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Clarifying Forest Governance in Viet Nam

During Viet Nam's recent Participatory Governance (PGA) workshop, the UN-REDD+ Programme participated in discussions aimed at making forest governance concepts and terminology more understandable to forest-dependent communities.
The translation of governance terminology from English into Vietnamese can be a challenge. The term governance itself is sometime translated to "management". To address these and other challenges related to Participatory Governance Assessments and REDD+, Viet Nam and the UN-REDD+ Programme hosted a workshop on 6 March in Hanoi, which brought together more than 80 participants representing both state and non-state actors from across Viet Nam.Throughout the full day workshop that launched Viet Nam's PGA, participants called for the PGA to focus on using language and terminology that is understandable for forest-dependent communities. The morning session offered a series of presentations, including an overview of the principles of democratic governance, governance issues relevant to REDD+ in Viet Nam, lessons learned from the Provincial Administration Performance Index (PAPI) assessment, as well as stake-away results from the FAO supported Forest Governance Monitoring in Viet Nam (FGM) workshop held in January 2012. After lunch, participants were divided into four groups to brainstorm and agree on key governance challenges for REDD+ in Viet Nam and on criteria for selecting a pilot province. Some groups underlined the lack of involvement of forest-dependent communities in decision-making processes as a pressing challenge. Others argued that REDD+ is still a very complex issue, and that few state and non-state stakeholders at the local level currently had the capacity to comprehend REDD+ and its implications, stating that, “forest cultivation is not equivalent to forest protection.” Mr. Trieu Van Luc from the Forest Protection Department (FPD) in Viet Nam chaired the workshop, and applauded participants for agreeing on a work plan and next steps for the PGA process. At the end of the day, participants had produced a prioritized list of key governance challenges as well as criteria for selection of a pilot province for implementing the 12-month pilot phase.

Context and next steps
Viet Nam follows in the footsteps of its fellow UN-REDD+ Programme partner country and neighbor, Indonesia, which has been implementing a PGA for REDD+ since 2011. While the pilot in Indonesia focuses on different provinces, Viet Nam agreed at its workshop on 6 March on criteria for selecting one pilot province. Based on the experiences from this initial pilot phase, REDD+ stakeholders will decide after the 12-month trial whether the PGA will be expanded to include more provinces. The process to identify and contract a national NGO to co-implement the PGA will continue in April 2012. The criteria for the pilot province and expertise on the identified governance challenges will be used in selecting the relevant NGO. Simultaneously, members of a broad-based multi-stakeholder advisory group will be selected. The PGA will then look to hold initial stakeholder consultations in the pilot province before the end of June.
The full workshop report can be accessed here.
(By Tore Langhelle - UNDP Viet Nam)
Views: 25  -  LastUpdate: 22/08/2015

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