SEARCA-ASRF and partners review Community Forestry implementation in Vietnam

  • 21 April 2016

HOA BINH, Vietnam – The Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) developed a proposal to review the implementation of community forestry in Vietnam during the Project Development Assistance (PDA) workshop facilitated by SEARCA through the Project Management Unit of the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN) Strategic Response Fund (ASRF) on 12-14 April 2016.

While there is a strong legal foundation and progress on forest land allocation, community forestry in Vietnam faces several challenges such as limited human and financial resources, and absence of a single agency that will oversee and harmonize the implementation of community forestry (RECOFTC 2010; Son 2016). Researchers estimated that 2.8 - 3.5 million hectares of forestland are being managed by communities and household groups in Vietnam and the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) projected it to increase up to 4.4 million hectares (RECOFTC 2011; VNFOREST 2013; Son 2016). It is against this backdrop that the proposed project was formulated, with the expectation that it will generate inputs for the revision of the Forest Protection and Development Law (1991) of Vietnam.

Participants of the workshop came from institutions and organizations involved in community forestry in Vietnam, such as the VNFOREST, Vietnam University of Forestry (VFU), Vietnamese Academy of Forest Science (VAFS), Vietnamese Cooperative Union, International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), Hoa Binh Forest Protection Department, and Song Da Forest Protection Management Board. They are researchers, lecturers, and directors with the common desire of pushing forward the agenda on community forestry, specifically expanding the rights and benefits of communities, and ensuring that these would be integrated in the revision of Vietnam’s law on forest protection and development.

The PDA workshop was supported by the ASRF grants to help the ASFN Focal Points of the ASEAN Member States develop relevant proposals that will promote social/community/village forestry in the region. Other recipient-countries of the PDA workshop include Laos PDR, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Myanmar. (Mary Ann Batas)­­­