Forest project helps enhance forest governance and poverty reduction

Saturday, 2018-10-27 17:22:05
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Afforestation in Cao Bang province. (Representative photo:
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NDO – Over the past four years, the "People participation in improvement of forest governance and poverty alleviation in Vietnam” (PFG-Vietnam) project has brought about positive changes for local communities, especially in proactively planning forest development and protection in association with promoting the role of local people.

The assessment was made at a seminar to sum up the project, which was jointly funded by the Embassy of Finland in Vietnam and ActionAid Vietnam, after four years of implementation.

The PFG-Vietnam project was implemented in four districts in four different provinces, including Thong Nong (Cao Bang province), Krong Bong (Dak Lak province), Duyen Hai (Tra Vinh province) and Dong Hai (Bac Lieu province), along with a number of national activities during the past four years from November 2014 to October 2018.

The project targets to directly bring positive changes to the lives and livelihoods of 260,000 people, whose livelihoods are closely linked to traditional forest management, helping them to gain improved control over forests through better access to information and institutions.

It also targets to develop a Management Information System for Forestry Sector (FORMIS) with the objective to develop a fully integrated Management Information System (MIS) for forestry decision making in Vietnam, while ensuring forest governance through community-based management models and information technology application, as well as enhancing the use of data from the FORMIS for ethnic minority groups and making recommendations for policy building attached to effective forest management.

Over the past four years, the project has brought about positive results, creating positive changes for local communities, including improving the capacity of the community to use information from the FORMIS system to develop forest management, protection, development plans and market connections.

Finnish Ambassador to Vietnam, Kari Kahiluoto, speaks at the seminar. (Photo: NDO/Le Minh)

It helps to develop groups of models and cooperatives for afforestation, which encourage the community to combine afforestation and ensure the sufficient supply of raw materials, in addition to developing livelihoods and improving the environment through the model of reforestation and medicinal plant planting on areas of land that have been planted with industrial or agricultural perennial crops that have caused soil degeneration.

Pham Thi Ha, a member from the community of Cu Kty commune, Krong Bong district, said that the project has helped the local community to develop nearly 200 ha of forest, while helping to establish a cooperative and connect it with local businesses and associations. It also helps local people to have more information, knowledge and confidence to actively realise their goals and dreams in hunger eradication and poverty reduction to enrich themselves on their homeland.

Annika Kaipola, from the Embassy of Finland, said that the project supported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to build the FORMIS system to help facilitate the management and decision-making process of the forestry sector. It also encouraged local people to participate in the FORMIS system, thus helping improve the system, while also providing access to the national forestry information system and enabling them to participate in the national forestry information system and forest governance for better development of local forest-based livelihood models.

The PFG-Vietnam project will be handed over to localities for replication across the country, helping to contribute to increased community participation in forest governance and poverty reduction in Vietnam.