Deforestation, forest degradation, and poor timber plantation management depletes critical natural resources while increasing carbon dioxide emissions. The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Sustainable Forest Management project addresses this issue by supporting the restoration and conservation of natural forests and improving timber forest management.
STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY FOREST MANAGEMENT
The project partners with the Government of Vietnam (GVN), the Vietnam Forest Owner Association, and forest owners to develop and put into practice effective community forest management models.
INCREASING CONSERVATION-FRIENDLY ENTERPRISES IN FOREST COMMUNITIES
The project supports conservation-friendly enterprises in forest-dwelling communities to lessen communities’ impacts on natural forests.
STRENGTHENING LAW ENFORCEMENT
The project supports the GVN to strengthen its legal framework for forest protection, identify and address barriers to effective forest law enforcement, enhance coordination between law enforcement agencies, promote community self-governance, and build technical knowledge and skills in forest monitoring and forest crime case development.
IMPROVING PRODUCTION FOREST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
In addition to strengthening the operations of existing timber production cooperatives, the project organizes small-scale timber producers in targeted provinces into cooperatives and then trains them on sustainable timber production techniques. The project supports these cooperatives to increase their market access by facilitating partnerships with sustainable timber buyers. In addition, the project provides training in sustainable forest management to provincial forest protection departments and community forest management boards.
MOBILIZING DOMESTIC RESOURCES FOR FOREST PROTECTION
Vietnam’s Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) system—designed, launched, and implemented since 2008 with USAID support—has generated more than $1 billion since 2011 to finance conservation of approximately 40 percent of Vietnam’s forest area. The system incentivizes about 500,000 rural households in mountainous watershed areas to protect their surrounding forests through payments from companies that benefit from the environmental services they provide, such as clean and sufficient river water. Through this system, Vietnam sequesters and avoids approximately 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually.
The project works with the GVN, companies and local forest owners to strengthen implementation of PFES and develop a system to enable emitting companies to offset their carbon emissions by investing in forest plantation projects, which absorb emitted carbons.
The project will provide training in sustainable forest management and livelihood development to over 25,000 people and 70 entities; support 35 conservation-friendly enterprises; improve the livelihoods of over 60,000 forest dwellers; and mobilize an estimated $12.5 million from timber, cinnamon, and medicinal plant buyers to finance sustainable forest management.
Taken together, the project’s actions improve the management of more than 260,000 hectares of forests, contributing to a reduction of at least 7.8 million tons of carbon emissions annually. In addition, the project is expected to support the development of 34 national and local-level policies on sustainable forest use, which when enacted will result in an additional annual reduction of 45.6 million tons of carbon emissions.
The project works in seven provinces including Lao Cai, Son La, Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Quang Tri, and Quang Nam.