Projects & Activities

Research and capacity building on REDD+, livelihoods, and vulnerability in Vietnam

PI: Le Thi Van Hue, Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES), Vietnam National University

Co-PIs: Nguyen Viet Dung, PanNature – People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature); and Tran Huu Nghi, Tropenbos International (TBI) Vietnam

U.S. Partner: Pamela McElwee, Rutgers University

Project Dates: June 2012 – May 2015

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Another five-needle pine species discovered in Vietnam

The third among world’s five-needle pine species, after Pinus dalatensis and Pinus kwangtungensis, has been recorded for Vietnam in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve, Son La province. The white pine with large cones and wingless seeds was preliminarily identified as Pinus armandii. Its current conservation status is assessed as Critically Endangered (CR), requiring immediate protection. In addition to conservation values, this pine species also has potential uses in forest plantation for timber and for edible seeds.

Habitat of new pine

Forest habitat in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve. 

In bonsai art five-needle pines are considered as a symbol of strength and beauty due to its neat and solid looking trunk, with fresh green coniferous foliage harmoniously arranged on the branches. The five-needle pines are used to create many bonsai shapes, ranging from simple to complex, from modest to sophisticated, but wherever the tree always reserves its noble but very lively contemplation.

Five-needle pines have been on top of dream collections of many Vietnamese bonsai growers. Some enthusiasts spend lots of money trying to get a specimen of the five-needle pine from China or Japan in their bonsai collection. However, these pines cannot tolerate climate and soil conditions in lowland of Vietnam. Therefore, many bonsai lovers eventually lost their trees after one or two years of unsuccessful cultivation.

However, not many bonsai growers know that there are five-needle pines growing naturally in forests of Vietnam. Vietnam has not one but three species of five-needle pines. Two species Pinus dalatensis and Pinus kwangtungensis have been known since the French colonial time. In January 2013, a research team of PanNature discovered a population of another five-needle pine species in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve in Son La province. The pine species grows relatively straight with height from15 – 25 m and diameter at breast level reaches 0.8 m.

Specimen collection

Collection of specimens of the five-needle pine.

Different from Pinus kwangtungensis, this new pine has leaf bundles with very long needles of 12 – 24 cm, drooping down. Seed cones are quite large with length of 7-10 cm and diameter of 5-7 cm, containing many big seeds of 0.5 x 1 cm in average size. Particularly, seeds of this species do not have real wings.

The population of the five-needle pine in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve grows in a nearly pure stand with total estimated number of mature trees around 200 individuals in an area of approximately 6 square km. This is a mountainous area of altitude from 900 to 1,200 m on clay soil developing on mother sandy stones. Mature individuals of this pine distribute quite evenly in the area. Regenerating saplings are very rare. Only 3 young seedlings (two year old) were observed. Under the pine canopy there is a layer of shrubs and small trees of 2-3 m high, including species of families Theaceae, Lauraceae and dense clumps of small bamboos and tall grasses.

In lower elevation down of the pine ridge, there are primary evergreen forests with occurrence of other conifer species such as Podocarpus neriifolius and Dacrycarpus imbricatus. On the cliffs of the revealed sand stones an interesting slipper orchid has been found. The leaves of the orchid are of white-green color with dark-green spots. Although its flowers were not observed, the orchid is premilinarily identified as Paphiopedilum appletonianum, an orchid species normally found in the Central Highland.

The newly discovered five-needle pine species has many distinctive characteristics as compare to the known Pinus dalatensis and Pinus kwangtungensis. Based on the collected specimens and existing information, it has been preliminary identified by taxonomic experts as Pinus armandii, or the Chinese White Pine.

In China, this pine species distributes from Southern Shandong to Southern Gansu in the West and to Southern Yunnan in the South, with some isolated populations in Anhui and Taiwan. The species is also found in the North of Myanmar.

The new population of Pinus armandii found in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve therefore is the furthest distribution in the South of this species and is separated from the nearest population in Yunnan. This feature suggests that the pine in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve may belong to another variety rather than the white pine in China. Additional study should be done to clarify the taxonomic position of this pine species.

Chinese White Pine is named after the French missionaries and naturalist Armand David, who was the first one introduced the tree into Europe. The species now is planted as a horticultural tree in parks and gardens in Europe and Northern America. The pine also plays important role in forest plantation in some areas in China. Seeds of this pine are collected and sold as edible food. Wood of this species is used in general construction.

The population of five-needle pine in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve is the only known population of this species in Vietnam. Since it has a limited number of individuals, small area of occurrence, low regeneration ability due to wingless seeds, we recommend that the pine should be categorized as Critically Endangered (CR) in Vietnam. Pinus armandii should be included in the national list of endangered species for strict protection for its valuable genetic resource. At the same time, research on propagation and cultivation of the pine as a new potential tree for forest plantation in the Northwestern region should also be considered.

Below are some photos of the five-needle pine in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve. Photo credit should be given to Minh Xuan/PanNature if used.

 Pine stump

Pine stump.

 Pine trunk

Pine trunk.

 Pine canopy

Pine canopy.

  Young cones

Pine young cones.

 Pine seeds

Pine seeds.

 Pine cone branch

Pine cone branch.

PanNature joins conservation groups to honor outstanding journalists and law enforcement officers for wildlife conservation efforts

Hanoi, April 22, 2013 – Today Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV), under the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s ARREST Program, hosted Vietnam’s first national awards ceremony to honor five excellent individuals for their outstanding contributions to wildlife protection.

The Outstanding Service in Wildlife Protection Awards Ceremony, held at the Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel, recognized three law enforcement officers and two journalists, who were selected from more than 60 nominations received during 2012.

A panel of judges with representatives from the U.S. Embassy, ENV, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature), TRAFFIC, and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) selected the five award winners:

  • Mr. Tran Thanh Binh – Head of Lam Dong Forest Protection Department
  • Mr. Nguyen Van Duong – Deputy Head of Environmental Crime Prevention, Quang Ninh Police
  • Mr. Hoang Hai Van – Journalist with Thanh Nien Newspaper
  • Mr. Lam Hieu Nghia – Team Leader of Team Two, Division of Environmental Police, Ho Chi Minh City Police
  • Mr. Nguyen Duy Tuan – Journalist, VietnamNet Online Newspaper

“We are very proud to recognize these five individuals today,” said Ms. Vu Thi Quyen, Executive Director and Founder of ENV. “On any given day, the situation in Vietnam can look rather bleak for wildlife, but these award winners are some of our most valuable partners in the movement forward towards a better future for Vietnam’s wildlife. It is important that we show our appreciation for their efforts, for their dedication and commitment to making a difference, and for helping to transform the way we protect our rich natural heritage.”

US Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Ms. Claire Pierangelo, the ceremony’s guest of honor, praised the efforts of the award winners. “There is no quick fix for wildlife conservation,” she said. “But by working together, we – government, the international community, civil society, and individuals like today’s award winners – can protect Vietnam’s wildlife and eliminate the demand for trafficked goods.”

quyen_wildlife_protection_awards

Mrs. Vu Thi Quyen,Executive Director and Founder of ENV, delivering the opening remarks. Photo: ENV.

dong_wildlife_protection_awards

Mr. Nguyen The Dong, Deputy Director General, Vietnam Environment Administration, MONRE, delivering a speech. Photo: ENV.

taylor_tinney_wildlife_protection_awards

Mr. Taylor Tinney, Representative of US Embassy, delivering a speech. Photo: ENV.

Giai-bao-chi-DVHD

Mr. Trinh Le Nguyen, Executive Director of PanNature, announcing the Outstanding Journalist Award. Photo: Xa Cam.

Read the full press release on ENV’s website here.

Source: ENV

A community of endangered conifers found in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve

During a field survey in the middle of December 2012 PanNature’s research team discovered an area near Pha Luong peak in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve (Son La province) where several precious and rare coniferous tree species are thriving. These conifers include Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus mannii) and two species of Catkin Yew (Amentotaxus).

The investigation in Xuan Nha Reserve is a part of the project “Conservation of conifer tree species in Hoa Binh – Son La limestone corridor” implemented by PanNature and supported by the Rufford Small Grants.

The forest area is about 120 hectares, locating in the southwest slope of Pha Luong mountain (at altitude 1,580 -1,635 m) in the boundary of Cot Moc village (Tan Xuan commune, Moc Chau district, Son La province) and adjacent to Xam Neua district (Lao PDR). There is a mixed subtropical mountainous forest grown on sandstone. Three rare conifer species were found in this area, including Cephalotaxus mannii, Amentotaxus argotaenia and Amentotaxus yunnanensis.

The population of Cephalotaxus mannii in Pha Luong consists of 10 mature trees. Some of them reach 25m in height and 0.8 m in diameter. Trees growing on rock cliffs of the mountain are usually smaller, with main stems broken and many side branchlets. The team also found  dozens of young seedlings of Cephalotaxus mannii well regenerating on moist humus layer of the forest.

Bark of Cephalotaxus mannii trees has brown-red color, peeling away into thin layers. The upper side of its leaves is dark green while the underside has white stomatal bands. Cephalotaxus mannii is scatteredly distributed in Vietnam. Its current conservation status is listed as Vulnerable (VU) in both Vietnam Red Data Book (2007) and IUCN Red List. The species is also included in the Appendix IIA of the Decree 32 of Government of Vietnam on Management of Endangered, Precious, and Rare Species of Wild Plants and Animals.

Sapling of Amentotaxus argoteania

A sapling of Cephallotaxus mannii in Pha Luong mountain

In the same area where the population of Cephalotaxus grows, the research team also found a big tree of Amentotaxus yunnanensis. It has a large trunk, with diameter 85 cm and height approximate 30 m. Amentotaxus yunnanensis is a very rare conifer listed as endangered (EN) in the IUCN Red List. It is normally found on limestone areas in Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Bac Kan, Tuyen Quang provinces. In Pha Luong, the tree just grows on the sandstone-derived clay soil and has an unusual large size. In the past, a similar tree of Amentotaxus yunnanensis with the same size was found in Pu Luong Nature Reserve (Thanh Hoa province).

Another species of Amentotaxus was found  in Pha Luong area. The conifer is identified as Amentotaxus argotaenia. This species has two white stomata bands in the underside of its  leaves, which are narrower than the ones of Amentotaxus yunnanensis. The research team found only two young trees of 3-4 m height in the area. In Vietnam Amentotaxus argotaenia can be found in several areas but all the populations is relatively small. Its conservation status is ranked as Vulnerable (VU) in the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

 Amentotaxus yunnanensis

Amentotaxus yunannensis with diameter of the trunk of 85 cm.

The existence of Plum and Catkin Yews on Pha Luong mountain has significant implications for research, conservation and biodiversity values of Xuan Nha Nature Reserve. Even though the forest area is not yet affected by human activities thanks to its remoteness, small population size, narrow area of occurrence, difficult natural regeneration and forest fires are all current threats to survival of these remaining conifer populations.

In additionto the above-mentioned species, the research team also observed occurrence of other conifers in adjacent areas such as Keteleeria evelyniana, Dacrycarpus imbricatus and Podocarpus neriifolius. These findings suggest further research and conservation work to explore and protect many potential biodiversity values of Xuan Nha Nature Reserve.

Reported by Dang XuanTruong and Phan Van Thang

Consultation Workshop: Participatory Governance Assessment for REDD+ in Vietnam

The Participatory Governance Assessment for REDD+ in Viet Nam is about to complete Stage 1. The objectives of Stage 1 are: conducting an Institutional and Context Analysis for improved understanding of the context and identifying relevant stakeholders, and reaching agreement on prioritized governance issues that the PGA will be focusing on. To conduct stage 1 of the PGA, UNDP engaged a research team lead by Center for Sustainable Development in Mountainous Areas – CSDM in consortium with Centre of Research and Development in Upland Area – CERDA and Center for People and Nature Reconciliation – PanNature. All three organizations are national NGO. After three months of research, data collection, and interviews with stakeholders, on March 6th 2013, the research team held a consultation workshop in Da Lat with relevant stakeholders from the province and REDD+ pilot districts.

3-3

Groups discussion. Photo: Tina Hagerberg/UN-REDD Vietnam Program.

Source: UN-REDD Vietnam Program

 

Civil Society Consultation Workshop on Vietnam’s Legality of Timber and Timber Products

On 23rd -24th November, 2012, the Center for People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) organized a two day consultation workshop for civil society organization on Vietnam’s legality of timber and timber products. The event also was opportunity for the Vietnamese Non-Governmental Organizations Network for Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (VNGO-FLEGT) members plan their main activities for the year 2013.

The workshop is one of VNGOs-FLEGT’s capacity building and participation activities in negotiation process between Vietnamese government and European Union (EU) on the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). Over 40 representatives from nearly 30 civil society organizations (NGOs/CSOs), including: members of VNGO-FLEGT, European Forest Institute (EFI) and experts participated in the workshop.

Main objective of the workshop is to inform, discuss and unify some initial results of community consultation on legality of timber and timber products activities, that were conducted from 9th – 11th November 2012 by VNGO-FLECT in 06 provinces: Yen Bai, Bac Kan, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien Hue, Lam Dong and Ba Ria-Vung Tau. More than 30 local communities in 14 communes of 6 districts were selected for participating in these consultation activities. They are local forest-dependent communities living in and near forest, known as forest owners or contractees to forest management, protection or exploitation in both natural and plantation forest areas.

The initial results show that, there is limitation in community awareness on legality of timber and timber products. In case of timber from plantation forests, most of communities do not concern about legality of timber and timber products. The reason is that products from plantation forests (standing trees) are usually sold all to buyers and these people have to comply all legal procedures from exploitation to transportation phase. In case of timber from natural forests, legal procedures are complied by forestry enterprises that carry out timber exploitation. In some other cases, even communities have rights as natural forest owners that are official allocated by Vietnamese government, they are also very vague about legality of forest timber.

Policy on contracting natural forest management and protection as well as forest plantation lands for households, household groups or village communities are implemented in many provinces nationwide. During exploitation period, contractors (state forest owners) will conduct legal procedures related to exploitation design and organization, and then decide a sharing proportion of products (timber) for both contractors and contractees bases on signed contracts. By this way, it is very difficult for contractees to know the volume of harvested timber because they are not able to participate or monitor during timber exploitation process in contracted forest areas.

Additionally, although forest exploitation process has been complied with regulations on environmental impact assessment, in fact, it still causes negative impacts on environmental and local communities living adjacent exploited areas, especially in some areas, it can cause depletion of water resources and dangerous flash floods.

In order to ensure rights and benefits of local communities when Vietnam officially joined in VPA/FLEGT, VNGO-FLEGT suggests that a risk assessment of timber benefit mechanism should be conducted. Then, base on the study’s results, some risk management solutions in VPA/FLEGT implementation process will be recommended.

In cases of natural forest management/protection contracts (if exploitation) or forest land contracts, contractees should be able to participate in monitoring exploitation process in forest contracted areas (in collaborate with forest ranger department) to ensure transparency and equitable of timber benefit sharing mechanism.

For communities living adjacent natural forest areas, the role of forest in environmental protection is very important, especially in regulating water resources, hence, we should apply “restricted exploitation” method in the certain forest areas. In phases of exploitation design and implementation, a community consultation should be carried out to achieve consent of local communities, especially community participation in exploitation monitoring process (in collaboration with forest ranger department) is needed.

In parallel with the recommendations above, the State also needs to quickly issue official certificates of land-use rights (“red book”) for forest owners who has already been allocated forest lands, and households who have not had “red book” yet but already used forest land areas in stable and long term without disputes. The idea can help local communities legally eligible to participate in VPA/FLEGT process.

FLEGT Workshop

Photo: PanNature

VNGO-FLEGT will sum up these initial results of community consultation activities and share to all stakeholders in negotiation process between Vietnamese government and European Union on FLEGT/VPA. These results will contribute to efforts for implementation in controlling illegal timber exploitation and trafficking; strengthening forest legal and institutional system toward sustainable forest management and ensuring equitable benefit and responsibility sharing mechanism among local communities, enterprises and related forest owners.

Source: SRD

 

Conservation of Conifer Tree Species in Hoa Binh – Son La Limestone Corridor

The corridor area Hoa Binh – S?n La is a highland limestone landscape with subtropical vegetation located in North West of Vietnam. It is a habitat for many flora and fauna species, including threatened conifer species. However, information about biodiversity of the area is still limited and conservation actions for these species are often neglected.

In order to conserve and develop the conifer trees species of the area the project will conduct a series of actions for in-situ and ex-situ conservation in Nature Reserve Hang – Pa Co (Hoa Binh province) and adjacent Moc Chau district (Son La province). Field survey and data collection about the conifer tree species in the area will be implemented. Digital distribution and status map for the species will be compiled. Natural and artificial threats to the conifers in the sites will be assessed in order to understand the conservation status and provide appropriate recommendations for conservation actions.

Nguyen Duc To Luu (right) and his colleague Phan Van Thang in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve (Son La province). Photo: PanNature.

Specimens of the rare conifers will be collected, processed and used for identification work and for school awareness raising activities. Seed collection and propagation of the conifers will be conducted for improvement of propagation methods and produce planting materials for further ex-situ plantation and awareness raising activities in a community mini-nursery.

Dissemination of the field work results and awareness raising will be implemented through designing a coloured booklet of occurred conifers, publishing website articles and organizing a thematic workshop focusing on conifer conservation issues in the studied area. Combination of field and nursery works, communication activities would bring a real impact on conservation of threatened coniferous species in Vietnam.

This project is led by Nguyen Duc To Luu, PanNature’s Resource Governance Program Manager, with funding from the Rufford Small Grants Foundation.

Link: The Rufford Small Grants Foundation

Outstanding Achievement Awards for Wildlife Protection

In early 2013, Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) will host Vietnam’s first National Wildlife Protection Awards ceremony, to recognize the outstanding contribution by members of society towards efforts to protect wildlife. The Awards will be conducted in partnership with the United States Embassy, the Freeland Foundation, People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Vietnam, Traffic Southeast Asia-Greater Mekong Programme, IUCN Vietnam, Cuc Phuong Endangered Primate Rescue Center.

“This event is about recognizing people who stand out as having a strong positive impact in protecting wildlife threatened by hunting and trade,” says Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung of ENV. “ENV and our partners feel that it is important that the excellent contribution by law enforcement, the media, and the public to protect wildlife is recognized.”

The awards are diversified into three major catergories, namely: Outstanding Enforcement Officer, Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Public Contribution. The nomination process will begin on 10th August 2012 and end at 5pm, 31st October 2012. The Award winners will be invited to a special Award Ceremony which will take place in March 2013.

Further information about the awards is AVAILABLE HERE or please contact Ms. Tran Thuy Duong of ENV at (84-4) 3514 8850 or giaithuongDVHD@gmail.com

Regional Partnership for Better Governance in Extractive Industries

Efforts by Indonesian civil society have generated gains in Extractive Industries area, including the 2010 decision by government to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). In this project, we aim to share and expand those experience to the region by conducting a cross-national capacity building and advocacy that seeks to improve extractive industry transparency and accountability by supporting Indonesian civil society to consolidate and disseminate their experience.

Revenue Watch Institute, together with Indonesian CSOs: The PATTIRO Institute (PI); the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR); and the Indonesian Parliamentary Center (IPC); and with counterparts from Cambodia (Cambodians for Resource Revenue Transparency/CRRT), Malaysia (Research on For Social Advancement/REFSA), the Philippines (Bantay Kita), Timor Leste (Luta Hamutuk) and Vietnam (PanNature/CODE); are working to mount effective transparency campaigns that target regional, national and sub-national authorities.

These partnerships will pursue change at three levels: 1) Advocacy campaigns, led by IESR, will push for ASEAN to advocate extractive sector transparency as part of its broader program of economic integration. 2) In Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, national civil society, led by regional partners with IPC support, will push for their governments to join EITI so as to increase transparency and multi-stakeholder dialogue about oil and mining operations and revenue management. Finally, 3) at the community level, civil society in the Philippines, Timor Leste and Vietnam, with support from PI, will empower communities to access and utilize information so they can better ensure that sector activities advance rather than counteract their interest.

Success in these activities could generate tangible improvements in extractive sector governance, and these can trigger broader gains. Transparency and participation reduce tensions in producing communities, lessening the likelihood of conflict. More information and better systems cause investment climates can improve, leading to sector growth and higher revenues. Disclosures and public accountability encourage more spending on poverty reduction and development priorities. Transparency in turn deters corruption, which undermines the integrity and efficiency of the state. By building the capacity of civil society to perform its oversight functions, Revenue Watch and its partners are working to support the development of robust democracies across Southeast Asia.

From Project Website >>

VNGO-FLEGT to Comment for the 5th Draft of the Legality Definition

The VNGO&FLEGT Network was formulated in January 2012 and currently consists of 20 non-governmental organizations, and research institutes and development centers from several universities nationwide. Represented for the network is a Core Group consisting of fourorganisations: the Centre of Research and Development in Upland Areas (CERDA), the Centre for Sustainable Development in Mountainous Areas (CSDM), People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) and the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD).

In the spirit of the meeting hosted by the Standing Office on March 20, 2012 addressing the on-going VPA/FLEGT negotiation process and the role of civil society organizations in Vietnam, upon receiving the 5th Draft of Legality Definitions on Timber and Timber Products and the Letter of Invitation from the Standing Office, the Core Group has announced and forwarded all of these documents to the other member organizations and individuals in the Network to collect their comments, and then prepared the document.

The VNGO&FLEGT comment for the Legality Definition has already sent to the FLEGT and Lacey Standing Office, Vietnam Forest Administration of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on April 30th, 2012.

Download the document with detailed comments (File PDF, 393 KB)>>

People and Nature Reconciliation | Office: 24 H2, Khu do thi moi Yen Hoa
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