Forestry experts are optimistic about the future in Vietnam, largely thanks to community-based forest management. The model is developing extensively in the country, and experts have lauded its ability to increase forest recover, limit deforestation and create income from forests for local people. Nguyen Viet Dung from PanNature, a Vietnamese not-for-profit organisation that works to protect nature, said at recent seminar in Hanoi: “People’s participation in forest conservation and management is very important.”
Speaking at the event, head of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s Department of Legal Affairs Dau Anh Tuan said Vietnam’s newly-registered overseas capital increased by 357.5 million USD during 11 months last year. Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar ranked first, second, and eighth among Vietnam’s top business destinations.
Along with the population growth and pressure from the human needs, natural ecological areas in Vietnam such as forests, wetlands, coastal mangrove forests ... have been rapidly narrowed, fragmented and degraded. Accordingly, not only biodiversity and ecological values have been lost, but many traditional cultural values of the community associated with nature have also been eroded. On December 20-21, 2018, in Dak Lak, People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) in collaboration with Dak Lak Union of Science & Technology Associations organized the workshop: “Promoting community-based conservation initiatives that contribute to preserving cultural and ecological diversity in Vietnam” in order to create opportunities for communities’ representatives and related organizations to share and discuss this topic.
Voices for Mekong Forests (V4MF), a regional project led by RECOFTC, began in 2017 to address this problem by doing just that. “Governance nowadays involves multiple processes that often require and can benefit from the active and positive contribution of civil society,” said Etienne Delattre, project coordinator for V4MF, in an interview. “[CSOs] bring the voices and convey the messages [of] local people and grassroots.”
When I was 23-26, I lived as an expat in Ho Chi Minh City. During that time, Vietnam became very dear to me. After moving back to my home country Denmark for two and a half years, I decided to come back to write my Msc thesis. As much as I thought I “knew” Vietnam, I was fully aware that there is so much more to this country than what the lively streets of Saigon have to offer. And as much is I enjoy everything Vietnam has given me, I wanted to give something back to the country that had taught me so much. When PanNature offered to host me in Vân H? in S?n La Province during my stay, I knew that this would be nothing like my former experiences.