Projects & Activities

Lauching the REDD+ Community Carbon Pools Program in Vietnam

New regional initiative aims to share the benefits of reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

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The First Mekong Resources Forum: Water Resources and Sustainable Development – Perspectives from Laos and Vietnam

Water is vital for all livings, development and prosperity of every nation. Water sources from rivers, lakes and wetlands not only maintain ecological functions and biodiversity, but also supply water for domestic uses, agricultural production, energy and navigation; ensure food security, nutrition, cultural customs, and traditional livelihoods; particularly for rural communities living close to water bodies. Consequently, sustainable water resources management has increasingly been mainstreamed into policy agenda  of many governments.

While water resources play as a source and motivation for development, utilization of this natural asset could also result in competition and governance challenges at local, national and regional levels driven from water pollution, environmental degradation and unsustainable use – particularly in river basins that priorities are more than often given to economic growth and development. Under the pressures of economic development, water resources from inland and transboundary rivers in Laos and Vietnam are facing trade-offs for hydropower development, infrastructure construction, and expansion of extractive industries.

Obviously, Laos and Vietnam are mutually dependent in term of water resources by the facts that Vietnam is one of leading investors in Laos, where many of their development projects could cause negative impacts on watersheds and water resources, such as commercial logging, cash crop plantation, hydropower dam construction, and mining. On the other side, the plan to develop mega hydropower projects on the mainstream Mekong river has raised concerns in Vietnam over potential negative impacts and long-term risks for river flows, water quality, sedimentation, aquaculture and aquatic products, local livelihood, and development opportunities in the Mekong Delta in the future.

Watersheds of some main rivers in Vietnam (such as Ca and Ma rivers) come partly from Laos’ territory. Therefore, water flows of these rivers are significantly dependent on watershed forests in Laos. Both countries share common concerns and interests in regard to watershed and river basin planning and management. The trend of development of hydropower dams on both mainstream Mekong river and tributaries in Laos and Vietnam in recent years has also drawn much attention and participation of different stakeholders due to existing and potential negative environmental and social impacts.

In order to facilitate and promote exchanges and collaboration between scientists, research organizations and civil society institutions of the two countries, with supports from International Rivers (IRs), Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF), the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF, through funding from the Australian Government), and the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN), PanNature organized and facilitated the workshop “Water Resources and Sustainable Development: Perspectives from Laos and Vietnam”. The initial concept and arrangement for this workshop has been discussed and supported by a number of experts, local and international organizations in both Laos and Vietnam.

First Mekong Resources Forum. Photo: PanNature.

The two day workshop, organized on 1-2 December 2011, is part of the Mekong Resources Forum, a new initiative recently developed by PanNature that aims at facilitating meaningful dialogues on resource governance and its associated issues among regional scientific and civil society organizations in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. This non-state platform will include a wide variety of dialogues, exchanges and cooperation activities built upon mutual interests and power of knowledge for bettering natural resource governance in the region.

The workshop programmed for one day of in-door presentations and discussions and another day for field-trip to visit Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant. The presentations featured with updated information about policies and practices related to water resources utilization and management, river basin planning, aquatic biodiversity as well as social and environmental impacts of hydropower and other development forms to inland and transboundary rivers of Laos and Vietnam.

The field trip to Hoa Binh province included a visit to Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant and meeting with a downstream community at Yen Mong commune.

Workshop Presentations

Water Security and Sustainable Development in the Lower Mekong Basin
Mr. Nguyen Viet Dung – People and Nature Reconciliation

Water Resources Management and River Basin Planning in Lao PDR: Cased on Nam Ngum River Basin
Mr. Souphasay Komany – Laos Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

Water Resources Management and River Basin Planning in Lao PDR
Kongngeun Chounlamountry, Assistant Director General Department of Water Resources MONRE

Water Resources Management and Stakeholder Roles in RBO in Vietnam
Dr. Dao Trong Tu – Center for Sustainable Water Resource Development and Climate Change Adaptation

Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydropower Development in Lao PDR
Ms. Amphay Dalasouk – Faculty of Environmental Studies, Laos National University

Hydropower Development: Environmental and Social Impacts in Vietnam
Dr. Dao Trong Hung – Vietnam Institute of Science and Technology

Live and Livelihood of Resettled Communities from Hydropower Projects
Mr. Pham Quang Tu – Consultancy on Development Institute

Potential Impacts of Hydropower Projects on the Fish Resources and Aquatic Biodiversity. Case studies in Hoa Binh Dam (1996) and Sesan 5/1 Dam (2008)
Prof. Mai Dinh Yen – Hanoi National University, Vietnam

Mekong River Needs a Serious Common Action
Dr. Houmphanh Rattanavong – Laos Biodiversity Association

Aquatic Resources and River Base livelihoods of Local Communities in Laos
Dr.Bae Phiaxay – Falcuty of Environmental Studies, Laos National University

Payment for ecosystem services in Vietnam: Opportunities and Challenges
Dr.To Xuan Phuc – Forest Trends

Policy and State of Watershed Forest Management in Lao PDR
Dr. Anoulom Vilayphone – Faculty of Forestry, Laos National University

Hoa Binh Hydropower: Impacts on Resettled and Downstream Communities
Mr. Dan Phuc Tiep – Hoa Binh Union of Science and Technology Associations

Presentation on social and environmental impacts of hydropower projects in Laos. Photo: PanNature.

The event attracted participation of 70 representatives from Lao and Vietnam. Participants agreed that there should be more open dialogues among different stakeholders in the Mekong region to share common concerns, understanding, and cooperation for better governance of natural resources for peaceful and sustainable development in the region.

More Detailed Information

WB/CEPF supervision mission to visit PanNature

From 14th to 18th June 2011, three representatives from the World Bank, Senior Biodiversity Specialist Ms Claudia Sobrevila, Valerie Hickey and Karen Azeez, Douglas J. Graham, Environment Coordinator for Vietnam and CEPF Grant Director Jack Tordoff undertook a supervision mission to Vietnam.

The occasion provided an opportunity for an update on project progress. They visited a number of grantees including Fauna and Flora International, People Resources and Conservation Foundation, People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) and met a representative from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment – the Global Environment Facility Focal Point in Vietnam.

On 16 June, the group visited Ba Be National Park in Bac Kan Province where they were updated by a PanNature staff about the organisation’s media work in the area and other project activities. They were able to see the threats to the lake, reported elsewhere in this issue, first hand. On the same day, the team saw tiger and bear body parts for sale in a local restaurant in Ra market township, about 15 kilometres from Ba Be National Park. This is covered in the below article by PanNature several days later (www.thiennhien.net).

Hoang Van Chien, reporter of PanNature’s ThienNhien.Net, in a trip to the core zone of Ba Be National Park in 2010. Photo: ThienNhien.Net/PanNature.

The following day, a visit was paid to the Center for Water Resources Conservation and Development (WARECOD) project site on community fisheries along the Gam River in Na Hang Province. The group observed a training provided by the Center on ecotourism communications skills to local fishermen.

Source: The Babbler No. 38

Karen Azeez writes more about the trip on WB’s Sustainable Development website. Click here to read the full post >>

Training course: “How to Tell Your Story in the Age of YouTube”

From 22 – 29 July 2011, Hoang Van Chien, reporter at PanNature’s ThienNhien.Net news website was offered to attend the training course “How to Tell Your Story in the Age of YouTube” organized by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the video production company Red Bridge.

The workshop aimed to improve capacity and skills of participants in using digital video cameras and visual language to produce short clips. After the course, participants will be able to use learned skills to report on an issue and/or promote their organization.

Participants of the training course.

There were 12 participants in this training course, including 6 journalists from national media agencies and 6 Vietnamese NGO staff.

During 8 days of the course, local and international trainers introduced different practical concepts and skills, including types of documentary films, documentary production process, camera theory and filming techniques.

Participants also learned steps and principles in editing and finalizing short video films.

By end of the course, participants also filmed and produced short video films and published on the Internet through YouTube channel.

PanNature and CERDA join the Partnership Steering Committee of FSSP

In response to the invitation letter (dated May 12th, 2011) from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Forest Sector Support Partnership (FSSP) Coordination Office, PanNature and CERDA (Center of Research & Development in Upland Area) are honored to join the Partnership Steering Committee of FSSP for the term of 2011 – 2015.

PanNature joins FSSP as a partnership member and a representative of local civil society in the Steering Committee.

PanNature and CERDA will represent local civil society as member and alternate member of the Steering Committee respectively.

About Forest Sector Support Partnership
About FSSP Partnership Steering Committee
List of PSC members

Seminar on Mining Laws and Transparency in Extractive Industries

The extractive industries bring about a significant source of revenues for Vietnam to boost its growth in recent decades. The government of Vietnam has devoted lot of efforts in managing oil, gas, and mineral resources for development through a number of policies and laws. The current Mining Law, which was promulgated in 1996 and revisited in 2005, is going to be revised and passed by the National Assembly during its two annual meeting sessions in 2010.

A coal mining site in Quang Ninh province. Photo courtesy of PanNature, 2009.

A coal mining site in Quang Ninh province. Photo courtesy of PanNature, 2009

Consultancy on Development (Code) and People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature)  have been working together to promote better governance of natural resources, including the extractive industries, toward the goal of sustainable development for Vietnam through research and advocacy activities. The Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) is one of leading non-partisan organizations working to promote good governance and further transparency of natural resources throughout the world. RWI also actively promotes and support the adoption the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in many countries.

mining-seminar-oct2009-01

This seminar was co-organised in Hanoi on 12th October 2009 by three above-mentioned organisations with aim to share international experiences on mining legislation, transparency in the extractive industries, and Vietnam’s perspectives on these issues. Program Objective

  • Sharing international experience on best practices of mining laws and values of transparency in governing extractive industries;
  • Discussing the potentials and possibilities of promoting EITI principles in extractive industries and natural resources in Vietnam.

Venue Bengawan Solo Room, 1st Floor, Hanoi Horison Hotel 40 Cat Linh Street, Hanoi, Vietnam Seminar Materials

Useful Links

Dialogue on River Basin Management in Vietnam

Under Strategic Goal No#1, the Dialogue on River Basin Management in Vietnam was held by the Vietnam Water Partnership (VNWP) in collaboration with People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) on 8th September 2009 in Nui Coc, Thai Nguyen. In attendance were 49 participants representative from the Water Resources Management Department of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE); the Department of Water Resources of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD); Institute for Water Resources Planning, Academy for Water Resources of MARD; Vietnam Mekong River Committee; representative from Department of Natural Resources Management (DONRE), Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) of Ho Chinh Minh and Da Nang cities, Bac Ninh, Bac Giang and Thai Nguyen provinces; JICA project on the Study for Water Environment Management on River Basins in Vietnam; professional associations, NGOs and scientists.

The objectives of the Dialogue are:

  • To be a platform for related stakeholders to discuss about the experiences and lesson learned from current River Basin Organization (RBO) in Vietnam and Southeast Asia countries;
  • To recommend on strengthening RBO in Vietnam context following IWRM approach in basins in order to contribute for implementing new Government Decree No. 120/2008/N?-CP on River Basin Management;
  • To heighten VNWP role in IWRM promotion.

Recommendations of the RBO follow by Decree No. 120/2008/N?-CP:

  • It is necessary to empower for RBO to manage water resources. RBO need to have enough human and financial resources or have mechanisms for financial attraction to ensure it’s operation smoothly
  • RBO should operate as a independent professional agency, complying with the national policies and legal framework. It also has power for technical recommendations which are basic to central and local governments for their decisions.
  • RBO should have mechanisms for stakeholder participation in the decision making process related to water resources development and management.
  • RBO Standing Office should have technical functions to ensure the water resources governance; objective relationship with local government; professional actions; finance allocated and locate within basin.

Source: GWP-SEA

Workshop on the Role of Civil Society Organizations in Economic and Social Development in Mountainous Areas

“The role of civil society organizations in economic and social development in mountainous areas” workshop was organized October 21st, 2008 in Hanoi by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), in collaboration with Institute for Social Research, Center for Promoting Development for Women and Children (DWC), Center for Sustainable Development in Mountainous Areas (CSDM), Centre of Research and Development in Upland Area (CERDA), and People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature).

Workshop banner

The objective of the workshop aims to enhance awareness and exchange views on the role of civil society organizations in socio-economic development at provincial level and support for ethnic minorities in mountainous areas. The workshop introduced an overview of civil society in Vietnam as well as mechanisms to help civil society organizations connect with other state agencies to contribute ideas, analysis and discussions on policies and laws relating to ethnic and development issues in mountainous areas.

Workshop participants

In addition, CSDM, CERDA, DWC and PanNature also presented their viewpoints, development methodologies, and specific examples from field projects in order to reflect the practical lessons on socio-economic development in mountainous areas and raising awareness of local communities on development issues. Throughout these presentations, different approaches of participating CSOs became clear. DWC uses a right-based approach with participation of local communities and available resources. CERDA begins by identifying difficulties of local communities and consequently concentrates on appropriate solutions. CSDM carries out their approach through establishing and developing networks in local communities, such as performance – communication groups, traditional medicine practitioner groups, and indigenous knowledge conservation and development groups. PanNature introduced their specific view on access to natural resources after forest land allocation. The workshop ended with a round table discussion on formulating civil society organization networks, capacity of these organizations, as well as approaches for developing and operating successful networks on ethnic and mountainous issues. By Hai Van

Notice: PanNature’s office phone number changed

As of 19 October 2008, the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) has changed all fixed phone number in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and other 53 provinces and cities by adding an extra number “3” at the beginning the current number. For more information, please visit http://www.vnpt.com.vn.

Our office numbers is automatically changed to: 04 3 556-4001 (phone) and 04 3 556-8941 (fascimile).

If you call from outside of Vietnam, our office phone number should be: ++84 4 3 556-4001; fascimile: ++84 4 3 556-8941.

PanNature

Facilitating Development of Local Environmental Protection Action Plans

In August and September 2008, PanNature conducted field surveys and organized environmental protection planning workshops in Bac Me and Hoang Su Phi districts of Ha Giang province within the framework of the Chia Se Project (Vietnam – Sweden Poverty Reduction Program, managed by the Ministry of Investment and Planning).

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People and Nature Reconciliation | Office: 24 H2, Khu do thi moi Yen Hoa
Yen Hoa quarter, Cau Giay district, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: ++8424 3556-4001 | Fax: ++8424 3556-8941 | Email: contact@nature.org.vn