Forest Governance and Climate Change
Between 2005 and 2007 CECAD carried out the study “Community Forestry and Poverty Alleviation in Vietnam” to explore how poverty reduction can be achieved through sustainable community forestry and to what extent poverty alleviation and forest cover expansion are compatible goals. This research supported the 2014-2016 project “Improving Forest Governance for Climate Sustainability in two Poor Ethnic Minority Communes in Son La province” that aims to contribute to sustainable management and use of forest resources through better forest governance for climate sustainability.
Within the framework of the project, survey on the status of natural forests in Moc Chau district was carried out to find what factors facilitated or constrained forest governance in the locality, based on which training kits were developed to use as training materials for TOT training workshops at the provincial levels. The training aimed improve the capacity of cadres of relevant provincial and district departments, such as Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE), Department of Planning and Investment (DPI) and Department of Construction (DOC) as well as the provincial Women’s Union. Upon their return, the knowledge that participants have gained from the training has been passed onto other stakeholders at the district and commune level, thus contributing to sustainable forest management and protection at the local level.
The project has helped the villagers in the project sites develop two models for carbon sequestration through adoption of agro-forestry practices, which are recognized and applied by local communities. Cultivation of native species of trees and pig rearing models have been developed. Cultivation models include trees such as teak, Melia as well as fruit trees such as longan, mango, lemon, avocado, pomelo, jack fruit and plumb have been planted in the maize fields. This practice will gradually help reduce the area of maize mono-culture, thus reducing the quantity of herbicides and other toxic chemicals applied to crops on the swidden fields. At the same time, pigs have been raised by households in the two communes. The two models have been well developed and it is hoped that they can greatly contribute to the household economies in the two communes. Local promoters have been working on a regular basis to provide consultancy to the pilot models. Linkages between forest governance and conservation agriculture and agro-forestry practices are better understood, thus contributing to better management of forests and increased resilience to climate change.
The 2017-2018 project “Research and Capacity Building on Payment for Environmental Services (PES) Livelihoods and Vulnerability in Vietnam” aims to make an important and innovative research applying a multidisciplinary approach to the case of PES in some communities in Son La and Bac Kan provinces of Vietnam, in order to identify how and why different stakeholders that experience struggle to mitigate and to adapt to climate change, have found it difficult to harmonize their efforts to implement the PES policy and to achieve a commonly agreed upon outcome. Then, based on the research findings we will develop and share methodologies and data from the pilot research sites with an in-country network of stakeholders on PES through construction of a database on baseline Reference Livelihood and Vulnerability Levels (RLVL) at the project sites. TOT training workshops will be conducted for the stakeholders that are involved at the implementation of the PES, so they can develop necessary skills to carry out training at the district and commune level for other stakeholders to better achieve sustainability and climate change resilience goals. The stakeholders include representatives of local NGOs and policy-makers from relevant provincial departments, including DARD, DONRE, DOC and DPI, and the Women’s Association. Upon their return, their capacity will be strengthened so that they could actively participate in the local socio-economic development plan as well as in other development projects/programs in their respective areas.