to the Giao Xuan commune, and participant observation. Data analysis took place in a “constant-comparative” process (Merriam, 1998; Yin, 2003; Creswell, 2003). This chapter also highlighted critical ethical issues that I experienced while conducting fieldwork, such as my role as “indigenous-insider” and “indigenous-outsider” in the research project and the four important dimensions of ethics (procedural, situational,  relational, and exiting ethics) that help to ensure good research practices and better the trustworthiness of the research study. 104CHAPTER 5: LEARNING TO DEVELOP AND MANAGE THE CBET PROJECT “It's a process of learning, learning more, and learning forever.” (Mr. Long, a local host family) This chapter presents findings on: 1) What community members learned in non-formal and informal settings in order to develop and manage the CBET project in Giao Xuan; 2) How the learning processes took place; and 3) The outcomes of the learning processes. Community members experienced ample learning in the local capacity building program provided by MCD and from actually implementing the CBET project. The social context and curriculum content and pedagogies in some areas of the local capacity building program greatly affected community members' learning outcomes.The chapter includes three sections. In the first section, I describe different non-formal educational activities in the local capacity building program that provided community members  with fundamental knowledge and skills for developing and managing the CBET project in their commune. Through different workshops and training, the local capacity building program aimed to raise community members' awareness of CBET possibilities, provided community members with knowledge of CBET planning and management, and equipped community members with knowledge of and skills in providing ecotourism services as well as computer skills and English. In the second section, I capture the dynamic informal learning processes that community members experienced in their implementation of the CBET project. They learned on the job by leading and managing the CBET project and by providing ecotourism services. They also learned from exchanging knowledge and experience with other CBET colleagues. In the last section, I synthesize various outcomes resulting from community members’ 105learning processes including knowledge, skills, and values. Even though there was still room for improvement in some areas of knowledge and skills, in general, community members mastered fundamental ecotourism knowledge and skills in operating their ecotourism project. More importantly, they were able to transfer these knowledge and skills into useful tools that helped to enhance their ways of life. Community members also greatly valued the opportunity of participating in the CBET project. This opportunity helped them to increase their knowledge and boost their confidence in successfully implementing the CBET project and making changes in their community.5.1 Non-Formal Learning: Fundamental Knowledge and Skills for Doing CBET Community members engaged in a capacity building program provided by MCD to obtain knowledge and skills needed to develop and manage their CBET project. The capacity building program aimed to “strengthen the capacity of the community and other relevant bodies  to conserve the natural biodiversity and culture through developing an ecotourism model as a sustainable livelihood for the community.” (MCD, 2006e, p. 4). The capacity building program, which covers four main components with various activities, are summarized in Table 5.1 below (MCD, 2007b, p. 7).Table 5.1Components of the Capacity Building Program to Help Build a CBET Model in Giao XuanComponent ActivitiesSurvey and develop project plan Consultative meeting with expertsAssess ecotourism potentialProject concept and planning workshop106Component ActivitiesForm the project plan and conduct consultation with stakeholdersRaise awareness for community and stakeholdersDialogue on benefit of development of ecotourism for environmental conservation Workshops on gender issues and communication skills for conservation of wetlands and development of ecotourism Study tour of other successful community-based ecotourism sitesPlanning workshop on development of ecotourism Develop products Training providing for service skills (homestay, registration, cooking, tour guiding, traditional performance)Support infrastructure and tools (blankets, mosquito-nets, musical instruments, clothes)Building tourism information room in community learning centreMarket and promote ecotourism products Cooperate with Nam Dinh Department of Trade and Tourism and Xuan Thuy National Park Management Board to create regulations on ecotourism in the areaCreating CBET networkCooperate with development organizations involved in ecotourism to share experiencesConsult with tourism companies on creating ecotourism productsMarketing community-based ecotourism workshopConduct a pilot tour to introduce the model to tourism companies This section focuses on synthesizing fundamental knowledge and skills included in the capacity building program that helped community members develop and implement a CBET 107model in Giao Xuan: 1) Raising awareness of CBET possibilities; 2) CBET planning and management; 3) Skills and knowledge to provide ecotourism services; and 4) Computer skills and English. 5.1.1 Community Needs and Local Ecotourism Potential Assessment, an Inception Workshop and a Study Tour to Raise Awareness of CBET PossibilitiesWhen the CBET project was first initiated in Giao Xuan in 2006, CBET was still a very new concept in Vietnam. According to Ms. Lam, one of the CBET project's staff, when the plan of developing a CBET project in Giao Xuan was first shared with the local community, many community members expected a large financial investment. They thought that in order for them to develop a CBET project, they would receive enough money to build a nice resort in their commune. They were not aware that the nature of CBET was keeping what they had and providing visitors with an experience of rural life with unique natural resources in their commune. Therefore, the first and very fundamental step of developing a CBET project in Giao Xuan was to raise local people's awareness on the nature of CBET so that they could actively get involved in the development of the CBET project in their commune.  In 2006, MCD conducted a survey on the local potential resources on developing a CBET project in Giao Xuan. Approximately 30 community members participated in the dialogue and local survey with a group of MCD staff to assess the current social, cultural, environmental, and economic status and potential resources for developing a CBET project in Giao Xuan (MCD, 2007b). Community members were also asked about their expectation for the development of a CBET model in their commune as well as possible roles that they thought they might take on 108(e.g., host families, tour guides, leaders, transporters) if they joined the CBET project. This survey helped community members to obtain some general ideas of basic CBET services. Mr. Gia commented on the helpfulness of participating in the survey: At the beginning, we had no clue what we could/needed to do in order to run a CBET project. Things became clearer to me when we joined the survey on local potentials for developing CBET. They (MCD staff) pointed out and explained several categories of services in CBET such as tour guides, host families, transporters and musical performers. After that, we had a better idea of what it was that we needed to do and could do.  The CBET project's consultants and staff also saw that this assessment phase was helpful not only for them but also for local people. It helped the CBET project's consultants and staff to understand the local context and become aware of local needs. It also helped local people become more conscious of their local issues and potential resources to develop a CBET project in their commune.In the same year (2006), a CBET awareness inception workshop was provided to Giao Xuan community members and attracted forty four participants. The workshop participants were Giao Xuan community members, MCD staff, tourism experts, representatives of local government agencies including the Department of Trade and Tourism and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, and representatives of research institutions such as Vietnam National University and Maritime Anthropology Research Group of the University of Amsterdam (MCD, 2007b). Seven presentations were delivered in the workshop by MCD staff and consultants, representatives of Xuan Thuy National Park, tourism and sustainable development experts, and Giao Xuan community members. The presentations covered several main topics including: 1) General information on the Giao Xuan CBET project such as the project's objectives, target 109beneficiaries, proposed activities, implementing approaches, and expected outcomes; 2) Sustainable livelihoods, community development in the coastal wetlands areas, and the integration of gender issues in coastal resources management; 3) General concepts of ecotourism; 4) Giao Xuan socio-economic context and Xuan Thuy National Park development; and 5) Experience and lessons learned from the implementation of a CBET model in Cuc Phuong National Park (MCD, 2006f).After each main section of the workshop, discussion was facilitated by the CBET project's manager (MCD staff) and the director of Xuan Thuy National Park. The discussion focused on obtaining input from the workshop participants on the proposed Giao Xuan CBET project's objectives and activities and identified community members' views towards the formation of a CBET model in their commune. The workshop participants also discussed the role of community members and other stakeholders in the establishment and implementation of the CBET project. Questions and concerns were raised during the discussion section. For example, concern was raised over the need of evaluating possible negative impacts on local culture and environment. A call was made for consideration of the project's timing and funding, and the project's scope and expected outcomes. It was also pointed out that Xuan Thuy National Park was funded by different organizations for sustainable initiatives, and thus it was necessary to have coordination between the Giao Xuan CBET project activities and Xuan Thuy National Park's activities to avoid duplication (MCD, 2006f).The workshop ended with a study tour that took place at Xuan Thuy National Park. All the workshop participants had an opportunity to learn about the local coastal wetlands biodiversity and natural beauty. In addition to the study tour, the participants also met with local  110community members and participated in a traditional music show performed by Giao Xuan community members. (MCD, 2006f). The study tour at Xuan Thuy National Park and the meeting with community members helped the workshop participants see the potential for CBET model development in Giao Xuan. In this workshop, community members obtained basic knowledge of CBET and the possibility to develop CBET in Giao Xuan. The workshop obtained support of the project from local community members and authorities. It also initiated a plan and set up a network among different stakeholders for CBET development in Giao Xuan (MCD, 2007b).In addition to the inception workshop, to help local people obtain hands-on experience with a CBET project, a study tour to a successful CBET model in Ban Ho, Sa Pa, Lao Cai was conducted in July, 2006 for local CBET participants and local authorities (MCD, 2007b). In this visit to Ban Ho, the participants had the chance to observe how community members in Ban Ho implemented and managed their CBET project. The interviews with community members showed that they  found the study tour to Ban Ho very practical and helpful for them. Afterwards, they had a much clearer concept of what a CBET initiative was and how it was managed. They also pointed out what resources/services in Ban Ho were better than their own community and vice versa, and what they could learn from Ban Ho community in terms of CBET management. One of the study tour participants, Mr. Du, shared his thoughts: After joining tourist services in Ban Ho, Sapa and witnessing how local people in Ban Ho managed their CBET project, I found that they had very distinctive ethnic minority culture, but I also recognized that Giao Xuan could also attract visitors with many other unique resources. I noticed that they were very professional in the way they managed and organized their CBET project – which we should definitely learn from them. However, to me, they were not friendly and hospitable enough with visitors and I thought Giao Xuan people could do better in this sense.1115.1.2 CBET Planning and Management WorkshopTo assist the community members to obtain knowledge of CBET planning and management, a workshop on CBET planning and management was conducted in September, 2006, in Giao Xuan. Fifty representatives from the government, environmental conservationists, research institutes, and Giao Xuan community members attended this workshop. The workshop aimed to:1) Provide basic concepts, tools, and methodologies for CBET development planning; 2) Practice skills to assess and develop potential products of CBET and practice designing pilot tours; and 3) Discuss and analyze the role and responsibilities of stakeholders in CBET planning, development, and marketing (MCD, 2006e, p. 4).Three main sections were included in this workshop: 1) Conceptualization of CBET planning and management; 2) CBET product development; and 3) CBET marketing strategies. In the first section, two presentations were delivered in order to help the workshop participants understand the local context for developing CBET. The first presentation on the tourism development plan of Xuan Thuy National Park was given by the director of Xuan Thuy National Park. After that the CBET project's manager presented the main findings of the assessment on the overall status of Giao Xuan and its potential for CBET development. Following these two presentations, a tourism expert conducted a session on fundamental concepts of CBET and CBET planning and management (MCD, 2006e), including the development of international trends of sustainable tourism and key concepts of CBET such as definitions and objectives of CBET, ecotourism codes of conducts and guidelines, and CBET planning principles and components. The presentation also emphasized the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders in CBET planning and development such as community members, the local authority, donors, Xuan Thuy National Park, tourism agencies, and MCD. After the presentation, 112the CBET expert facilitated a discussion among the workshop participants to encourage them to raise questions or concerns for clarity (MCD, 2006e). The workshop also indicated potential benefits that CBET could bring to Giao Xuan if operated appropriately and possible environmental, social, cultural, and economic impacts of CBET on the local community. A discussion session on the planning and management of a successful CBET model in Sapa where community members previously had an opportunity to visit through a study tour was also facilitated (MCD, 2006e). Some community members recounted their experience in this discussion: We talked about what we liked about our trip and what we could learn from their model. Most of us agreed that things were so organized there. They seemed to know what they are doing. They have different methods of management from our project. Host families are more independent in terms of receiving visitors. Visitors can go to any host families that they like. In Giao Xuan, visitors are distributed by the Management Board of the CBET Cooperative. (Mr. Long)Safety issue as well. They can let their house door open the whole night and it is safe. That's very impressive. (Ms. Gia)In the second section on CBET product development, a tourism expert introduced key concepts and approaches of tourism products development. Examples of CBET tours with different activities were introduced, including: 1) Special tours (bird watching, local herbs as medicine, handicraft study tours, and humanitarian tourism); 2) Adventure tours (trekking, rowing boats, swimming and snorkeling/diving); 3) Rural village tours (staying with local host families, joining local daily activities); 4) Eco-agriculture tours (visiting plantations and fields, participating in local agricultural activities, learning local knowledge of agriculture); 5)  Waterway tours (staying overnight on local boats, enjoying traditional music); and 6) Cultural exchange and study tours (learning and exchange knowledge of cultures and traditional values) 113(MCD, 2006e).To help participants practice skills of developing potential CBET products, participants were divided into two groups and worked on designing activities for CBET tours that took place in Giao Xuan commune and Xuan Thuy National Park. In addition, participants also discussed which local products should be introduced and sold to visitors. After working in small groups, participants presented their group work for all participants. An experiment tour developed by participants was implemented the next day in Giao Xuan and Xuan Thuy National Park (MCD, 2006e). Community members found this activity was very practical and helpful. They obtained hands-on experience in developing a CBET product using what they learned in the workshop and their local knowledge.We know different possible spots in our commune that can attract visitors, but we needed to consider how to make the route convenient. For example, we had to think of the order of destinations to take visitors to, so we drew a map of different destinations and discussed with each other in order to connect destinations to make a complete tour. (Ms. Lan)After the workshop, a competition on the construction of Giao Xuan CBET tours was held among the community members who participated in the CBET project. Individuals participated in this competition had to design a tour and write their introduction to each destination in the tour  as well as activities included in the tour. The person who obtained the first prize in this competition is now working as a local guide. In the last section, on CBET marketing strategies, the workshop participants were introduced to basic knowledge of CBET products promotion. Key approaches to sell tourism products were introduced such as the direct marketing channel (from suppliers at the destination to tourists), partnership marketing channels (an intermediary that may be travel agencies), and 114through other promotional tools. Some examples of promotional tools included destination management organizations, travel agencies, tourist manuals, holiday fairs, online retailers, and mass media (MCD, 2006e). After the introduction of concepts of CBET marketing strategies, a presentation on practical experience in CBET product development and marketing was given by a representative of a Hanoi travel agency. A discussion on marketing strategies that are specifically appropriate and feasible to the context of Giao Xuan CBET development was facilitated among the workshop participants. The workshop both provided fundamental concepts of CBET planning and development to community members and fostered community members' participation in and contribution to the planning of the CBET project’s operation and management. Local people were encouraged to share their knowledge and voice their needs and expectations for how the CBET project should be operated. Explaining the effort of encouraging local people to actively participate in the development of the CBET initiative, Mr. Phuc, one of the CBET project's consultants, affirmed that the development of the CBET project must be rooted in Giao Xuan community's needs and visions. In order to make this happens, Mr. Nam, a staff of the CBET project, thought that local people needed to get involved in every single step of the CBET project development. In this phase of the project, a core CBET group with 25 members was formed. This core group was then upgraded as a legal entity - the Giao Xuan CBET Cooperative in 2010. The core group members also voted three members of the CBET Cooperative into the CBET Cooperative's Managing Board. The Managing Board was responsible for the general planning and management of CBET activities. Later, community members were also provided with some extra training on business development skills, leadership and management skills, and strategic 115planning skills.  5.1.3 Training in Skills and Knowledge to Provide Ecotourism ServicesFrom the end of 2006 through all of 2007, MCD focused on developing community members' knowledge and skills in providing ecotourism services. Again, at this phase, MCD made an effort to create space for community members to get involved in the process of deciding on the curriculum needed for training workshops. Before the workshops took place, community members had the chance to discuss with MCD staff and voice their needs and expectations for needed knowledge and skills. Even though space was created for community members to participate in constructing the curriculum of the training programs, some community members were not confident of their capacity and thought that MCD staff should be the ones who decided what they needed to learn. Mr. Kha articulated his assumption of local participants' capacity and roles in the decisions on the CBET workshops:I did not think that CBET local participants should request MCD to provide this or that training workshop. Our knowledge and vision were not good enough to decide such things. We just thought that the Project would know and provide us with training workshops that would help raise good awareness for local people.However, the majority of local people in Giao Xuan appeared to understand the opportunity to participate in the construction of curriculum for the training programs and were very active in voicing their needs. According to Ms. Kim, after setting up the plan to develop the CBET initiative with MCD, local people had meetings without MCD's participation to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Giao Xuan commune. They also identified the knowledge and skills that they lacked to implement the CBET initiative. After the meetings, the CBET core  group (local host families and guides) proposed their ideas to MCD. Ms. Kim described how 116local people and MCD collaboratively identified the knowledge and skills needed for hosting visitors: We knew that we could not host visitors right away without training. For example, to cook a regular meal for our family was simple and easy, but in order to cook a good meal for visitors we needed more cooking skills; we also needed to improve our communication skills in order to host visitors at our home. In general, MCD's objective was to successfully develop a CBET initiative in Giao Xuan, therefore, they (MCD's staff) provided us with some directions, listened to our proposal and needs, and developed the CBET initiative based on our community's requests. (Ms. Kim)The CBET skills training workshops took place in Giao Xuan and were attended by 50 local participants and lasted for a total of 14 days (MCD, 2007b). Community members learned new skills including: 1) Hosting; 2) Tour guiding; and 3) Professional techniques on traditional opera performance. Below is a summary of requirements and expected outcomes for skills and knowledge that local people obtained from the training workshops (MCD, 2007b):Table 5.2Skills and Knowledge for Providing Ecotourism ServicesCBET group Skills and knowledge Expected outcomesHost families Cooking and kitchen management Master basic knowledge and principles of kitchen organization; Hygiene in cooking, cooking techniques, nutrition and food safety.Hospitality and homestay preparation Master basic knowledge and skills on rearranging traditional house to be a homestay place and on hosting visitors. Basic English Be able to have basic conversations with visitors.Tour guides Communication and interpretation skillsArticulate and be able to provide information to visitors.Local knowledge Master local cultural, historical knowledge; local codes and principles.117CBET group Skills and knowledge Expected outcomesOrganizing skills Master basic steps of welcoming, guiding, and seeing off visitors.Problem-solving techniques Master basic skills to react to challenging situations and needs during tours.Musical performanceKnowledge on the historical and cultural significance of the traditional opera; professional techniques on Cheo opera performance Be able to perform traditional opera to visitors.All of the training workshops contained both conceptual and practical parts. After the workshops on skills and knowledge of CBET were finished, a pilot tour, Hanoi – Giao Xuan (2 days and 1 night) was implemented with the participation of representatives of 21 tourism companies. In this pilot tour,  the CBET core group members had a chance to apply what they had learned and received on-site feedback from the participants in the tour for the development of actual tours in Giao Xuan later. Community members found that the training was helpful and provided them with basic knowledge and skills that they needed to provide ecotourism services. However, in order to apply such new knowledge and skills in hosting visitors in their commune, community members' ways of life required adaptation and change (as described in section 5.2 of this chapter).5.1.4 Computer Skills and English Training  A workshop on computer skills was provided to community members. The workshop provided a brief introduction to the Internet, how to get access to Internet, and how to set up an email account (MCD, 2006b). In general, all of the community members claimed that the 118workshop was too brief. In addition, since computer skills and the Internet were completely new to them, they were not be able to master knowledge and apply what they had learned in the workshop. A few community members were greatly determined to master computer skills, and thus were very dedicated and creative in mastering this new area of skills.Some community members reached out for different learning resources including both learning in the workshop and learning from other people. For example, Ms. Kim joined the CBET project as part of a host family and one of the members of the managing board of the Giao Xuan CBET Cooperative. She was appointed as a chief liaison between the local community and MCD. Her position required computer skills for composing documents (e.g., reports, meetings minutes) and communicating with MCD staff via email. She was provided with an old computer by MCD to support her job. Ms. Kim attended a training workshop on computer skills and using the Internet provided by MCD. However, the workshop lasted only a few days and was too short to help her master all the computer skills necessary for her job. Because of her job's requirement, Ms. Kim kept herself motivated and tried her best to learn more after the workshop finished. She asked for help from anyone who was better at computer skills than she, including MCD staff, visitors or even school students in the commune. Ms. Kim was also very creative and dedicated in learning this new skill. She recalled that at the beginning it took her a very long time to compose a Word document. She was very frustrated but did not give up. She discovered a way that helped her to become faster at typing. Instead of typing handwritten documents related to the CBET project, she decided to practice typing her favourite poems and songs. This task did not take much time because she already knew all the words by heart. Ms. Kim also found it fun and more enjoyable than using 119administrative documents to practice her typing. Once she was more familiar with typing she drilled herself daily until she became adept at it. At last, she was successful in mastering word processing and spreadsheet skills. She then put her computer skills into practice by using them daily in her administrative job, which in turn helped her improve her new skill. According to Ms. Kim, a key to her success was motivation to learn, finding an effective way of learning, and the opportunity to practice what she had learned.  English was another new area of knowledge for many community members. With the cooperation between MCD and volunteers, English training was provided to community members by English speaking volunteers. Many English classes were offered to both people who participated in the CBET project and people who did not. Similar to learning computer skills,  community members faced many challenges in learning English. However, many of them were very hard-working and self-directed in learning. They employed a wide variety of learning resources and techniques in the process of learning English and found ways of learning that seemed the most appropriate and effective to them.Some community members claimed that inappropriate teaching methods and curriculum content  prevented them from learning English. They found that what they learned from English classes was not practical. In addition, they did not have many opportunities to practice and as a result, eventually gave up. Ms. Tam provided reasons why she dropped out of an English class:The class (English class) would be appropriate for school students. Lessons were taught systematically from very basic knowledge. We learned from a, b, c. We learned how to count in English. But visitors who came to my house did not ask about such things. They asked about my family's livelihood activities, about my work in the rice field, and if I  farmed fish in my pond... In addition, other community members pointed out that the organization of a class with 120mixed learners of different ages was a barrier for them to learn. The class was offered to all community members, so anyone could join. CBET participants complained that secondary school students sometimes were too noisy in the class and it affected their concentration. Moreover, since the secondary school students had had a chance to learn English in school, they already knew much more than CBET participants. Thus, it made the learning atmosphere uncomfortable for older community members. Local tour guides Mr. Du and Ms. Nga were hoping that there would be another English class only for community members who participated in the CBET project. According to them it would be a much more effective way for them to learn.  Even though there were many barriers that prevented community members from learning English, some of them still had a strong motivation to keep trying. Community members learned in English classes taught by volunteers, they asked tour-guides from tourism agencies to teach them English whenever they had the opportunity, and they also learned from visitors. Community members employed various effective learning techniques that helped them to learn English and have conversations with visitors. These techniques were: creating their own English-Vietnamese bilingual notebooks, practicing English with visitors, learning English visually through pictures and their own signs, and using body language to have conversations with foreign visitors.Mr. Long and his wife (Ms. Thi) saw the advantage of knowing how to communicate even in very simple conversations with visitors. Mr. Long described language as a “bridge” in the relationship between visitors and host families. He explained, “If we can speak even just a bit of the visitors' language, they will have a good impression of us and will be likely to enjoy their 121stay more.” Mr. Long and Ms. Thi had a small notebook in which they wrote down words and phrases for everyday conversation in English. They also had a notebook for learning Japanese because there were many Japanese visitors who came to Giao Xuan. Some other community members (e.g. Ms. Ly and Ms. Nga) also created their own bilingual notebooks with basic conversations in English and Vietnamese and used them when asking visitors about basic needs. Mr. Long and Ms. Thi reached out for every opportunity to learn English. They attended evening English classes offered in the commune by volunteers. Whenever there was an outside tour guide who took foreign visitors to the commune, they asked for help with teaching them basic conversations in English. They then tried to practice when hosting visitors at their houses. Mr. Long mentioned that his age (66 years old) was a barrier for him to learn a new language, but his key to success was finding a comfortable way to learn. Mr. Long found that visual learning was one of the most effective ways for him to learn English. He labelled things in English, learned new vocabulary through pictures, and wrote words in Vietnamese phonetics to approximate the English pronunciation. For example he wrote “bét rum” close to the bedroom area or “kít chừng” on the wall of the kitchen or “bát rum” in “an unnoticeable place” in the bathroom so that he could see them but visitors may not notice it. Mr. Long accepted that he forgot things quite quickly but he also emphasized that “if we have a good incentive and motivation and keep trying to do something, we can do it.”Mr. Long's incentive to learn English was not only for hosting and communicating with visitors, but was also for being “a role model” for his colleagues in the CBET cooperative and for his grandchildren to learn. Many foreign volunteers came to Giao Xuan and taught English to community members. Mr. Long's grandchildren also participated in English classes offered by 122volunteers in Giao Xuan Community Centre. Therefore, he thought that his continuous effort to learn would encourage his colleagues and set a good example for his children and grandchildren. For most community members, it was still almost impossible for them to have conversations in English with visitors without the assistance of an interpreter. However, they always tried their best to find a way to communicate with visitors. Body language was used very frequently by community members to communicate: Even though I cannot communicate with visitors in English, I have still found another way to communicate with them. Even without words, you can still express your care and hospitality to visitors with your actions. It is just more challenging for me when I can't communicate with visitors in their language, but it doesn't mean that it is impossible. (Ms. Tam)For many community members, learning visitors' language was not simply for the purpose of communicating with visitors, but was a way of building relationship with visitors, and making them feel at ease in host families' houses. Many community members took meal times as a chance to learn visitors' language: During the meal time I would pick up a piece of cucumber and talk to visitor: It is “dưa chuột” in Vietnamese, what is it in English? Or show them a banana and ask: Is it a banana? (Ms. Kim)I tried to ask about different kinds of foods in English when I shared meals with visitors. Many visitors also wanted to learn Vietnamese and I taught them. They often did not say the tone correctly, so I helped them to correct it and it was fun. (Ms. Nga)Even though community members faced challenges in learning new knowledge and skills, they had their own goals and motivations to keep trying to learn. Community members actively searched and reached out for various sources of assistance in order to learn and practice the new skills and knowledge that they acquired in the capacity building program. I recorded similar observations on how local people reached out for various forms of assistance in order to 123improve their computer and English skills. While I was conducting my field work, I was asked by local people to show them how to set up an email account or quite often I was asked to teach English vocabulary for different kinds of food and basic conversation. Community members agreed that the capacity building program provided them with a good foundation for CBET; however, how they learned the most was through their actual hosting practices in the CBET project. The next section focuses on how community members learned from doing their ecotourism jobs.5.2 Informal LearningThe learning processes took place not only in the local capacity building program but also through the implementation of the CBET project. This section describes the learning processes of community members including learning on the job and learning through exchanging knowledge and experience with other CBET colleagues.  5.2.1 Learning Leadership, Hosting and Guiding on the JobLearning on the job was an important learning process that gave community members an opportunity to obtain hands-on experience. The process of implementing ecotourism jobs provided local CBET Cooperative's leaders, host families and tour guides an incentive to learn more and become more knowledgeable and experienced in doing CBET. As this experience accumulated, it helped them to better fulfill their ecotourism jobs. 1245.2.1.1 Leadership Leaders of the CBET Cooperative played a critical role in the development of the Giao Xuan CBET initiative. The CBET Cooperative's management board was responsible for managing general activities in the Cooperative, distributing visitors to host families, assigning tour guides to eco-tours, planning the CBET development, and collaborating with outside tourism agencies on behalf of the CBET participants. According to managing board members, leading a group of community members to develop a new livelihood was not an easy task. As Mr. Kha - one of the CBET Cooperative's management board members commented, “learning to be a leader is an ongoing learning process.” Board members shared their learning processes as leaders and challenges that they faced in their positions, and also showed how they handled difficulties when leading the Giao Xuan CBET Cooperative. The management board members brought different life experiences to their work as leaders in CBET. Ms. Kim used to work as head of the Giao Xuan Women's Association. Even though the nature of her job in the Giao Xuan CBET Cooperative was different from her former position, she found that her previous working experience helped her with her role in CBET. For example, working as head of the local Women's Association required good  promoting skills for gender equality in the commune. This experience helped her with promoting  local environmental conservation and the advantages of developing CBET as a sustainable livelihood. Even though Ms. Kim had experience working as a leader, she claimed that being a leader in the CBET Cooperative had its own challenges. She had to make sure fairness was ensured among all the participants – which was sometimes impossible. She gave the example of distributing visitors to host families. Visitors often times wanted to live in the centre of the 125commune. As a result, host families located far from the commune centre often had fewer visitors. This made the equal distribution of visitors to host families very difficult. Ms. Kim also needed to negotiate with outside tourism agencies regarding the distribution of profits, of which she had no previous experience. Ms. Kim discussed the challenges that she faced while she was working as a leader of the Giao Xuan CBET Cooperative:  It is difficult. CBET has a direct financial impact on people, so it is more complicated.  You need to ensure the fairness among all the CBET participants, and sometimes it is impossible. It is not because of you as a leader, but because of other objective reasons. However, the most important thing when work as a leader is you need assistance and support from other community members.  Mr. Kha, who previously did not have leadership experience, believed that at present he is on track in terms of leading the CBET Cooperative, but he admitted to making many mistakes at  the beginning. However, he was not discouraged by such mistakes and learned much from them. For example, when Mr. Kha was first voted in as a leader of the CBET Cooperative, he wanted to prove to local people that he could perform well. So, immediately, he decided to make some changes to try to improve ecotourism services. He expanded the number of host families in order to meet the demand of an increase in visitors. However, his decision was strongly opposed by those host families who had participated in the CBET project since its inception. The number of visitors coming to the village was inconsistent. Increasing the number of host families also meant that the current host families would host fewer visitors. His decision directly affected the income of the original CBET participants. Mr. Kha admitted: It was a mistake and I recognized that as a leader, I need to listen to other community members, understand them, and see them as my left hand so that they can trust and support me. Unity among participants is the most essential thing for the success of the communal work.Mr. Kha constantly related his life experiences (when he worked away from his village) 126to what he is currently doing as a leader. He considered his experience in dealing with life's difficulties and challenges during his youth as a good foundation for himself for cases where “no books can teach you.” Mr. Kha greatly valued what he learned from his former boss in a private beer company and saw his boss as a role model: I admire the way he (my boss) lives. He earned money from his hard work and effort. He has a similar family background to mine. He was born and raised in a very poor family. He became a successful man from his “empty hands.” But the most important thing is even when he is already very successful and rich, he treats his employees with fairness and kindness. I often reflect on what he did and apply it to my own job as a leader in the CBET Cooperative. (Mr. Kha)Mr. Kha treasured the skills and knowledge that he obtained from participating in the CBET project. Conflicts among community members taught him to listen to other people's views, find solutions in the root causes of problems, and think thoroughly before making any decisions. From study tours to other provinces, he learned about the failures of other CBET projects. He also opened his mind to new viewpoints and ideas from visitors. Visitors to the village often went to Mr. Kha’s Ecolife cafe located at his house. Mr. Kha shared how he valued the opportunity to meet with visitors and learn from them: I like talking to visitors. I learned a lot from them. I shared with them about my life and they shared theirs with me. Many educated, successful people came here and we could learn from them. Poor countryside people like me did not have a lot of opportunities to approach new things, so it is a unique opportunity. Knowing their success could be a great motivation for people like me to keep trying until we achieve our goal in life.Mr. Kha's morning routine is to wake up very early when all his family members are still asleep, make a cup of coffee, relax, and think. He calls this time of day “his own time and space” where he can reflect on what he has done and plan on things to do in the future.Linh: So, what do you usually do during this time?Mr. Kha: Think about what I have done, what mistakes I have made, what should I do differently and better....127Linh: You mean, think about general things?Mr. Kha: General things, but mostly about the CBET stuff. You know, doing CBET is the main work in my life now. Linh: So, what did you learn from your “own” time?Mr. Kha: Among all the things that I have done with CBET, I might have done well, I might have made mistakes, but I learned lessons from such mistakes, avoided those mistakes and applied what I thought is good to the work that I am doing. Reflecting on experience and coping with mistakes and challenges seemed to be critical to Mr. Kha's learning process as a leader. He kept telling me how he has changed from making mistakes since he worked as a leader of the CBET project. For example, he used to react immediately if any local people disagreed with him. But gradually, he learned how to control  himself, step back, and try to understand other people's reactions first before responding to them. He also emphasized the importance of embracing mistakes and failure because “if everything is  good, everything runs smoothly, then you cannot see the bad parts and difficulties.” HostingWhen hosting visitors in their community, community members' ways of life required adaptation and change. One of the changes required of community members in hosting visitors was learning to adapt to a new living situation with the presence of visitors in the house. Local houses were not traditionally designed to accommodate guests. A traditional house often includes a large main room which is used as a living area and sleeping area. There are no private bedrooms in the house, and people sleep in an open space in the living area. There is often enough space for three double-size beds in each house. Community members did not often have guests stay overnight because most of their relatives or friends lived either in the same commune or in nearby communes. Therefore, they were not familiar with guests staying at their house. 128Figure 5.1A Local Traditional HouseFigure 5.2Inside Layout of a Local Traditional House with an Open Space and No Private Bedrooms129Ms. Nga's husband worked at sea and only occasionally returned home. Her daughter studied in Hanoi. Therefore, most of the time only Ms. Nga and her son stayed at home. However, when visitors came at the same time as when her husband and her daughter were home, they sometimes had to move to a small storage room next to their kitchen and leave the main room for ecotourism visitors to sleep:  It is quite a change...Sometimes it could be really crowded (laugh), but you learn to adapt to it. I wish that I could have enough money to build an extra living area for hosting only visitors, separately from our family's living area. (Ms. Nga) Our main livelihood is still wet rice cultivation, so often times we need to get up very early in the morning to work in the rice field. However, because we share our house with visitors, sometimes our routine could be off. We might have to stay up late because visitors often stay up very late, but still need to get up early the next day. It could be quite tiring, but you need to get used to it. (Mr. Long)Community members sometimes had to be flexible regarding keeping their customs while hosting visitors. According to local customs (mostly in Buddhist families), if a strange couple sleeps in a local house, they are believed to bring bad luck to the host family. However, once community members joined the CBET project, they needed to be more open and flexible to this norm and also be comfortable letting couples sleep in their house. Some community members adapted to this new change, but some were not very comfortable about it even though they still  hosted such visitors in their homes. Several years ago, Ms. Kim hosted a British couple in her house. They had come to Vietnam for their honeymoon and stayed at Giao Xuan to teach English for local people for a few months. Ms. Kim asked, “How could you let a couple who came here for their honeymoon sleep separately? It is unreasonable.” According to Ms. Kim, “Once you provide services to visitors, you need to be flexible and comfortable with certain changes.” Likewise, some host 130families even created a more private space by hanging a big curtain in front of one of the beds in their house and saved this particular bed for couples.Figure 5.3A Bed with a Curtain to Create a More Private Space for VisitorsIn some cases, community members needed to learn to accept visitors' “unfamiliar” behaviours or habits. Some community members were concerned over the affectionate expression between male and female visitors in public. Ms. Lan commented on this issue:Foreign visitors seem to be very comfortable in expressing their affection in public. Sometimes they kissed and hugged each other in front of other people. We don't do it here. At the beginning, we were concerned and worried that our children may learn such 131things, but we also need to respect them because they are guests and have their own culture. Ms. Kim also recounted her similar experience. She told a story of a group of foreign female young visitors who showered in the rain in their underwear in her front yard. She spoke of this event:All of them were just in their underwear, ran to the yard, and showered in the rain. They laughed and screamed excitedly. It was unfamiliar behaviour to us. I told the guide who was also the translator of the group to tell them that they might get a cold if they showered in the rain for a long time. I needed to say it in a subtle way because they are guests. But, in fact, I was worried that if other people in the commune happened to see them in that situation, they might find it weird. Learning to adopt new household hygiene practices and provide amenities was another part of community members' learning to change. Before the CBET project started, not a single host family had a flush toilet. Only a few families had pit squatting style toilets with shallow holes in the ground. The lack of toilets in the commune was explained by community members as due to poor living conditions in the past, poor hygiene awareness in rural areas, and human and animal excrement used as a source of fertilizer. According to community members, the pit  squatting toilets that they had before were very dirty and produced really bad odours. Even then there were few families that had money to build a pit squatting toilet. Since joining the CBET project, some families have had a chance to renovate their house and install flush toilets.  Switching from using squat toilets to flush toilets was a big change for many community members. Some community members noted that it took them a while to get used to using flush toilets. At the beginning, some very old people did not like the seated posture on these toilets,  and as a result they sometimes still urinated and defecated outdoors. However, after becoming acquainted with flush toilets, community members saw the benefits of using them and embraced 132the change. Many community members commented that they found it more convenient, cleaner,  and safer healthwise to use flush toilets.Community members also learned to keep their living environment clean so that they could host visitors in their houses. Every household needed to have garbage bins. Community members had to sweep their houses often and keep household utensils organized. They also needed to make sure that there were no insects (e.g., cockroaches) in their houses and to clean up hairs in their bathrooms, as evident in the following quotes: I used to sweep the floor once a week only. However, since I hosted visitors at my house, I sweep it more often. When you host visitors at your house, you need to keep things clean. (Ms. Tam) If it’s just my family, it’s not that important to keep our ceiling clean from spider webs all  the time. But since we hosted visitors at our house, we needed to pay attention to such details around the house. We have gotten used to such things (spider webs on the ceiling) and find  them okay, but many visitors don't like them . Generally, things need to be clean and tidy. (Ms. Kim) We need to pay more attention to many things in terms of keeping our house clean and organized. In the past, we did not have the habit of keeping household utensils organized, but now we do. For example, where to put the cooking knives after using them. Or if visitors ask for something like a pair of slippers, you need to know right away where they are. (Mr. Long)When I was staying at local host family houses, I noticed that even though their living conditions were still poor, host families tried to keep things in their houses organized, clean, and tidy. It was more noticeable when comparing houses of local people who participated in the CBET project and houses of those who did not participate in the CBET project.Community members also recounted how they needed to pay more attention to their personal hygiene when hosting visitors. According to some community members, because of their hard lives they did not in the past pay much attention to the clothes that they were wearing. 133However, now they at least needed to put on clean and untorn clothes when hosting visitors. Ms. Thi affirmed: “Hair and clothes need to be neat. Even small things like fingernails need to be cut  and kept clean.”Hygiene and food safety was another aspect that community members needed to learn about and change. Community members had to pay attention to the freshness of food that they served visitors. They also had to be aware of many new hygiene requirements such as using food preparation gloves when mixing certain foods (e.g., salad), soaking vegetables and fruits in salt water, covering food with plastic wrap, and cleaning the kitchen every time after cooking. These hygiene practices were new to many community members; before the CBET project, they hardly did such practices. Community members found these practices were time-consuming but necessary: Even though it might be tedious to keep up with all these hygiene practices, we needed to follow them for the sake of visitors' safety. We even need to be extra careful in preparing food for visitors, even more than for our own family, because if anything happens to them, it is our responsibility. (Mr. Long)    If you want visitors to be happy and come back, their safety is the critical thing. You don't want visitors to have stomach illnesses because of the food you serve them. So even though you did not do such hygiene practices before, now you need to follow them. (Ms. Nga)  Local host families had many opportunities to interact with visitors, but it was hosting visitors at their houses that brought them the most practical experience and knowledge. Community members asserted, for example, that cooking class provided them with basic cooking skills and knowledge on new dishes. However, making a decision on what dishes to cook for visitors was an experiential learning process facilitated by actually hosting visitors. Often times, community members asked visitors for their feedback on the food that they served. From visitors' 134feedback, community members tried to adjust and improve their cooking skills. However, community members also noticed that:  Sometimes visitors do not tell you directly what they think about food that we serve them (especially something that they don't like), but we need to observe and sense it. If you cook something and they eat a lot, it means that they like it. If they don't eat much, we need to find the way to adjust it or change to other dishes. Cooking our traditional Vietnamese dishes (is fine,) but we need to know some particular things that Western visitors don't like to eat like fatty meat or meaty bones. Such things can only be learned through hosting visitors. (Ms. Kim) Ms. Nga echoed this experience:The actual hosting experience taught me how to cook and what to cook for different groups of visitors. It is easier to host Vietnamese visitors because at least we shared similar tastes. It took me a while to figure out what kind of food Western visitors like. From my experience, they don't like fatty meat, but they do like deep fried dishes.Part of community members' learning process was learning to make their own judgements on what knowledge was important for the implementation of CBET. Because food is an important aspect of hosting visitors, community members seized every opportunity to learn more about cooking, practicing what they learned from cooking classes, watching shows on television, questioning visitors, and reading all the cookbooks they could get their hands on. They needed to decide what foods would be the most appropriate to serve visitors considering particular groups of visitors' taste (Western or Vietnamese) as well as the community members' budget, and availability of time and local ingredients. Community members commented that they were taught to prepare many fancy dishes and ways to display food in cooking classes. However, Ms. Nga noted that community members' simple eating habits as well as time constraints and limited budget made it difficult for them to keep up with new dishes, new ways of displaying food, and restaurant-style table setting for guests. But more importantly, their experience from hosting visitors taught them that most visitors seemed to enjoy the traditional local food. Mr. Kha 135shared the reason why he often chose local dishes to serve visitors instead of dishes that he learned from cooking classes: Visitors often come from urban areas. They have already eaten all kinds of fancy dishes in cities. If you try to cook the same fancy dishes for them, it would be nothing special, even boring. We try to keep our local dishes and introduce them to visitors as a way of introducing our local culture. In fact, many of them (visitors) liked local food. Ms. San sometimes tried new recipes that she obtained from the Internet. However, she found that not all such recipes turned out well. She relied on her own sense of taste to determine which recipes to serve to visitors. Mr. Long also shared a similar experience:We have our own recipe for roasted chickens. From cooking classes or on TV we learned other ways to roast chickens, and visitors from different countries shared their own ways of doing it. So, we need to 'filter' the information and ways of cooking and choose the best way to do it. It takes time to try out different ways and choose the best one. In addition to cooking classes, the local capacity building program provided community members with technical knowledge on accommodating visitors such as how to prepare bedrooms, bathrooms, table services skills, and basic conversations with visitors. Even though such technical knowledge was very important to community members, they faced many challenges in hosting visitors from different cultures. Community members' concrete experiences with hosting visitors helped them obtain more understanding of visitors' cultures and customs. As a result, they found more appropriate ways of interacting with visitors and hosting visitors in their houses. There are certain aspects about visitors' customs and lifestyles that community members also learned as a result of observing visitors' attitude during homestays. For example, some community members mentioned that they were used to taking food from serving dishes and putting it directly into visitors' bowls instead of letting visitors serve themselves. According to 136local custom, serving food to visitors in this way shows hospitality. However, community members learned that visitors, especially Western visitors, often did not seem to be comfortable about this. Therefore, community members stopped serving food to visitors and let them serve food for themselves: Visitors' eating manners and cultures may be different. Also, there are certain local dishes that we think are delicious, but visitors may not like them. So, sometimes we tried to show our hospitality but it turned out to be impolite. All of these things we need to pay attention to and draw out some lessons from our experience in hosting visitors. (Mr. Gia) Cultural misunderstandings between host families and visitors also became lessons for community members to learn more about other cultures and lifestyles. Ms. Nga, Mr. Gia, and Ms. Thanh shared stories of being misunderstood by visitors. Ms. Nga is a neat type of person and often tries to keep her house clean and tidy. She mentioned that if her kids did not put their dirty clothes in the right place, she would clean them up. When she started hosting visitors at her home, she tried to do the same thing with visitors. She remembered that one time a group of foreign visitors stayed at her house and they left their dirty clothes all over the floor. Ms. Nga picked them up and put them in a pile. However, later on she was informed by a translator of the group that the visitors were not happy about this. Ms. Nga was told she was being disrespectful of visitors' privacy. Since then she never touched anything that belonged to visitors even if they made a mess in her house. She only cleaned up after visitors had already left. Ms. Nga said: “It was kind of bothering me at the beginning because of the mess that visitors made, but then I got used to it and just learned to accept it.”  Echoing this experience, Mr. Gia and his wife (Ms. Thanh) also pointed out that they learned the difference in interpreting the same behaviour between local host families and visitors (especially foreign visitors). He explained that sometimes their care and concern for visitors was 137not appreciated but was instead considered disturbing or disrespectful of visitors' privacy. They recalled a time when a group of visitors held some kind of religious ceremony in their house, and Mr. Gia noticed that one of the visitors in the group sat on the floor to write something. Mr. Gia picked up a stool and gave it to the visitor because he thought that it might hurt her back to sit in that position. However, the visitor did not seem to be happy about it and shooed him away. In retrospect, Mr. Gia and his wife realized that a religious ceremony was something very holy to the people involved. Therefore, the visitor shooed him away because she misunderstood Mr. Gia's intention. Visitors might have felt uncomfortable because they thought that their privacy was not respected and they needed their own space. Mr. Gia thought that his actions might have been at an inappropriate time or context. After this incident, Mr. Gia and his wife reminded each other of being more careful when making a stop at visitors' rooms. GuidingNot only did host families found it very productive and useful to learn from actually hosting visitors, local guides also learned tremendously from the practical experience of tour guiding. The learning process of local guides was multifaceted in its nature. Even though their learning was mostly informal and incidental, resulting from their activities related to their  guiding jobs, some of them did have a more purposeful and self-directed plan for learning new knowledge. They systematically took notes on visitors' questions and reached out for local wisdom and other sources of knowledge. Local guides received a number of questions from visitors related to different aspects of their local community. Even though all current local guides have a rich knowledge of their  138commune, sometimes they still could not immediately answer all visitors' questions. Local guides took unexpected questions from visitors as an incentive for them to improve their knowledge and learn more about their commune. They looked for different resources to enrich their knowledge including colleagues, elders, relatives, and other members in the commune. In a conversation with me, Ms. Ha discussed her ways of enriching her knowledge:Linh: What kind of questions from visitors did you not have the answers for?Ms. Ha: It varies...some questions about a certain livelihood activities that I am not familiar with or questions about churches, you know...I am not Christian, so...Linh: How did you find out about the answers for such questions?Ms. Ha: It depends. I often take notes of questions that I do not have answers and after the tour, I would ask around for help. Linh: Ask around? Such as...?Ms. Ha: For example, if questions pertained to a particular livelihood activity, I asked local members who do such a livelihood activity and know about it. If questions were related to local history I would ask the Elders in my commune. Linh: How about questions related to churches?Ms. Ha: I just went to churches again after the tour and asked the priests. They are nice and want to share their knowledge. Linh: So are there any other resources that you learned from?Ms. Ha: Yes, I tried to take any chance I could to learn more about my community and improve my knowledge in general. I watched the knowledge channel on TV, I read magazines and newspapers, I learned from other tour guides in other provinces when we went on study tours as well. In general, every single chance that I had I would take and learn about something. They all became helpful for my job as a local guide.  When I was doing my fieldwork in Giao Xuan, Ms. Ha took me to many different Elders' houses. She also took me to hear many different stories from the caretakers of various temples in the village. From those trips we both learned about the history of those temples and their connection to the local community. Talking to Ms. Ha, I found she had a real thirst for knowledge. However, her habit of searching for information about her village's traditions and culture is no longer just for the sake of her own interest; it has now become more purposeful and is tied to her current job as a local guide.139Learning on the job was a critical learning process which created an opportunity for community members to apply the skills and knowledge that they learned from the community capacity building program to their actual jobs. More importantly, from implementing their  ecotourism jobs, community members obtained a deeper understanding of the knowledge areas that they had learned in the capacity building program as well as learning new knowledge and skills that could help them to enrich their experience in doing CBET. Next I describe another process of learning that community members also greatly valued: learning from sharing and exchanging knowledge and experience with other CBET colleagues both within and outside the Giao Xuan community. 5.2.2 Learning from Exchanging Knowledge and Experience with ColleaguesEven though local CBET leaders, host families, and tour guides learned a lot individually on their jobs, they understood that in order to successfully manage and develop the CBET initiative in their local community, they needed to work together. Unless there were some issues that needed to be discussed immediately in an ad-hoc meeting, community members had regular  meetings every three months. In these meetings, community members assessed all ecotourism activities in the past three months. They also exchanged feedback about their job experiences.  For example, tour guides talked with their colleagues about unexpected problems on their tours and how they solved these problems. They also consulted each other about visitors' questions raised during the tours: Visitors often ask many questions and if I cannot answer certain questions, I'll bring those questions to the meetings with other tour guides and together we try to find out the best answers for those questions. (Mr. Du) 140Host families likewise shared their experiences in hosting visitors at each household - what kind of food visitors liked, what sorts of things made visitors happy or unhappy. They shared feedback from visitors and reminded each other of things that they needed to avoid when hosting visitors: If I noticed that there were certain dishes that visitors who stayed with me really enjoyed then I would share this with the rest of the host families so that they could cook for future visitors…or anything that visitors didn't like I would also share with them. (Ms. Tam)Community members were aware that if one host family did not do a good job hosting visitors, then it might influence the entire CBET business. Some community members thought CBET was more than just simply providing ecotourism services but it was the way to present their local and national identity to outsiders. Thus, during meetings, they were sure to remind each other of the collective responsibility for maintaining their shared principles and goals in hosting visitors:  We host visitors from different countries. We are representatives not only of Giao Xuan, but we are the face of Vietnam. So, we try to remind each other about this. We not only have to exchange experiences in hosting visitors and ways of making them comfortable and happy, but we also remind each other of protecting visitors' belongings to avoid loss. If visitors' belongings are lost, what would they think of us? We need to keep our reputation. It is about trust between visitors and host families and we need this trust. (Ms. Tam)In addition to exchanging knowledge and experience with local CBET colleagues, Giao Xuan community members also had opportunities to learn from other communities on how to manage a CBET initiative. Community members joined study tours to Ban Ho and Thai Binh – two other CBET sites in the North. Before each study tour, community members had a meeting with MCD staff to discuss specific goals and activities for their visit. In their study tours to other CBET sites, Giao Xuan community members stayed as 141visitors and used all ecotourism services provided. Thus, they could observe firsthand how community members in other CBET sites operated their CBET initiatives. Moreover, they had official “experience exchange” meetings with local people at the Ban Ho and Thai Binh CBET sites during their study tours. Through these meetings, Giao Xuan community members talked to, shared experience with, and learned informally from local people's experience in other CBET sites. Importantly, after each visit, community members organized meetings and shared their  experience and thoughts with other CBET members. For example, after the study tour in Ban Ho, some of the Giao Xuan CBET core group members liked the household-based management approach in Ban Ho. This approach allowed visitors to choose any host families that they wanted to stay with during their trip. Meanwhile, the current management approach in Giao Xuan was to have the Management Board assign visitors to a host family, which some host families thought was unfair. Meetings were then held among the CBET core group members after the study tour in Ban Ho to discuss about the management approaches in Giao Xuan and Ban Ho. Some members wanted to replace the current management approach in Giao Xuan with the one in Ban Ho. However, after discussion, a majority of the CBET core group agreed that CBET in Giao Xuan was still at its early stage of development and the number of visitors coming to Giao Xuan was still very limited, thus the current management approach would be more appropriate. Even though it is unclear which management plan would work better for the CBET initiative in Giao Xuan, community members showed that the learning experiences in study tours could help them learn from other people's experiences. This also showed that community members practiced democracy by voicing their perspectives and proposing a new practice that 142they thought would work better. In addition, even if community members held opposing viewpoints on the CBET initiative and its management, the process of sharing still helped them learn collectively. They learned to listen to other people, and negotiate and compromise with each other about the best solution for their current conditions. Giao Xuan community members also shared their knowledge of and experience in initiating a CBET project in local and national workshops on the development of CBET. For example, representatives of the CBET core group participated in the Coastal Community Ecotourism Introduction workshop in Hanoi. In this workshop, three model ecotourism tours from the Giao Xuan CBET project were introduced. Representatives of the CBET core group had a chance to discuss these three ecotourism tours and receive feedback from representatives of Hanoi based tourism companies and experts in CBET field. People from other CBET sites both in the North and South also visited Giao Xuan commune, learned about the CBET model in Giao Xuan, and provided feedback to Giao Xuan community members. This provided a chance to exchange experiences in managing the CBET project, and helped community members boost their confidence in conducting CBET. Many community members expressed their pride in this:Before CBET started, who would have ever thought that people from other places would come here and even would come here to learn from our experience. Some of them came from close-by communities, some others were from far away in the South. It made us feel so proud. (Ms. Nga)  Participating in the Giao Xuan CBET project, community members experienced various processes of learning. The processes of learning to develop and manage the CBET project is best described as planned, incidental, participatory, experiential, and social learning. In what follows, I present the outcomes of Giao Xuan community members' learning processes.  1435.3 Learning Outcomes: Beyond Doing CBETCommunity members' learning resulted in different outcomes for both their ecotourism jobs and other aspects of their life. Community members obtained needed ecotourism knowledge and skills to implement the CBET project. More importantly, these knowledge and skills have become very hands-on for community members in managing their family's finances as well as enhancing their ways of life. Different learning processes also helped community members enrich their knowledge of their own community, and obtain new knowledge about other cultures. Notably, the experience of doing CBET made community members become confident in their  own knowledge and capacity. 5.3.1 Mastering Ecotourism Knowledge and SkillsIn general, community members were successful in mastering basic knowledge and skills which helped them to implement the CBET project. When outside support of the CBET project ended in 2011, community members were able to continue providing ecotourism services to visitors (e.g., guiding, hosting, transporting). Local guides had mastered key principles of welcoming, guiding, and seeing off visitors. They also had a rich knowledge of their commune and local cultural codes and principles. My experience from the CBET tours that I joined showed that local guides appeared to be very articulate and became active and experienced in reacting to  unexpected circumstances that occurred during the tours. Local host families demonstrated good basic cooking skills and could provide appetizing and nutritious meals to visitors. When I stayed with local host families, I sometimes joined them in preparing meals. I was surprised of their cooking skills and enjoyed the local food. They mastered and at least tried to apply key 144principles of food safety and hygiene. However, their living conditions were still very poor (e.g., no clean tap water), therefore, hygiene standards could be different between local people and visitors. For example, some host families still wash dishes in a nearby pond. They also became experienced in arranging their houses to accommodate visitors, mastered customer care and hospitality skills. Community members were also capable of managing and planning the ecotourism business, including pricing local products to sell to visitors, calculating business efficiency, budgeting ecotourism income and expenses to ensure that visitors were well hosted and that families could still make a profit. This situation has been made worse by economic conditions in Vietnam that have also increased the living cost in rural areas like Giao Xuan:Living cost keeps increasing everyday: food, electricity, etc. We need to carefully budget the money that we spend on hosting visitors. We want to serve them well, cook delicious meals for them so that they can enjoy their stay, but we also need to ensure that after all expenses including money for food and money for paying tourism agencies/organizations that brought visitors to us, we could still obtain some money for our work and time. It is a challenge. (Ms. Kim) Some community members even decided to sacrifice their short term benefits by accepting a lower profit from hosting visitors by making sure to buy high quality and nutritious food to cook for visitors despite the increase in market food prices. However, they were hoping that at this stage of the project it would be better for long-term development if they could make visitors satisfied with their trip, which may then mean they would return or introduce other people to the project. In addition, community members were successful in cooperating with other stakeholders in the commune to run their ecotourism business. For example, they cooperated with the local authorities to ensure security for visitors. They were capable of convincing owners of local 145traditional style houses or owners of different livelihood areas such as large-scale aquaculture farming, bonsai gardens, local fish sauce producing households, and rice wine producing households to allow visitors to visit. They also created a good relationship with Xuan Thuy National Park staff in order to take visitors to the Park. Although community members mastered needed ecotourism knowledge and skills, their English and computer/Internet skills were still very poor. Even though all community members who participated in the CBET project had a chance to attend the workshop on computer skills,  some situational barriers or other societal conditions prevented many of them from mastering the computer skills. These barriers included lack of money, time constraints, and lack of opportunity to practice or apply what was learned. Ms. Kim discussed these barriers:Many community members attended a workshop on computers and the Internet, but not many of them could master skills and knowledge learned from the workshop. The reason was they either did not have enough money to afford a computer or they did not have chance/time to practice/use it. I was lucky to be provided with an old computer by MCD. In addition, my position as an administrative staff in the Commune People's Committee and a liaison person for MCD and other community members in the CBET project provided me more opportunities to work on a computer. Thus, I had a chance to practice and improve my computer skills.This fact was confirmed by other community members. For example, Ms. Ha said:I really wanted to practice how to use a computer so that I could obtain and update more information from the Internet or keep in touch with visitors via email. However, I did not own a computer so I could not have a chance to practice my computer skills and I just forgot what I learned.Similarly, other community members also confirmed that because the workshop was too short and they did not have a computer to practice, they now felt computer illiterate. Among all  14 community members of the Giao Xuan CBET core group interviewed, only Ms. Kim and Mr. Kha and his wife (the owner of Ecolife Cafe) own a computer. In fact, their computers were 146provided by MCD because their positions in the CBET project require a computer. They must use it to keep in touch with MCD staff and other tourism agencies, and have it available for visitors to use when they are at the Ecolife Cafe – which doubles as the local “Centre for Tourism Information and Community Climate Change Adaptation.” This shows that social class and social status could be a barrier for community members' learning. Those community members who did not have enough money to buy a computer to practice their computer skills were left behind in the process of learning new knowledge and skills. At present, Giao Xuan community members are still dependent on outside tourism agencies to do much of the marketing for the CBET initiative, partly due to local people's lack of  sufficient computer skills. In the first few years after the Giao Xuan CBET project started, a website about the project was designed and maintained by a volunteer organization in Vietnam. However, since this volunteer organization no longer sends volunteers to Giao Xuan, this website has been closed. Therefore, it made it very difficult for people who are interested in visiting Giao Xuan to obtain detailed information on the CBET site. Visitors interested in obtaining information on visiting Giao Xuan directly from local people could not do so without using a telephone. Only one or two of the CBET core group's members had an email address but they hardly used it.Regarding English skills, most of the CBET core group's members were not able to hold simple conversations in English with foreign visitors. There was always a tour guide from an outside Tourism agency who accompanied foreign visitors to Giao Xuan and worked as an interpreter. However, a host family usually could only accommodate 3 to 5 visitors, therefore, if  a large group of visitors came to Giao Xuan, the tour guide usually stayed with one small group 147in one host family, and thus could not interpret for other members of the group. This language barrier made it difficult for foreign visitors and host families to interact with and understand each other, which then made the homestay's initial objective of promoting cross-cultural understanding much less possible.  5.3.2 Applying Ecotourism Knowledge and Skills in Daily Life Knowledge, skills, and experience that community members obtained from participating in the CBET project was also applied to community members' daily life. Community members applied their ecotourism business budgeting and planning skills in managing their family's finance. Many of them now have a budgeting notebook for the income and expenses of their family, which has helped them to better control their family's financial situation. Some local  households even reported saving money for unexpected circumstances – an occurrence which was rare in the past. In some cases, the knowledge of management and planning obtained from participating in the CBET project even helped local people make better decisions on their family's financial  investments. For example, Ms. Lan successfully advised her husband on his business. Her husband wanted to invest money with his friends to buy a machine to take up sand in the sea to help set up clam farming areas. He wanted to invest money in this business so that he could be hired by clam farming families to take up sand. After calculating and pointing out how much her husband could earn per month, how much he would have to pay for the machine and maintenance, and what might be unexpected circumstances, Ms. Lan convinced him not to invest money in starting this business. Later, some local people who invested money in setting up clam 148farming areas like Ms. Lan's husband ended up losing their money for many unexpected reasons. In this case, with her new knowledge, Ms. Lan helped to avoid financial risk for her family.  Community members learned to change their living habits, including keeping their houses clean and applying new hygiene practices in cooking for the sake of hosting visitors and making visitors comfortable, satisfied, and safe. The process of changing was initially a simple change in behaviour. However, this simple change in behaviour gradually turned into a deeper understanding of how such changes could benefit their own health and living conditions. Consequently, these new habits at last became part of their life: The change of keeping everything in your house clean has slowly absorbed into me and my wife and we don't even notice it. It is now no longer only for the purpose of hosting visitors but we are aware that it is also good for the health of all people in the family. (Mr. Kha) You kept your house clean to host visitors and then you got used to living in a tidy and clean environment. Sweeping the floor has become a habit and a routine now. I sweep the floor every other day. Before I only swept it when I saw it was dirty, but now, even when it doesn't look dirty, I still sweep it. I feel uncomfortable to live in an untidy place now. (Ms. Kim)Ms. Kim also shared that she has even influenced her neighbours in the habit of keeping their house clean. Whenever she came over to her neighbours' houses, she often encouraged them to clean up their house. She even encouraged children to help their parents to clean up. She recounted how she made children of her neighbours to clean up their house:  I came over and saw their front yard was dirty. I asked the children to clean it up and at the same time I just started sweeping it...With children, we need to teach them by doing things ourselves, words are not enough.  Regarding the application of hygiene practices, many community members came to realize that their change in hygiene practices was not only good for visitors but was also good for their own family's health. They applied such hygiene practices in their daily life and even tried to  149encourage other people to follow those hygiene practices: “We don't have visitors to host everyday, but we do cook for our family everyday. So, such practical knowledge of food safety and hygiene has become very helpful for ourselves.” (Ms. Nga) This realization was echoed by Ms. Tam:It might be difficult for some people to follow all those hygiene practices all the time in  their daily life, but I saw the immediate benefit of applying them. I have been applying those hygiene practices to preparing and cooking food for my family. In a family gathering, some of my relatives (who do not participate in the CBET project) even noticed such changes in my cooking practices. I then instructed and encouraged them to do the same things. It just needs a bit more time to do such practices, but for the sake of your health, it is all worth it. (Ms. Tam) 5.3.3 Becoming Lifelong Learners For community members, jobs in the CBET project motivated them to become active lifelong learners. Both local guides and host families had to keep gaining knowledge of their commune's historical, cultural, and socio-economical context in order to answer questions of visitors. Even though pre-designed tours were put into practice and introduced visitors to different local destinations, local guides constantly searched for different possible historical and cultural spots in the commune and other neighbouring communes that they thought would be interesting for visitors to see and learn about their village. In order to come to the final decision on what would be included in the tour, where to take visitors to, and what to say to visitors about different locations and activities of Giao Xuan and Giao Xuan's people, local guides had to systematically compare the characteristics of all possible tour destinations. Most local host families lived on wet rice cultivating before participating in the CBET project and did not have thorough knowledge about other local livelihood activities. Since they began hosting visitors, they learned more about other local livelihood activities from their fellow 150villagers and became much more knowledgeable of other local livelihood activities. Mr. Gia provided the reasons why he needed to learn more about other local livelihood activities besides his family's main subsistence:In the past, I usually just paid attention to my work (wet rice cultivation). I know generally about other local existing livelihood activities, but did not have thorough knowledge on them. Since I hosted visitors, I received many questions from visitors about everything related to our village and people. Thus, I started having to pay closer attention to other livelihood activities and now I know much more about them. In order to obtain more knowledge on different aspects of the local community, local tour guides and host families had to build a closer relationship with fellow villagers, which helped to promote a stronger sense of solidarity among local people in Giao Xuan. For example, the CBET core group members often asked local Elders for consultation on knowledge of local history, customs, and traditions. They also learned from large-scale aquaculture farming owners, bonsai garden owners, the local fish sauce producing household owners, and rice wine producing households about other local livelihood activities. In some cases, local Buddhist and Christian community members developed more understanding and tolerance of the religion of the other group within the community when they tried to obtain more knowledge of Buddhism and Christianity to answer visitors' questions about local religions. Hosting visitors also helped community members gain new knowledge of other international cultures and enrich local people's spiritual and cultural life. Community members  had both positive and negative experiences with visitors, but they all valued their opportunity to join the CBET project because it helped them to widen their outlook and open up to other cultures and values. As Mr. Kha said: “It is not just about money anymore, it is about a unique opportunity where local people can learn many things that no books can teach and no money can 151buy.” Similarly, Ms. Thanh compared hosting visitors from different places as going on a tour where she could meet foreign people in person, and witness their lifestyles and daily routine. Ms. Thanh recalled how Islamic visitors did their daily praying routine in a group before going to bed or how other groups of visitors from Japan did some spiritual activities that she had never seen before. Ms. Thanh shared her thoughts of her experience with other religions:I am Christian and I obtained all of my knowledge about other religions from TV. But hosting visitors gave me a chance to witness how people from other religions do their ritual in person. It is interesting. It is very different, but I respect it. 5.3.4 Non-Financial Benefits from New Relationships  Community members greatly valued new relationships that they established with visitors. In some cases, the relationship between local people and visitors went beyond the relationship between host families and visitors. For example, after staying at Mr. Long's and Ms. Thi's house for 4 months, a volunteer from Australia wanted to be an “adopted son” of their family. After that the volunteer came back to visit his “adopted” parents several times, and brought his biological parents and close friends back to visit them. This volunteer even started a social enterprise which sent volunteers around the world to Vietnam.   Community members also showed me various souvenirs given to them by visitors which symbolically represent part of visitors' homeland cultures, such as kangaroo photo mugs from Australian visitors, paper fans from Japanese visitors, China tea pots, coins from different countries, and music CDs. Mr. Long showed me a set of 100 CDs of musical dance hits which were a gift from a European visitor. He exclaimed: Young and old people are different. I am an old man now. I never danced or learned how 152to dance before. But since I hosted visitors, I wanted to mingle with them. I joined them when they danced and sang. It was fun and I enjoyed it. While in the field, I joined a group of Japanese students to visit Mr. Long's house and saw how Mr. Long greeted students in Japanese and how surprised and happy the students were when they were greeted in their mother tongue. They also started asking Mr. Long how to say hello in Vietnamese so that they could greet Mr. Long and his family. Mr. Long then turned on his dance hits CD and all of us started dancing together merrily. Being in such a moment, I can see no boundaries between host families and visitors, old and young people, and people from different cultures.Local people valued the sincerity of visitors when receiving gifts. According to local people, the gifts were not expensive, but they showed visitors' care and feelings: We hosted them (visitors) at our home and we tried to make them feel comfortable and happy. Most visitors were very nice and polite. When they were here, we were very happy, and when they left we missed them a lot. (Ms. Thi)5.3.5 Increased Self-Confidence It is notable that the knowledge, skills, and experience that community members obtained from doing CBET also made them discover themselves and their capacity, thus became more confident in all they were pursuing. Many community members became socially and professionally confident. For example, Ms. Ha, a local guide, recounted that she used to hesitate to participate in social activities because she was worried that she would not be able to do them or even if she could, she might do them badly. But after she joined the CBET project, participated in different workshops, obtained more knowledge and skills, she found herself more confident. She recalled her experience in one of the workshops that she participated in: 153When I was a representative of Giao Xuan commune and gave a presentation in a workshop in Nam Dinh city, I was surprised about my self confidence. I found out that I have a rich knowledge of and understanding about my village.Participating in many activities in CBET also made Ms. Ha recognize that she   might have been able to obtain a higher level of education. She expressed her plan to enrich her knowledge for her job as a tour guide: Having a chance to know different kinds of people, sometimes I feel regretful. I regret that my family did not have enough money for me to learn higher; I regret that my understanding was limited and nobody gave me any guidance about educational choices. Right now I have been trying to improve my knowledge in my own way. I have joined different training programs whenever I have a chance and I have accumulated my knowledge by learning from different people: local elders, colleagues, and visitors. Even though many host families admitted that it took them some time to master hospitality skills and become familiar with having visitors living in their house, they became more confident and embraced their new roles as ecotourism service providers. Ms. Nga recounted her experience: When one of my relatives told me about the CBET project in Giao Xuan and encouraged me to participate in the project, I hesitated to join the project. During my whole life I  have just cultivated rice and sold rice at a retail store. I hardly had any guests, even my relatives in my house. I was even too shy to talk to neighbours sometimes. And when I heard about hosting strangers in my house, I was nervous. But once you started, you became more familiar with everything. And I think I know better with what I am doing now in terms of hosting visitors. More than that it brings you extra money, so why not? (laugh).Mr. Long also shared his thought of his learning process to do CBET: There is a saying: “Learning how to eat, learning how to talk, learning how to wrap, and learning how to unwrap things.” Learning how to do CBET is similar. You have to learn from the smallest things. But once you are determined to do something, you eventually can do it. In a similar vein, Mr. Kha, a member of the Giao Xuan CBET Cooperative Managing Board, was surprised at his new leadership capacity and saw progress in his learning as a leader. 154For all of his life, he had done various jobs like farmer, worker and small trader, but had always worked under other people's management. Now working as a leader, he found himself more confident and envisioned himself moving up in the Tourism field:If you ask me to write your doctoral dissertation, I can't. But if I give you my current job, you will probably not be able to do it, either (laughed)...I want to change. Social status is very important to me. If you want to obtain a good social status, you need to do well. The community's success is your success. My hope is that I can lead this community to find our own ways, to stand on our own feet, and move forward. It is challenging, but up to now, I can tell that it is hopeful. (Mr. Kha)5.4 Chapter SummaryIn this chapter, I described how community members learned the skills and knowledge needed to help them develop and manage the CBET project in their commune. Learning new knowledge and skills helped community members raise their awareness of the nature of CBET, and provided them with a basic foundation to manage and implement the CBET project. Community members learned in the local capacity building program, on the job, and from exchanging knowledge and experience with other CBET colleagues. Their learning was a creative, experiential, and ongoing process. They approached new knowledge and skills with various motivations, strategies and feelings that originated in different ways across different individuals. Community members' learning resulted in mastering basic knowledge and skills to provide ecotourism services. More importantly, these knowledge and skills were transferable and were applied in local people's life to enhance the quality of their lives. In addition, participating  in the CBET project also provided opportunities for community members to create many new relationships which widened their outlook, enriched their knowledge, and enhanced their confidence. 155In this CBET project, MCD created an extensive space for community members to actively get involved in the CBET project and work collaboratively with different stakeholders to initiate and implement the CBET initiative. Specifically, the “raising awareness of CBET possibilities” program brought an opportunity for local people to share their knowledge of local resources and issues. It also provided an opportunity for local people to voice their needs and participate in making decisions on what should be included in capacity building education. However, they believed there was room for improvement in curriculum content and pedagogy in the local capacity program to bring better benefits to all local participants in the CBET project.    Before participating in the CBET project, community members played various different roles in their families and community. They were farmers, small business traders, seasonal workers, and administrative staff. Once they participated in the CBET project, many of them took on and embraced new roles, including CBET service providers, CBET leaders, and lifelong learners. More importantly, with these new roles community members learned to act for change in their community. Community members' learning to act for change will be analyzed and reported in detail in the next two findings chapters, beginning with the next chapter.156CHAPTER 6: LEARNING TO PROTECT AND CONSERVE THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT Promoting local environmental protection and conservation was one of the CBET project's objectives in Giao Xuan. This chapter reports findings on: 1) Non-formal and informal environmental learning activities that took place in the Giao Xuan CBET project; 2) How these environmental learning activities took place; and 3) The impacts that these environmental  learning activities had on local community members' environmental knowledge, attitudes, and actions.The chapter is divided into three sections. In the first section, I present the different non-formal environmental education activities incorporated into the local capacity building program of the Giao Xuan CBET project. The first set of activities included workshops on the importance of wetland resources to the development of CBET and sustainable development in Giao Xuan. The second activity was a social exchange between Giao Xuan community members and local community members of another CBET site in Thai Binh province. This activity aimed to promote an exchange of knowledge and experience between community members of the two CBET sites in protecting and conserving the environment as well as developing CBET. The last activity was a competition that helped to raise Giao Xuan community members' understanding of the benefits of developing CBET as a new sustainable source of livelihood for Giao Xuan commune. In the second section, I describe informal environmental learning activities that took place in the Giao Xuan CBET project, including an environmental awareness program and the establishment of community environmental learning spaces. These learning activities suggest  that in addition to non-formal environmental learning activities in the local capacity building  157program, MCD created opportunities for local community members to actively and experientially promote environmental activities in their commune. Moreover, community  members also informally learned from visitors' environmental actions. The last section of this chapter shows that both non-formal and informal environmental learning activities in the Giao Xuan CBET project had positive impacts on community members'  environmental knowledge, attitudes, and actions. Through non-formal and informal environmental learning activities, community members had a chance to share their knowledge of  local environmental resources. They could also obtain a deeper understanding of the importance of local wetland resources as well as feasible solutions for the sustainable development of their commune. However, certain learning activities that aimed to promote community members'  environmental knowledge did not meet the project's initial objectives. But the findings did suggest that both non-formal and informal environmental learning activities had a positive influence on community members' attitudes towards the environment. Community members showed their concern and motivation in the protection and improvement of the local environment. Some individuals even switched from being natural resource “exploiters” to natural resource “protectors”, and showed a commitment to the promotion of local environmental conservation activities. Finally, as a result of changes in local community members'  environmental knowledge and attitudes, they took action to rehabilitate the local environment  and made changes in local environmental practices.6.1. Non-Formal Learning: Raising Community Members' Environmental Knowledge The objective of environmental education in the Giao Xuan CBET project was to raise 158local community members' awareness of the importance of local wetland resources for the development of CBET and sustainable development of the local community. Various environmental non-formal learning activities were included in the local capacity building program. These included workshops on the importance of wetland resources for local development, a social exchange with another CBET site on environmental knowledge and experience, and a local competition on the understanding of wetland resources in the development of CBET. 6.1.1 Workshops on Local Wetland ResourcesMCD's staff and consultants shared the view that local people know best about their surroundings; thus MCD's role was to support local people and empower them to protect the local environment by themselves. Some of the project's consultants emphasized the importance of identifying the purpose of conservation before introducing any awareness raising programs to local people. For example, MCD staff member Mr. Vinh believed in an “inseparable link” between nature and human beings. He commented: “Conservation should not be purely for conservation. Conservation does not mean 'don't touch.' It should be conservation for humanity, society, and human beings.” Thus, he underscored that educating local people in Giao Xuan about environmental conservation was not just about asking local people to stop cutting trees or stop using destructive fishing practices, or to move out of the core zone; more importantly, it was about helping local people recognize that they are part of nature and that they can take a critical  role in managing their own natural resources responsibly. MCD provided a variety of workshops at Giao Xuan commune to create awareness 159among local community members about the importance of wetland biodiversity, its conservation,  and the consequences of its destruction. Different possible alternative livelihood activities, including CBET, were introduced and discussed as strategies that could help to reduce pressure on local natural resources. Approximately 50 representatives of local social organizations such as the Women's Association, Farmers' Association, Youth's Association, and local secondary schools participated in these workshops and training programs (MCD, 2007b). A study tour to Xuan Thuy National Park was conducted in which local participants learned about key species of the Ramsar international wetland site - birds, mangroves and fish species - and discussed the importance of protecting these species. Furthermore, community members learned skills in leadership, management, and communication that would help them effectively deliver messages on environmental issues and conservation to other community members. Workshops were conducted using group work, discussion, presentations, role playing, and games. These activities were undertaken with the support of visual aids such as PowerPoint presentations, flip charts, and videos. Through these activities, workshop facilitators encouraged community members to share environmental concerns and needs which had direct impacts on their life. Project staff and consultants also paid attention to creating a comfortable and joyful  learning atmosphere for local people. One of the project consultants, Mr. Phuc, explained the importance of the learning atmosphere to the success of attracting local people to the environmental workshops: They (local people) care about their main jobs like wet rice or shrimp cultivation. If you gather them in a room and lecture them about environmental protection, they would not yet care about it. In reality, at the beginning, we needed to 'buy' their participation (there was small token money for participants). But once local people participated, felt comfortable, and enjoyed the learning atmosphere, they shared with their fellow villagers about the activities in workshops (e.g., singing, playing games, having snacks) and 160encouraged their fellow villagers to join.Real life situations were also incorporated into learning activities in the workshops. For example, to practice their communication and leadership skills, community members were asked to share one difficult conflict or situation that occurred to them in the past and chose some situations to discuss in detail. After that, workshop participants were divided into different small groups in which they discussed possible solutions for each situation. Each group then shared their problems and solutions with the other groups and collectively chose the most contextually suitable and effective solutions. Ms. Lan, a workshop participant, commented on the pedagogy applied in the workshops:MCD staff were young but they had a very effective way of teaching. In the workshops, real life stories of the commune's head, a local police, a local security man, or stories of various ordinary people like me were shared and discussed. We listened to, learned from stories/situations of each other, connected our own situations to other people's situations, and solutions came up during the discussion. 6.1.2 Exchanging Knowledge and ExperienceGiao Xuan community members also had the chance to share their environmental knowledge and experience as well as learn from people in another CBET site through a social exchange. With financial support from MCD, a group of community members, including the CBET core group members, joined a social exchange in Nam Phu, Thai Binh province. This was an opportunity for Giao Xuan community members to learn and exchange their knowledge and experience in developing CBET as a new sustainable livelihood that helps promote local environmental conservation. In this social exchange, Giao Xuan and Nam Phu community members also exchanged their experiences in managing local natural resources. Giao Xuan 161community members visited sustainable aquaculture models in Nam Phu. Moreover, local people of the two communes shared their knowledge of developing other non-fishery livelihoods for poorer local people who did not have access to aquaculture resources. Some examples include raising earthworms, gardening, making fertilizers using agriculture residues, and cultivating mushrooms. Ms. Ha narrated the trip with excitement: It was a helpful and joyous trip. We had a chance to meet with local people and learned about different forms of local livelihoods. They (local people) are very friendly and generously shared their experience in doing economics. We also exchanged experience in doing CBET. I still keep in touch with some of them until now.In addition, Ms. Lan found the trip was very practical in terms of networking and promoting the CBET initiative: We (Giao Xuan and Thai Binh community members) both participate in doing CBET. It was a chance for us to get to know each other, support each other, promote CBET, and make it a more popular tourism model. Local participants of both communes also joined in an art performance exchange to promote the development of CBET as a new sustainable livelihood. Thai Binh community members chose to perform traditional songs and dances through which they introduced their local natural resources and environmental conserving activities. Meanwhile, Giao Xuan community members composed and performed a drama that included different characters who had a very good sense of protecting the local environment, and others who irresponsibly destroyed local natural resources (e.g. cutting trees, polluting rivers). The drama ended with a scene of how those who harmed the environment were eventually convinced to stop their harmful actions. These people came to realize the importance of protecting the environment for  developing CBET and for sustainable community development. According to Ms. Kim, the CBET core group's members decided to choose drama as a 162medium of  promoting the initiation of CBET as a new form of local sustainable livelihood because it was more effective at delivering socio-environmental messages than through  lectures. Ms. Kim reasoned that local people would find it more fun to watch a drama than to listen to lectures. Moreover, many local people's daily life activities could be integrated into dramas which made it easier for them to absorb and remember the educational messages. In a similar vein, Ms. Lan described the joyfulness and effectiveness of using drama as a form of promoting CBET:We could play different roles. It was fun. We wrote the script and practiced our roles. Each person thought of his/her own lines, so it was easy to remember. It was practical too because what we said reflected what we did in our real life. So, I think, drama was both entertaining and easier to carry our messages.   After the social exchange, community members who joined the social exchange shared their experience and knowledge of other CBET sites with other community members in the commune. 6.1.3 A Learning CompetitionA competition on the understanding of wetland coastal resource conservation and CBET development in Giao Xuan was also integrated into the environmental awareness raising program. A wide range of local people including local women, fishermen, and farmers participated in this competition. Some community members gave a presentation on their  understanding of wetland coastal resources. A group of community members performed songs that they composed based on the rhythms of their traditional opera (Cheo) with new lyrics describing their local history, natural resources, and livelihood activities. These songs were also performed in other local events for local people and visitors as a way of introducing the community. 163MCD and the CBET core group also collaborated with local schools and included secondary students in the competition to raise environmental awareness. Secondary students attended a study tour in the core zone of Xuan Thuy National Park and learned about the biodiversity of the Park under the instruction of Xuan Thuy National Park staff. In this study tour, students had a chance to expand their knowledge of the local wetland ecosystem as well as to immerse themselves in nature and reflect on its vital role in local people's life. After this study tour, students submitted drawings, essays, poems and stories describing their knowledge of the local environment and the importance of protecting it. As one of the students wrote in her essay after the study tour:I enjoyed the study tour very much. It not only gave me an opportunity to obtain more knowledge but also helped me to understand that people cannot live without nature and resources. Life will become meaningless if we destroy nature. So let's join me in protecting the National Park. (MCD, 2006a, p. 3)  MCD also created opportunities for community members to learn to promote environmental conservation activities in their commune. The process of learning to promote local  environmental conservation was incorporated into many informal learning activities that were collaboratively conducted by MCD and local community members. In addition, local community members learned and changed greatly by reflecting on visitors' attitude and actions towards the environment. All of these informal learning activities in the Giao Xuan CBET project are presented in the following section. 6.2 Informal LearningLocal community members learned to promote local environmental conservation by undertaking activities that helped to improve knowledge, attitude and actions towards the 164environment in their community. Specifically, with the support of MCD, local community members participated in initiating an environmental awareness program and set up community learning spaces in their commune.   6.2.1 Initiating an Environmental Awareness Program To create an opportunity for community members to practice the knowledge and skills that they obtained through different non-formal learning activities, MCD helped community members to carry out an environmental awareness program in their commune entitled: “Mangrove Protection and Coastal Environmental Clean-up and Protection.” This program included three main segments: 1) Community Dialogues/Meetings; 2) Voice of Giao Xuan Commune; and 3) Community Coastal Clean-up. Community dialogues conducted in this program including community meetings and informal home dialogue meetings. The local Women's Association was the key facilitator of these dialogues. In addition, the dialogues were also conducted with the support of Xuan Thuy National Park Management Board. In these community dialogues, community members shared their knowledge of and concerns about local socio-environmental issues. Some examples were dialogues about wetland resource protection and management, strategies to maintain and develop local traditional livelihoods in a sustainable way, and how to develop CBET as a new sustainable livelihood in the commune. Environmental issues discussed included improper local trash disposal practices, increasingly polluted water, and the issue of fertilizer and pesticide use for agriculture. All of these issues negatively affected local people's health. The dialogues reached diverse groups of local community members representing local social organizations including 165Youth, Women, Aquaculture Farmers, Agriculture Farmers, and Veterans Associations (MCD, 2007).   In cooperation with MCD and the local authority, local community members also organized a program entitled “Voice of the Commune” which lasted almost a month. This program aimed to reach a large number of community members through local radio and the public announcement speakers system. Information on the local community dialogues were aired so that many community members who did not have a chance to join the community dialogues could be informed and updated. In addition, the local radio and public announcement speakers aired many essays and articles about the urgency of conserving the local environment written by local participants in the non-formal education programs provided by MCD. One article written by a community member and aired on the local radio, for example, called for action in conserving the local environment:Looking back to 1970-1980, an average of five to seven storms came to destroy our coastal community every year. It is hard to forget the fear caused by the floods that have stolen thousands of innocent people's lives, destroyed houses and land, and hampered the efforts of local communities and authorities to make a better life for themselves. The poor and hungry families in the area are continuing evidence of this... As the weather changes we need to learn from what our communities had to bear in the past, and each of us has to take care and protect our mangroves as we protect our own children. Please be aware that each piece of firewood, each branch or ship stake that we take away from our mangrove may cause future floods and cause immeasurable damage. Let's act for our life and future. (MCD, 2006a, p. 4)Another activity in the environmental awareness program was a “Community Coastal Clean-up.” On June 5, 2006, during World Environment Day, together with MCD, Giao Xuan community members held a Community Coastal Cleanup Day. Before the event took place, the CBET core group and representatives of local social associations attended a workshop facilitated by MCD about pollution and its impacts on the living environment. In order to prepare for the 166Community Coastal Cleanup Day, meetings were held among representatives of different local social associations to discuss the event's objectives and activities. Representatives of the local social associations then informed their members about the objectives and activities of the event  and encouraged their members to attend. The Community Coastal Cleanup event attracted more than 100 community members. On the cleanup day, all participants were provided with a hat and a shirt with the slogan, “Keep the environment green, clean and beautiful.” In the opening ceremony, speeches on the importance of environmental conservation and World Environment Day were given by representatives of the local authority and MCD. After the ceremony, community members were divided into different groups and started collecting trash on the beach. According to community members, even though it was an extremely hot and sunny day, the atmosphere of the event was very exciting. People worked hard and had a good time talking to each other in a cheerful atmosphere. Community members shared their feelings: The opening ceremony was so exciting. Hundreds of people including both young and old people participated in the event, from old veterans to very young school students, and even volunteers from outside of our commune. People complained about the huge amount of trash on the beach, but we were very happy to participate in this event. It was a memorable day to our community. (Ms. Tam)At the end of the day, piles after piles of trash were loaded on the trucks and transported to the local landfill. I was kind of sad to see huge piles of trash on the beach. Many of us just wished that there had been less irresponsible people who threw trash everywhere. However, I thought it was a good start that some of us cared about our environment and wanted to keep our environment clean. Hopefully, there would be more and more people do it. (Ms. Ha) It was the very first time community members had participated in cleaning up their beach together. Community members had a chance to talk and reflect together on the environmental  condition of their commune. All the activities and results of the Community Coastal Cleanup 167Day were then communicated to other community members who did not participate in the event.  This event provided a chance for community members to informally and collectively learn to take care of their environment by taking concrete action. Since then, Giao Xuan community members have maintained this new tradition. Every year, on World Environment Day, the local community holds a Community Coastal Cleanup Day which is viewed as “a local festival” (Mr. Gia).6.2.2 Community Learning SpacesIn cooperation with MCD, community members collectively set up new community learning spaces in their commune including the Ecolife Cafe and the Local Community Learning Centre. The Ecolife Cafe was set up as both a local coffee shop and the Centre for Tourism Information and Community Climate Change Adaptation. Meanwhile, the Local Community Centre was set up as a showroom of local CBET and environmental activities as well as a reading room for local people.  The Ecolife Cafe was built and inaugurated in June, 2010. Before the Ecolife Cafe was built, dialogues between representatives of MCD and the CBET core group were held. In these meetings, MCD and the CBET core group members discussed the design of the Ecolife Cafe and a location to build it. There were four households wanted to have the coffee shop to be built on their land. The CBET core group members voted and finally chose Mr. Kha's and Ms. Sam's house as the location to build the Ecolife Cafe.  The CBET core group members agreed that the design of the Ecolife Cafe should show some of the local traditional architecture. After many discussion sessions, the CBET core group 168decided that the Ecolife Cafe should be built with a traditional thatched roof and surrounding walls made of bamboo. The initial plan was to build a small cafe due to the CBET project's  limited budget. However, local community members wanted to build a larger cafe so that it could accommodate more people, and they decided to contribute some of their money to the budget.  Mr. Kha emphasized the importance of local people's contribution to the Ecolife Cafe:It was great that we received some financial support from the project, but we could not depend totally on the project. We needed to take our initiative and be actively involved in this process. It was not just for me because the Ecolife Cafe was built on my house, but it was for the long-term benefit of the whole community. Looking back, I am happy about how things worked out. The cafe could not have been as spacious and beautiful as it is now if we had just completely depended on the project's funding and support.       Building the Ecolife Cafe was a collective process. Community members actively contributed their knowledge and labour. Community members recommended places to buy the best building supplies such as bamboo, wood, and thatching material. The site chosen to build the Ecolife Cafe was Mr. Kha's and Ms. Sam's garden, so local community members first had to clear the trees and bushes in the garden to make a foundation for the cafe. After that, local carpenters worked on the wooden poles, skilled thatchers worked on the thatched roof, and other people worked on the bamboo walls. Mr. Long, one of the skilled house builders in the commune, recounted his contribution to the construction of the Ecolife Cafe: I built a thatched roof house for my own family. It lasted for several decades. So I have knowledge of and skills in building such kind of houses and I wanted to contribute my part to this collective work.     The cafe was constructed in the middle of summer. Community members recalled that sometimes the power was off and it was extremely hot, but they continued the work because they were all excited about a new place to receive visitors and have social gatherings with other local people in the commune: 169MCD supported us both financially and psychologically. It was a great opportunity for us. Everybody was excited about the Ecolife Cafe and envisioned the day we would host visitors here. Thus, we found that we needed to be responsible for its construction and we were very proud of what we did. (Mr. Gia)After months of construction, the Ecolife Cafe was completed. The cafe's internal and external designs were very traditional. A flower tree was shaped to form the cafe's gate and a bamboo sign “Ecolife Cafe” was put outside of the cafe. A line of betel trees led to the main area of the cafe. A small lily pond was situated in front of the main area. All the table and chairs in the cafe were made of bamboo as well. There was a small Karaoke room. One corner of the cafe was used to display local traditional products including rice, fish sauce, and medical herbs (sophora flower and eugenia flower bud). In another corner, there was a bookshelf with local tourism brochures and documents related to climate change and the environment. Knowledge of the environment and climate change was also incorporated into the menu of the Ecolife Cafe. The drinks in the menu were labelled with different natural disasters or phenomena, some of which could be affected by climate change or human impact on the environment, such as volcano coffee, glacier coffee, tsunami smoothies, earthquake mixed fruits, acid rain coconut juice, and oil spill strawberry juice. One of the CBET project's consultants explained about the names of drinks in the menu: The best way to raise local people's awareness of the environment and climate change is incorporating the knowledge of the environment and climate change into local people's daily life. Introducing different environmental concepts in a menu of a local coffee shop is a much more effective way than lecturing local people about those concepts. When a cup of “volcano coffee” or a glass of “tsunami smoothies,” was ordered, environmental concepts were indirectly introduced to local people. Gradually, these concepts might become familiar to them. If local people don’t know them yet, they might be curious and ask about these concepts or might even look for more information on these concepts and other related issues. (Mr. Phuc) 170Figure 6.1The Local Ecolife Cafe171Figure 6.2Inside of the Ecolife CafeIn addition to building the Ecolife Cafe, a local community learning centre was also set  up in Giao Xuan. Since the CBET project was implemented, MCD obtained great support from the local government. MCD was successful in convincing the local authority to agree to save one of the rooms in the local People Committee's building for CBET activities. This room has been used as the main office of the CBET project. It was also set up as a showroom of local CBET and environmental activities and a reading room for local people. Pictures of the CBET core group members in cooking classes, musical shows and at their houses hosting visitors were hung on the 172wall. There were also pictures of workshops on CBET development, environmental conservation, and gender equality. A large part of the room was saved for an “Environmental Education” section in which there were many pictures and posters of local environmental conservation activities including Xuan Thuy National Park’s biodiversity, community members cleaning up the beach on World Environment Day, and volunteers and community members planting mangroves and collecting trash in the forest. Different environmental slogans were also hung on the wall such as: “Protecting birds for human beings' life and a beautiful nature”, “Let's keep Giao Xuan always clean and green” and “Protecting natural resources is protecting our own lives.” There were also many local children'sdrawings from a competition on environmental conservation. Next to the Environmental Education section was a Vietnamese map and a world map hung next to each other. A clay model of Xuan Thuy National Park was displayed in the middle of the room. Several bookcases held adult and children’s books sorted by subjects such as culture, history, tourism, cooking, novels, books and magazines related to the environment and wetland resources, and foreign books.  The Community Learning Centre was set up in collaboration between MCD and community members. Books were provided by MCD or by visitor donation. Community members were involved in setting up and decorating the room. Local children contributed their  artwork on environmental conservation to display in the room. After the Community Learning Centre was set up, MCD, the CBET core group, and other local social associations conducted publicizing programs to introduce the centre to local people. 173Figure 6.3A Corner of the Community Learning Centre174Figure 6.4Environmental Education Pictures and Posters in the Community Learning Centre6.2.3 Learning from VisitorsSince the CBET project's inception, Giao Xuan has received thousands of visitors. Visitors came to Giao Xuan as tourists, to conduct research, and do volunteer work. “Responsible visitors” who were environmentally conscious and socially responsible were the target group of visitors whom MCD mainly wanted to attract for the Giao Xuan CBET project. These groups of visitors included researchers, scientists, and a great number of volunteer visitors 175or voluntourists. In cooperation with some volunteering organizations such as Volunteer for Peace, Vietnam (VPV) and Solidarités Jeunesses Vietnam (SJ Vietnam), MCD has sent hundreds of voluntourists to Giao Xuan, which composes the main group of visitors to date. Voluntourists who joined the CBET project in Giao Xuan had an opportunity to learn about local natural and cultural resources as well as local people and their lifestyles. During their  stay, voluntourists also participated in various social and environmental activities. In doing so, voluntourists could exchange their knowledge and experience with local people, contributing to the sustainable development of Giao Xuan. Specific activities undertaken by voluntourists often depended on their capacity and length of stay in Giao Xuan. Long-term voluntourists often stayed for at least a month; meanwhile, short-term voluntourists usually stayed from a few days to two weeks. Voluntourists often visited the families of victims of Agent Orange8. During their visits, voluntourists learned about difficulties these families had to cope with in their daily lives, and helped them with housework and livelihood activities. Long-term voluntourists usually had enough time to join some other local capacity building activities. For example, voluntourists  could teach English to local people who participated in the CBET project and Giao Xuan secondary school students. Voluntourists also helped local guides and host families with skills regarding interacting with visitors from other countries or cultures. They then provided some detailed feedback on local hospitality and customer service during their stay at local host families. In addition, voluntourists assisted local people with the promotion of CBET by helping 8  “A powerful herbicide and defoliant containing trace amounts of dioxin, a toxic impurity suspected of causing serious health problems, including cancer and genetic damage, in some persons exposed to it and birth defects in their offspring: used by U.S. armed forces during the Vietnam War to defoliate jungles.” (,  2014).176them network with tourism agencies or by producing and distributing marketing materials on the Giao Xuan CBET model. Participating in local environmental activities was very a popular choice for both short and long term voluntourists. These included promoting programs on sorting and managing household trash and trash in public areas. Voluntourists introduced local people to compost holes and assisted them in making compost holes in their gardens. Voluntourists also cleaned up trash on the beach, then sorted and brought unrecyclable trash to the local landfill. In addition, they participated in planting mangroves in the local forest, and trees and flowers along the commune's road and in the local secondary school and daycare centre. Voluntourists held informal meetings with local people, learned about the daily life of local people in a typical coastal village, and  discussed climate change and community development activities. Community members asserted that the environment was an issue that concerned visitors the most. Community members were taught many environmental practices by visitors. Mr. Long noted that: “they taught us many environmentally friendly practices. For example, how to sort solid waste and disposable waste, how to make a compost hole.” However, according to Ms. Kim, community members could not maintain all of these practices. For example, some community members thought that collecting organic food waste to put in a compost hole and maintaining a compost hole in their household's garden created more work for them. Community members acknowledged that hosting environmentally responsible visitors in their commune helped them to raise their awareness of environmental issues and reflect on their own attitude and actions toward the environment: Visitors really cared about the environment. Visitors on my tours raised their concern immediately when they witnessed environmentally illegal practices like cutting trees.  177Such attitudes of visitors made me think: 'why could visitors, who are not members of the community, be responsible for our commune and our people, but we (local people) could not do such things?' (Mr. Du)Many community members also joined voluntourists to undertake environmental activities. They revealed reasons for their participation in such activities; for example, Mr. Kha reasoned that he joined most of activities that voluntourists did in the commune because he wanted to show his fellow villagers that “it is our own responsibility to protect our environment.” He hoped that through his actions he could encourage other people in his commune to participate in local environmental activities. Meanwhile, Mr. Gia articulated his motivation to participate in  environmental activities with visitors: They came here to do our own work. I felt obliged to join them. They collected trash, and other community members and I transferred trash to the local dump site. It was a way of encouraging and supporting what they were doing to help us and it also created a joyous atmosphere between local people and visitors.In addition, Mr. Gia shared the story of how he became more concerned about the environment thanks to the influence of visitors' actions and attitude towards the local environment. In the past, Mr. Gia used to witness local people catching a large number of birds every day. Nowadays, he witnesses many outside people coming to the commune just to watch and learn about birds. At the beginning, Mr. Gia questioned why so many people were concerned about birds. However, since participating in the CBET project, and witnessing the concern of visitors and obtaining knowledge in environmental promoting programs from the national and local government, Mr. Gia saw the long term-benefit of protecting birds: Many visitors came here just to watch birds. Some of them waited for months and months for migratory birds. They even came back several times. There were times when they came back and it was not the season for migrating birds to stop by Giao Xuan; visitors were so worried. They thought that we hunted all the birds. In general, visitors, especially foreign visitors really care about the environment and there must be reasons for it.1786.3 Impacts of Environmental Learning Activities Various MCD-led and visitor-initiated activities took place in the Giao Xuan CBET project. These activities had certain impacts on the promotion of local environmental protection  and conservation. In this section, I present how non-formal and informal environmental learning activities had an influence on local community members' knowledge, attitude, and actions towards the environment. 6.3.1 Impacts on Environmental KnowledgeCommunity members already have rich knowledge of the local environment; therefore, the workshops on local wetland resources actually provided local community members with an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience. Since many local community members were born and grew up in Giao Xuan, they had insight into both historical and socio-environmental issues. Old veterans remembered the local mangrove forest as a place for soldiers to hide from enemies. Community members claimed that the local mangrove forest saved a great  number of soldiers during wartime. Thus, to many old community members, mangroves were part of their life and had a great historical value to the local community: We know our mangrove forest well. When we were chased by French soldiers, we ran into the forest. French soldiers did not dare to chase after us inside the forest because they did not know their way in the forest, but we know our mangrove forest very well. We know all kind of places where we could hide from them. (Mr. Binh, a local veteran)Many community members showed great knowledge of local species and other natural phenomena. Their knowledge was accumulated through many years of living in their commune. For example, Mr. Minh, a local guide, who used to be a well-known bird hunter, and was also known as “the King of birds”. He knew exactly what kind of birds come each season and where 179birds go during specific times of day. He could easily identify any bird that flies by. Moreover, with the experience of working on the sea for most of his life, Mr. Minh also summarized the expected time for high and low tide in the local sea. He created a tide chart to help local  fishermen on their trips to sea. Mr. Minh applied his knowledge of local natural phenomena on his job as a tour guide for mangrove, ocean, and bird watching tours. He discussed the important role of his local knowledge in his job as a tour guide:Knowledge of the locality is very important for me in fulfilling my job as a local guide. For example, if a group of visitors comes around 4 pm and want to watch birds, I need to know where birds are around that time. Or I am aware of when the tide is low or high in the local area. For example, a riptide could come around noon which makes sea waves flow speedily seaward. If visitors are taken to the sea around this time, they might be swept further to the sea. Thus, I need to know the timeframe of tide in the local area. If I don't have such knowledge, it would be very dangerous for visitors. Some dilemmas of socio-environmental issues in Giao Xuan were pointed out by community members. Community members revealed that many local people were aware of the danger of environmentally destructive practices such as cutting mangroves for fuel or shrimp and clam farming, overfishing, and fishing using dynamite. However, some local people still did such illegal practices because the income from them was much higher than from other livelihood activities such as wet rice cultivation. In addition, many poor local people did not have other choices for earning money to support their families. Mr. Minh articulated the relation between local people's economic situation and their treatment toward the environment:Economics has a great impact on how people treat the environment. For example, if tomorrow I have no option other than cutting trees and selling them to earn money for supporting my family's living, then I'll have to do it. CBET has partly contributed to local people's incomes but it is not a big contribution and not for everybody in the commune. Even though community members already had knowledge of their wetland resources, the environmental learning activities incorporated in the Giao Xuan CBET project helped them 180obtain a better understanding of important values of wetland resources. Bird hunters acknowledged that they have knowledge of birds in their local area, but it was not until they joined the CBET project and other national and local environmental promoting  programs that they were aware that residential and migrating birds in the mangrove forest were on the international list of endangered birds. They also came to realize that if they protected those birds,  they could attract more visitors to Giao Xuan. Thus they could obtain more income from CBET.Through environmental learning activities, community members could also learn about other people's views toward local environmental issues. They learned from both outside experts and their fellow villagers about how environmental issues should be solved and what sustainable solutions would be appropriate and feasible for their commune. Community members showed their awareness of protecting the environment for the development of the CBET project in their  commune:Visitors came here to visit the local mangrove forest, watch birds and learn about different local livelihood activities. If the mangrove forest is gone, then birds have no place to live, so we need to protect it. If we don't conserve such local resources how can we attract visitors to come and how can we earn money from CBET? (Ms. Ha)Even though we own rich natural resources and we are very proud of them, we also need to understand that natural resources are not unlimited. Developing CBET depends much on the sustainability of local natural resources. If we keep exploiting them without nurturing them, one day we will have nothing left. (Ms. Tam)Other activities incorporated in the Giao Xuan CBET project with the goal of promoting the protection and conservation of the local environment had certain positive impacts on community members' environmental knowledge. For example, Giao Xuan Secondary School teachers acknowledged that their students showed an interest in joining study tours and a competition on ecotourism development and wetland coastal resource conservation because these 181activities provided students with practical knowledge and experience. According to Mr. Trung, a member of the Giao Xuan Secondary School Managing Board, students also learned other skills such as social skills of interacting and working with other people during their study tour/field trip. However, teachers also commented on the small scope of study tours. So far only about 10% of students had a chance to join these tours (MCD organized one study tour for local students, other study tours were organized by Xuan Thuy National Park in other environmental awareness raising programs). Mr. Ninh, a teacher at Giao Xuan Secondary School, explained the necessity of having more study tours for local students to increase students' environmental knowledge: “There were already a lot of  posters for promoting environmental conservation, we want more practical activities for students.” Mr. Ninh and Mr. Trung also commented that the study tours in Xuan Thuy National Park mostly focused on learning about wetland plants and birds. However, according to them, many students who were born and grew up in Giao Xuan still lack knowledge of local aquatic species and their habitats. Therefore, these teachers suggested that a study tours promoting the understanding of aquatic species in the local coastal area would be valuable for local students, especially since these aquatic species have a direct impact on local  people's life. Teachers also pointed out the limited knowledge of environmental staff who guided study tours as one of the factors that decreased the effectiveness of study tours. Mr. Ninh asserted: “Students are very curious and they like asking many questions, however, some students' questions about some plants and lives of animals were out of environmental staff's preparation and knowledge, so they could not answer many students' questions.” The Ecolife Cafe was originally set up to be both the local Centre for Tourism 182Information and the Centre for Community Climate Change Adaptation. According to community members, since its inception, the Ecolife Cafe has received thousands of customers including both local people and visitors. Many dialogues about wetland resources and environmental conservation were held in the cafe. Different local and national workshops and conferences on climate change and community development also took place there. Local people had a chance to socialize and talk with both domestic and international visitors through these events, and therefore raise their awareness of climate change and environmental conservation. However, in 2011 and 2012, when I conducted my fieldwork in Giao Xuan, I noticed some missing features of the Ecolife Cafe that were originally included in pictures and documents from 2010. For example, documents related to climate change and the environment as well as brochures for information related to CBET were not available at the Ecolife Cafe. The menus labelled with different concepts of natural disasters or phenomena which were initially designed as a source of environmental learning for local people were not available. Bringing up questions about these missing features, I was informed by local people that because of time and weather the documents were not in good shape and were put away. Also, the menus were made of bamboo and were no longer in good condition. Because of the mentioned missing features and from my observation during the field work, the current Ecolife Cafe did not appear to be a source of environmental learning for local people in its full meaning. It resembled a place to receive  visitors and a regular local coffee shop or a social place for local people (mostly young people) to get together and relax in the evening.One of the initial objectives of setting up the Community Learning Centre was to create a space for all community members to obtain access to an extra resource of knowledge, especially 183knowledge on environmental conservation. However, local people typically did not have time to go to the Centre to read books. According to community members, their priority was to work and earn money. After working hard all day, they had no time for reading books and magazines. If any free time was available, they would rather watch TV than go to the Centre. Even local children, who did not have to work as hard as their parents, still did not go to the Centre. They preferred to go to Internet shops to chat with their friends or play games. As Ms. Tam said: “We need to work for a living and had no time for such kind of things. So, it is very difficult to change and form a new habit of reading books.”Meanwhile, some local people who were interested in reading and wanted to obtain more knowledge from the Centre pointed out barriers that prevented them from accessing this extra source of knowledge. For example, the Centre is only open during the day and people are not allowed to bring books home. As Ms. Ha said: “With all the work that I had to take care of, I did not have time to stay there and read. I wish that I could bring books and magazines home.” Ms. Kim complained of the limited book selection and that the person who was in charge the commune's cultural division was also in charge of the key for the Centre, but was not paid enough to be there often:Local people were asked about the kinds of reading materials that we wanted, but our request was not fulfilled. We need practical materials that are directly helpful for our livelihood activities rather than general documents on the environment. Moreover, books were kept in the bookcases with locked glass doors. Sometimes people came but nobody was there to unlock the doors for them. One time, two times, and three times, they lost their interest in going there (the Centre), so reading could not become a movement.    The Centre, therefore, has become more of a place for introducing visitors to the activities and environmental conservation that local people have been doing through CBET:When visitors came, we took them to this centre so that they could have an idea of what 184we have done to protect our environment and develop our CBET project, but other than that, I hardly see any local people going there to read books. (Ms. Tam) 6.3.2 Impacts on Environmental AttitudesThere were positive changes in community members' attitude towards the environment. However, both community members and MCD's staff noted that these changes were not just thanks to activities incorporated in the CBET project; but they were a result of a process accumulated through many other local and national environmental promoting  programs. Community members acknowledged that they realized the double benefits of protecting the environment. First, protecting the environment could help conserve local wetland resources which were key attractions to ecotourism visitors who would bring a new source of income to the commune. Secondly, it could also create a safer, cleaner, and more beautiful living environment for local people. Thus, many of them showed their concern for local environmental issues and expressed their motivation and commitment to the improvement of these issues: There is a saying that 'hundreds of rivers run into the sea,' so everything people threw into rivers will end up into the sea. Polluted water is very harmful for our health. In addition, the view of floating trash in the rivers and the sea is not at all attractive. Especially since we hosted visitors, we heard many complaints from visitors about trash in our commune. It is embarrassing. For all these reasons, we recognized that we needed to take the trash issue seriously. (Ms. Tam)According to local community members, besides environmental promoting  programs, the implementation of environmental regulations in Giao Xuan also helped local people develop a more positive attitude towards environmental conservation.They (environmental experts, governmental staff, and the CBET project's staff) talked a lot about the benefits of protecting environment. Local people have had a much better sense of protecting environment. In addition, illegal bird hunters would get fines, thus, hunting is hardly seen in the commune these days. Many bird hunters switched to doing other livelihood activities for a living. (Mr. Gia)185Witnessing visitors take environmental action was a critical incentive for community members to change their attitude towards the environment. Before the CBET project started, it  was not common to have outside people in the commune. In addition, volunteering was not common anywhere in Vietnam until recently. Therefore, witnessing outside people coming into the village and doing volunteer work was a big change for many local people. To some extent, the work done by volunteers inspired an awakening sense of local people's responsibility for protecting the environment: Outside people (voluntourists) initiated many environmental activities in our commune, thus there is no reason for us not to join these activities. It is necessary to understand that a polluted environment in our commune does not only harm us but could harm people who live in other places too. (Mr. Du)  Visitors came here and they even helped us with collecting garbage, planting trees, and teaching us how to protect and beautify our living environment. It is not their homeland, but they did it enthusiastically and responsibly. So, I questioned myself: if they can do it, why can't I? (Mr. Long) Mr. Long has since actively joined different activities in protecting the environment in the commune such as collecting garbage and cleaning up the roads and beaches. He also encouraged his children and grandchildren to join those activities. Mr. Long even convinced other community members to contribute their own money and lobby for financial support from the local government in order to build new roads and bridges to make their village cleaner and more beautiful. An assimilative learning process from reflecting on other people's attitude and actions towards the environment encouraged a radical shift in the career and ideology of Mr. Minh. Mr. Minh is a veteran who served eight years in the army and is an Agent Orange victim. Generations of Mr. Minh's family have lived in Giao Xuan and many of them lived on hunting and selling 186birds. They were known locally as skilful bird hunters. His job as a bird hunter helped support his family for many years.About 15 years ago, groups of researchers started coming to Giao Xuan to conduct research on birds. These researchers needed a local expert to help them with their research project, so Mr. Minh was invited to join them. In 2000, Mr. Minh was invited to work for Birdlife – a local organization which promotes the conservation of birds and their habitats.  Helping to conduct research on birds was a critical step for Mr. Minh to expand his horizon of knowledge on bird protection and had a great impact on his decision to shift his job completely from a bird hunter to a bird protector. He recounted how he changed from a bird hunter to a bird protector:In the past, one day I could use nets and catch hundreds of birds. But after many years joining different groups of scientists and researchers, especially since working for Birdlife, I had many opportunities to learn more about birds, their habitats, and how to protect them. I came to realize that many birds that I hunted in the past were on the list of endangered species like platalea minor and calidris pygmeus. I had hunted too many of them, but I did not even know that they were endangered birds. If we don't protect them now, certain kinds of birds will be extinct. When the CBET project started in 2006, Mr. Minh worked for the CBET project as a local tour guide. Mr. Minh was a guard for the local mangrove forest and was responsible for bird watching and a local tour of the beach and mangrove forest. Mr. Minh claimed that many social, political, and economic factors have influenced his change as well as made him commit to  his job as a bird protector. He said: “I am a member of the Communist Party, receiving benefits as a veteran. The government offers me a job, pays me to protect birds, so there are many influences.” Another very important incentive that motivated Mr. Minh to keep working as a bird 187protector was that he felt good about himself when his knowledge was acknowledged and became useful: Joining the CBET project, I attended many workshops on natural resources and management, but even educators in such workshops respectfully called me their 'mentor'... Many groups of visitors joined the bird watching tour and found it very interesting that I am now working as a bird protector even though I was a skilful bird hunter in the past. Even though they were more educated than me (university students, scientists, researchers...), they listened to me attentively when I shared my knowledge of birds, they showed their interest and respect...That feeling was really rewarding. Even though Mr. Minh's knowledge of local birds was very rich, Mr. Minh found motivation to learn more about birds to fulfill his job: I am working as a tour guide and am known as a local bird expert. I felt that the information that I provide to visitors needs to be precise and helpful. Income from this tour guiding job is not much, but the most important thing is the passion for what you are doing. If you don't like your job, you cannot do it. Mr. Minh thought that stopping bird hunting was the right thing to do for long-term environmental change. He found that what he is doing now as a tour guide for bird watching and mangrove forest tours to some extent created a space for him to fulfill his hobby and passion about birds. It gave him the opportunity to share his knowledge with other people and promote about bird protection.6.3.3 Impacts on Environmental ActionsCombining all the existing knowledge of local socio-environmental issues, the understanding of their commune and people, and the participatory and experiential learning from MCD-lead and visitors-initiated activities, Giao Xuan community members have collectively taken action to make environmental changes in their commune. The action was evident in their  efforts to rehabilitate and protect the local mangrove forest as well as make changes in local 188environmental practices by forming and enforcing regulations on local household trash. Rehabilitating and Protecting the Local Mangrove ForestBefore the CBET project was initiated by MCD, Giao Xuan was one of the buffer communes of Xuan Thuy National Park that participated in the Danish Red Cross Mangrove Forest Plantation Project from 1997 to 2002. During this time, Giao Xuan community members planted over 100 hectares of mangroves (MCD, 2006a). Carrying on this movement, MCD continued to focus on promoting local people's sense of rehabilitating and protecting the mangrove forest by incorporating various environmental programs into the CBET project. Together with volunteers, community members replanted mangrove trees and cleaned trash in the mangrove forest. There were still local individuals who thought that in order to promote the rehabilitation of the mangrove forest, NGOs like MCD should provide local people with money so that they could plant mangrove trees (similar to the Danish Red Cross Mangrove Forest Plantation Project). However, the majority of community members interviewed were conscious of the importance of rehabilitating and protecting the mangrove forest for the sake of their life and appreciated environmental activities initiated by MCD: People (voluntourists) from everywhere came here and helped us to plant mangroves and collect trash in the mangrove forest. We learned and benefited a lot from such activities of the project. Visitors' actions made us recognize that we ourselves need to be responsible for protecting our mangrove forest. We are aware that the mangrove forest is a green lung of our community which helps us to have a cleaner and greener living environment. (Ms. Tam)Under the Danish Red Cross Mangrove Forest Plantation Project, a group of eight local men were recruited as guards for the local mangrove forest. When the CBET project was initiated, this group of guards maintained their work, and one of the CBET core group members 189had actually worked in the local mangrove forest guarding group. When the guarding group was formed, the group members attended workshops initiated by the local government about the importance of mangrove and wetland resources. They also learned about the rules of protecting the core zone of the National Park and communication skills in order to talk to violators. In the past, many of the local guards used to exploit the mangrove forest (cutting trees and hunting birds), but now they shifted to protecting it. The guards took turns to patrol the forest on motorbikes, bikes, and sometimes on foot if necessary. Their responsibilities included preventing people from cutting mangroves, hunting birds, using destructive fishing practices, and constructing aquaculture farms in the core zone of the Park. The guard group members learned to confront, educate, and convince violators not to harm the environment. The guards' responsibility was mostly preventing people from violating the rules, but they did not have authority to fine or arrest violators. Therefore, local guards had to cooperate with the commune police who are actually in charge of enforcing the rules.Even though local guards took turns to patrol the mangrove forest, they could not catch all violators because the guards could not constantly patrol the forest. The guards would therefore ask for assistance from local aquaculture farm watchers who work days and nights to catch violators. Mr. Minh acknowledged the important assistance of local ordinary people in protecting the mangrove forest: We needed to cooperate with other local people. The clam watchers (who were hired to watch clams farms to prevent clam thieves at night) would call us whenever they noticed some violating actions. Most local people's sense of responsibility for protecting the mangrove forest has been greatly improved, so they also wanted to help us and they actually helped us out a lot. (Mr. Minh)The guarding group faced many challenges when they were on duty. Even though rules 190forbidding harmful actions in the core zone were already communicated to all local community members, sometimes violators still claimed that they did not know anything about such rules. Local guards highlighted that working in the community is not all about rules and regulations. Being too rigid about everything could cause conflicts among local people or even revenge from violators to guards on duty. Therefore, sometimes local guards needed to be flexible and “soft” enough in order to convince people to reflect on the long term benefit of protecting the environment and hopefully they would change themselves. Mr. Minh discussed the challenges in his job as a guard for the local mangrove forest:This is a tough job (guarding). You can't always say that 'you are not allowed to do this and you are not allowed to do that' or 'stop cutting trees and exploiting the resources.' People won't simply listen to you and stop doing what they have been doing. Your words need to carry weight in order to have impact on others. You need to use your reputation and your actual actions to convince people not to harm the environment. Everybody here knows that I used to hunt an excessive number of birds in the past, but now I stopped doing it and switched to protecting birds. This helped my words to violators become more persuasive. (Mr. Minh) Forming and Enforcing Regulations on Local Household Trash In the past, local people in Giao Xuan commune did not have any programs or regulations on household trash. Local people often burned their trash and dumped the ash in the rivers or the sea. A large number of local people just threw their trash everywhere, with plastic bags and even dead animals commonly thrown directly into the river. The amount of trash in public places kept increasing, causing an unbearably polluted living environment. The trash issue was also a great concern for many visitors to Giao Xuan. According to the CBET core group members, MCD initiated the household trash collecting movement by providing each village in the commune with a trash cart. Unfortunately, the trash carts were too heavy for local people to 191move. However, still facing a polluted living environment as well as being influenced by environmental activities facilitated by MCD and visitors' actions, community members decided to set up a local program on household trash.  Meetings were first held in different villages of the commune to obtain community members' opinions about solutions for the household trash issue. The consensus of all the villages was that there should be regulations on household trash and all households in the commune would have to conform to the regulations. Specific regulations were also discussed among community members. All the village heads then submitted the proposed regulations to the local People's Committee. After many meetings between the local authority and village heads,  the program on household trash was approved. In order to operationalize this program, community members recognized that it was essential to build a landfill in the commune. Together with heads of different villages, the CBET core group lobbied for funding from the commune's government to build a landfill. They also sought local people who could work as public trash collectors. Finally, in 2008, the program was officially implemented. In this community trash program, a compliance agreement for “Keeping the Environment Green, Clean and Beautiful” was issued with the following regulations: 1) Sort trash into four types: organic waste, recyclable waste, solid waste, and dead animal waste; 2) Manage trash in households by composting dead animal waste and other organic waste, selling recyclable waste, and burying or collecting solid waste to transport to the local landfill; 3) Do not throw dead animals into ponds, rivers, and other public places; 4) Do not throw trash and plastic bags into the sea; protect the coastal environment and resources for sustainable development; and 5) Do not cut trees and mangrove forests; encourage other local people to conform to the 192regulations (Giao Xuan, 2008).  In addition, specific regulations on household trash collection were also set up including: 1) Every household has to put their trash in the trash bins; 2) Every household pays a monthly fee for trash to be collected. The fee is 3.000 VND (about 15 cents) for each person, but it does not exceed 15.000 VND (75 cents) for a household; 3) Public trash collectors pick up trash at every household twice a week (Monday and Friday) and transport it to the commune's landfill. Even though the program was supported by the majority of local people (to date, over 80% of households voluntarily signed the compliance agreement), the CBET core group members highlighted many challenges in getting other community members more involved in this program. Ms. Nga commented on the difficulty in changing local people's habit of throwing trash in public places:Changing a habit is not at all easy. You cannot go around and ask people to put trash in bins and not to throw away trash in public places or litter on the beach and rivers and expect that tomorrow they're going to change and do it. It takes time. (Ms. Nga)Some resistance to the regulations also occurred. For example, Ms. Kim mentioned that whenever she saw other community members throw trash into rivers, she would explain to them about the harmfulness of littering on beach and rivers. She then tried to persuade them to pay money for public trash collectors so that they could help move trash to the local landfill.  However, some people reacted with a negative attitude and even questioned her: “I have been doing it for so many years, and it doesn't affect my life, why do I have to change now?” Ms. Kim concluded: “It is hard. Sometimes it is very difficult to convince them.” Even when the program was implemented, some households did not pay the monthly fee for collecting their household trash and claimed that their family did not have trash. Thus, an extra regulation needed to be 193added to the household trash program. The new regulation required that regardless of how much trash a household has, all households in the commune must pay a monthly fee for household trash. Ms. Tam emphasized the importance of enforcing the local trash regulations:It is unreasonable for them (people who did not pay a monthly trash fee) to claim that their family did not have trash. It is impossible. We all know that every family has household trash. It is transparent. If we had not enforced the regulations thoroughly, they would have thrown their trash again somewhere in public places like rivers or markets or the sea. So, we had to firmly enforce the regulations. In addition, community members also emphasized the importance of understanding the local context and people in order to have the best strategies to encourage people to be involved in changes. Ms. Kim suggested that key people in the community could be targeted as agents of change and these people could influence other people around them. She explained:You need to understand how things work here among people in the community. Learning in the community is about how people copy other people's behaviour. Therefore, we reached out for key people first including leaders of different associations (Youth Women, Fishermen, Veterans, Farmers associations). These key people needed to encourage their own family members to change, and then members of their associations. Slowly things will change. Being a role model was identified as a critical strategy that many community members used to make changes. I don't go out and talk to people in the community about protecting the environment. But I joined most environmental activities conducted by volunteers. By doing this I showed other people in the commune that it is not the job of outside people, it is our own responsibility to protect our environment. (Mr. Kha) The CBET core group's members also worked together and acted as collective role models for the rest of the members in the community. In all environmental activities in the commune, the CBET core group's members actively joined in and encouraged their family members to join as well:194We run CBET, so we need to be clean and green. It is how we attract visitors to come here. So, the CBET Cooperative's members need to take an effort to do it first so that other people in the commune could see it and do the same thing. (Mr. Kha)People in the CBET Cooperative need to be role models. You want a cleaner environment to live and host visitors. Not only your house, but all public places like lanes, roads, beaches, and rivers in the community should be kept clean. You want to encourage other people to be involved in keeping the community clean, you should do it yourself first. (Ms. Nga) After three years of enforcing the household trash program, the trash situation in the commune was greatly improved. All households in the commune now pay a monthly fee for trash to be picked up and the community is noticeably cleaner. Many local people also sorted solid waste and sold recyclable waste to earn some money. According to them it was a dual benefit. Many local people found that if they could earn some money from selling recyclable waste and help to protect environment at the same time, there was no reason for not doing it. Besides maintaining the Community Coastal Cleanup Day on the World Environment Day, the local community also regularly set up their own Community Cleanup Day. On the Community Cleanup Day, they cleaned the beach area and other public places in the commune including lanes, roads, markets, schools, clinics, and the local soldiers' cemetery. Notably, the Community Coastal Cleanup movement in Giao Xuan has influenced some other neighbouring communes. All other four buffer communes next to Giao Xuan also started cleaning up their coastal area. This makes the situation even better, as Ms. Tam recounted:In the past, the day after we cleaned up the beach, we could see trash on the beach again. It was not just trash from Giao Xuan, but trash was also brought from rivers of other communes into our commune's coastal area. However, since all other buffer communes also started cleaning up their beach and taking action on their household trash issue, it is different now. The trash issue cannot be solved by only us (Giao Xuan community members), it needs to be done by other neighbouring communes as well. The trash situation is much better now than it was in the past and we are very happy about it. 1956.4 Chapter SummaryThe non-formal and informal environmental learning activities which took place in the Giao Xuan CBET project were both conceptual and experience-based. Both non-formal and informal environmental learning activities had positive impacts on local community members'  environmental knowledge, attitudes, and actions. Non-formal learning activities helped local  community members obtain a better understanding of the value of local wetland resources for the development of CBET and of CBET as a solution for reducing pressure on local wetland resources. Meanwhile, informal learning activities created space for local community members to apply their existing environmental knowledge, and the knowledge obtained in environmental workshops, to promote local environmental conservation activities. Through both non-formal and informal environmental learning activities, local community members' environmental  attitude towards the environment was positively changed. They showed more concern for the environment as well as commitment to participate in local environmental conservation activities.  Most importantly, in addition to positive changes in environmental knowledge and attitude,  community members expanded their capacity and empowered themselves to take action and make changes with regard to local environmental issues. MCD-led environmental activities incorporated into the Giao Xuan CBET project made a strong contribution to the promotion of local environmental protection and conservation in Giao Xuan. MCD's approach of including local community members in key roles in promoting local environmental protection and conservation was critical to making changes in environmental practices in Giao Xuan. However, there was still a gap between some environmental promotion areas facilitated by MCD, practical local needs, and local implementation (e.g. setting up the  196local community learning centre and study tours for local students). Moreover, findings also showed that visitors' attitude and actions toward the environment had a great influence on how local community members positively changed their views, attitudes, and action toward making changes in environmental practices in Giao Xuan.197CHAPTER 7: LEARNING ABOUT GENDER EQUALITY AND ITS IMPACTS ON LOCAL WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT9The final focus of this study was the connection between ecotourism, gender, and development. In particular, this study examined the impact of community member learning on gender equality and local women's empowerment. The gender analysis in this study was informed by Longwe's (2002) framework of women's empowerment. The framework describes five levels of women’s empowerment (i.e., welfare, access, conscientization, participation and control), taking into women’s (and men’s) productive, reproductive, and community labor. This chapter reports findings on: 1) What and how local people learned about gender equality in the Giao Xuan CBET project and 2) The impact that learning about gender equality and the planning and implementation of the CBET project had on changes in gender roles, gender relations, and women's empowerment in Giao Xuan. The chapter contains two sections. In the first section, I describe how learning about gender equality took place through workshops and other activities of the Giao Xuan CBET project. Local people attended a workshop on gender roles, gender equality, and gender perspectives on coastal wetland management and livelihood development. Local people also participated in a “Training of Trainers” workshop on women’s leadership and communication skills that would help them deliver messages on environmental issues and conservation to other community members. In addition, gender issues were incorporated into other project activities in which local women played a leading role.In the second section, I present how gender roles and relations in the Giao Xuan 9 An abridged version of this chapter was published in Tran and Walter (2014)198community changed as a result of the gender learning that took place in the CBET project.  Findings show a more equitable division of labor, increased income, self-confidence and community involvement, and new leadership roles for women. However, inequities of social class, childcare, and violence against women remained outstanding. 7.1 Learning about Gender Equality in the CBET Project A focus on poor women and gender issues was consistently incorporated into different activities throughout the Giao Xuan CBET project, among which training on gender issues in community development was an important component. In order to provide locally appropriate training to community members, in the early stage of the project MCD staff worked together with local people to conduct an assessment of gender roles and relations in Giao Xuan. This assessment helped MCD to obtain an understanding of gender issues in the local community. Based on the results of the assessment, MCD provided two workshops on gender mainstreaming to local people entitled: “Gender concept and gender mainstreaming in natural resources management” and “Training of Trainers.” Local people also had opportunities to apply what they learned from the workshops to different action-oriented activities in which local women played a key role. These activities included promoting local awareness of environmental conservation and facilitating community dialogues on local livelihood development and wetland resources conservation.  7.1.1 Gender Awareness Raising WorkshopA two day workshop entitled “Gender concept and gender mainstreaming in natural 199resources management” was conducted in Giao Xuan in May, 2006 (MCD, 2007c). The workshop's objectives were to raise local people and relevant stakeholders' awareness of gender roles and relations as well as highlight the importance of integrating gender mainstreaming into local coastal resources management and livelihood development. The workshop brought together 44 participants including local people, the Giao Xuan People's Committee, representatives of the Giao Xuan Women's Association10, local government agencies such as the Department of Trade and Tourism and Department of Natural Resources and Environment, research institutions including Vietnam National University and Maritime Anthropology Research Group – MARE, of the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and media organizations such as Voice of Vietnam and Vietnam News. The workshop provided the participants with fundamental concepts of gender, gender roles, gender equality, and gender and development. A brief introduction of gender issues in Vietnam was also introduced to the workshop's participants. Local people found that many gender concepts introduced in the workshop were very new to them. Ms. Lan, one workshop participant, expressed her views: I was so impressed when it was pointed out in the workshops that it was women's right to go out and learn, to exchange knowledge with other people, but not just to stay at home and serve their kids and husbands all the time. Women also have right to obtain a loan from the bank because women can be just as good as men in terms of managing the loan as well as financial resources in the family. (Ms. Lan) A summary of the results of the assessment on gender issues in Giao Xuan was then highlighted in the workshop. The results showed that there were still traditional gender stereotypes believed by many, such as “men are breadwinners of the household” and “women are 10 Giao Xuan Women's Association is a local organization representing Giao Xuan women to protect women's  rights  and interest, support women to participate in and contribute to local community development, and promote gender equality in the commune.200dependent and have subordinate roles both in home and community.” Compared to men, local women had less access to and control of resources such as capital, land, and technology. The local community's main livelihood activities were wet rice farming, coastal fishing and aquaculture. Local women mainly participated in wet rice farming, but during the off-season, up to 70% of them had to work as low wage laborers for large-scale fishermen to collect marine and aquaculture products. Moreover, local women had limited access to education and lower mobility than men. Women spent most of their time at home and were responsible for reproductive work such as taking care of housework, old people, and children. The amount of time local women spent on reproductive work was two to three times higher than men. Thus, their income from their productive activities was lower than that of men. Furthermore, local  women also had limited access to information such as legal regulations on rare animals, aquatic species and wetland resources conservation. Local women were underrepresented in local leadership positions and hardly had any opportunity to participate in discussions and making decisions on community development issues (MCD, 2006c). The link between gender inequality and a number of local issues such as environmental degradation, low income, health problems, and family conflict was then pointed out and discussed among the workshop's participants.    Following the presentation of local gender issues, the workshop underlined the importance of integrating gender mainstreaming into local livelihood development and natural  resources conservation. A discussion of specific strategies to address each gender aspect that needed to be integrated into the CBET project to improve local women's involvement and capacity in Giao Xuan's livelihood development and natural resources management was facilitated. Three main aspects and specific strategies identified in the workshop are summarized 201in Table 7.1 below (MCD, 2006c).Table 7.1Strategies to Improve Local Women's Involvement and CapacityAspect StrategiesAwareness Raising local people's awareness of the women's rolesProviding women with knowledge of natural resources and the importance of conserving natural resources Lobbying the local authority to pledge their support for creating favourable conditions and opportunities for women to participate in local livelihood development and natural resource management Resources Distribution Providing training on entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to womenProviding women with opportunities to exchange their skills and knowledge with people from other provinces through study tours and social exchangesOrganizing social exchanges in the commune for local women to share their knowledge, skills, and success in their businesses with other peopleIncrease credit schemes and knowledge of using credit for women Providing CBET skills and knowledge trainingProviding CBET materials and documentsPromoting learning of foreign languages and other culturesProviding vocational training to local people Women's Involvement Lobbying women's participation in planning, implementing, and managing community activities Enhancing the role of the local Women's Association Setting up regulations for the rate of women's participation in the CBET project's activities including participation in training and the surveillance and management of the CBET project 7.1.2 Training of Trainers WorkshopIn addition to the gender awareness workshop, in June, 2006, a three day “Training of 202trainers” workshop on communication skills and women’s leadership was also conducted with the aim of developing a core CBET group for “gender and development mobilisation, and gender empowerment” (MCD 2007a, p. 7). The workshop also aimed to provide the core CBET group with communication skills so that they could become more effective communicators and active agents in promoting women's roles in local wetland conservation and management. Participants included staff of Xuan Thuy National Park, representatives of the Giao Xuan People's Committee, Women's Association, Farmer's Association, Fisherman's Association, Youth Association, Bird Conservation Club, and the local Secondary School. Women accounted for 50% of the participants in this workshop. The workshop was conducted with a participatory approach in which members of Giao Xuan Women's Association played a critical role in collaboratively facilitating workshop activities with a communication expert and MCD staff. The workshop started with a discussion on local natural biodiversity. The participants were encouraged to share their knowledge and concerns about local wetland resources.  Following this discussion, the participants were introduced to key communication tools and steps. The workshop participants affirmed that the most common communication tool that they used in the past was spoken words. In the workshop they were introduced to other non-word communication tools such as pictures, panels, posters, and brochures. The participants also learned six basic steps of planning and conducting communication, including: 1) Identifying target audience and their characteristics; 2) Identifying objectives of communication; 3) Choosing appropriate communication tools; 4) Creating and testing communi