Final Workshop to Conclude the Project on Promoting Ethnic Women’s Participation

On March 29th 2019, People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) in collaboration with the Women’s Union of Xuan Nha Commune and the Management Board of Xuan Nha Nature Reserve organized a workshop to conclude the Project on Promoting the Participation of Women in Natural Forest Restoration in Xuan Nha Natural Reverse at the Community Learning Center of Xuan Nha commune, Van Ho district, Son La province.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) funded project was carried out from October 2018 to March 2019. The aim of the workshop was to summarize and promote the results of the project, and discuss to establish a benefit-sharing mechanism in forest restoration between Xuan Nha Women’s Union and the Management Board of Xuan Nha Nature Reserve and to prepare the ground for reforestation activities in the future.

Representatives of the Women’s Union of Xuan Nha Commune sharing learning results from the training conducted by PanNature staff (Photo: PanNature)

At the workshop, the Women shared the results achieved after being trained by PanNature staff on forest plant propagation during the period from November 2018 to March 2019. They have sown and propagated over 2000 indigenous forest plants of various species, such as Michelia mediocris, Vernicia montana, Cleistocalyx operculatus, Zanthoxylum rhetsa, Canarium tramdenum, Ardisia silvestris, Celastrus hindsii. These seedlings will be cared further until they reach the required standards for plantation.

During the workshop, the Women also presented process and results of selecting a suitable forest area for restoration, as well as a restoration plan and planting design for the selected area. The selected reforestation area is abandoned agricultural land within the special-use forest area of Xuan Nha Nature Reserve in Chieng Hin village, Xuan Nha commune.

The proposed area for forest plantation is 2 ha with mixed reforestation including timber trees, multi-purpose trees and under-canopy medicinal plants. A cost-benefit analysis resulted in 2 favorable combination designs: Michelia mediocris + Zanthoxylum rhetsa + Celastrus hindsii and Canarium tramdenum + Vernicia montana + Celastrus hindsii Benth. According to the calculations, after 8 years each hectare of restored forest can generate an income of up to 500 million VND per year from non-timber forest products.

Seedlings was displayed at the workshop (Photo: PanNature)

Based on the knowledge and skills of forest restoration gained at the training, combined with a plantation plan, Xuan Nha Women’s Union and the Management Board of Xuan Nha Nature Reserve discussed a benefit sharing mechanism for  the forest area to be restored. The Management Board is responsible for allocating the appropriate land in the Nature Reserve so that the women can replant the forest according to an agreed design and standard guidance for afforestation process.Establishing the restoration forest will be guided and training for the women by Management Board of Xuan Nha Nature Reserve.

Tree nursery at PanNature’s Field Office in Van Ho, Son La (Photo: PanNature)

It is expected that as soon as the forest canopy is closed, this area will be entitled to receive either payments for ecosystem services (PFES) or financial support via forest protection contract with  Xuan Nha Nature Reserve. The women will be contracted to carry out forest protection and management activities and allowed to collect non-timber forest products such as fruits, medicinal plants and forest products under the forest canopy in the established restoration area.

Forest in Xuan Nha commune, Van Ho district, Son La Province (Photo: PanNature)

According to both Management Board and the Women’s Union, the project will have positive effects on forest restoration and practical significance for local women. However, the most difficult issue in the future collaboration for forest restoration is the lack of funding, specifically for transportation, purchase of fertilizers and wages for the hard work that women cannot do such as digging holdes to plant trees, prunning branches after planting trees 2 or 3 years … Thus, both project partners proposed to PanNature to try to seek funding to continue implementation of this idea.

PanNature will try to acquire funding in order to further accompany the Management Board of Xuan Nha Nature Reserve and Women’s Union of Xuan Nha Commune in their reforestation efforts

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