In Vietnam, many forests are being effectively managed by the most active guardians - the local communities - thanks to their cultural norms: the forest left by their ancestors is also the place where the forest god resides. It’s the traditional regulations and laws imprinted through the traditional practice of worshiping the sacredness of the gods that guide the community to manage and protect these forests for hundreds and thousands of years. However, there are challenges ahead that hinder them from playing their role.
Viet Nam remains home to great numbers of vulnerable and poor people, especially among the rural population and ethnic minorities – many of whom depend on forest resources. These forests face numerous pressures including illegal logging, infrastructure development and agricultural expansion. RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests, working with WWF and PanNature as part of the European Union-funded Voices for the Mekong Forests (V4MF) project, is seeking to better understand the governance challenges and opportunities in Viet Nam’s forestry sector, as well as putting forward a programme to address these through the empowerment of non-state actors (NSAs).
To this end, a participatory forest governance assessment was carried out in late 2017 and early 2018. The findings, outlined in this brief, reflect the participants’ perception that forest governance in Viet Nam is facing many challenges, in particular in relation to stakeholder engagement processes, but also that windows of opportunities exist.
The project partners will work with various stakeholders, particularly NSAs including civil society, to implement a programme to address the challenges and opportunities identified.
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|The Voices for Mekong Forests (V4MF) is a 5-year project funded by the European Union that aims to strengthen the voices of non-state actors (NSA) to improve the governance of the forests in the Mekong region, particularly in the context of FLEGT-VPA and REDD+ processes. V4MF is implemented by RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests with eight regional and national partners in three trans-boundary landscapes across the five Mekong countries. In Vietnam, PanNature is local partner in this project.|