After one year of intense national consultations, the UN-REDD+ Programme accomplished a further step towards improving sustainability in Viet Nam. On 5 April 2017, the Prime Minister approved the country’s National REDD+ Strategy, which in Viet Nam goes under the name of “National Action Programme on the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions through the reduction of Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Sustainable Management of Forest Resources, and Conservation and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks (REDD+)”.
“Sustainable forest management, and particularly the protection and enrichment of Vietnam’s precious natural forests, is increasingly recognized as a key factor for resilience to climate change,” said Ms. Louise Chamberlain, Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Viet Nam. It "contributes to inclusive development by improving livelihood opportunities for low-income forest dependent communities.”
Decision 419/QĐ -TTg covers the period 2017-2030 and represents the commitment of the Government of Viet Nam to work with the international community on taking climate action for improving people’s lives and the condition of the planet. “We will work towards the successful implementation of the National REDD+ Action Plan,” said Mr. Ha Cong Tuan, Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
On 4 May 2017, the official launch of the Decision took place in Ha Noi – together with the launch of Directive 13. Directive 13, which the Communist Party released on 12 January 2017, aims to increase the Party’s leadership in forest management, protection and development. International cooperation and among different national stakeholders shall help achieve urgent action to raise awareness about forest issues. The Directive also encourages incentives and the participation of individuals and enterprises to protect and manage forests sustainably.
A plan to reach 14.4 million hectares of forest by 2020
Among the main goals of the Decision, Viet Nam aims at contributing to protecting and improving the size and quality of the existing natural and plantation forests, while also making the link with the implementation of national goals to reduce GHG emissions, encourage green growth, and mobilize international support.
For the 2017 – 2020 period, the Programme’s objectives are, inter alia, expanding forest cover to 42%, reaching 14.4 million hectares of forest by 2020, and creating jobs. It also plans to improve the quality of natural forests and planted forests to store more carbon and increase forest services that benefit the environment.
For the 2021-2030 period, one of the objectives is to increase forest cover up to 45% of the national territory. It shall contribute to realize the national target of reducing total GHG emissions by 8% by 2030, as committed in the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Operation and management of the REDD+ Programme will be realized by two bodies: (i) the State Steering Committee on Forest Protection and Development as the steering body; and (ii) the Viet Nam REDD+ Office located under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) fulfilling various functions.
Several other bodies are involved in the REDD+ Programme’s implementation, which shows the multi-stakeholder and multi-sector approach, including different Ministries, provincial People's Committees and Cities under the direct control of the central Government, as well as non-governmental organizations and enterprises.
The Government of Norway is funding the UN-REDD+ Programme. Chargé d’ Affaires a.i., Ms. Kari Eken Wollebæk of the Royal Norwegian Embassy concluded at the launch ceremony: “With the support of the UN-REDD+ Programme and other international partners, we believe that Vietnam will continue to make progress in achieving this important vision for more sustainable forest management.”