People right – Based natural forest management

Protecting existing natural forest areas in Vietnam is a big task that requires much effort from forestry and other relevant organizations. Although there are many policies and institutions for this purpose, natural forests have been destroyed rapidly. It is clear that the efforts of the state management bodies are not enough. It is important that local people should participate in and contribute to natural forest protection. 

From the 1990s, the Government of Vietnam (GOV) issued a series of policies on people’s rights to approach, manage and use forestry land and resources. Especially after Decree 02/CP, more and more households and local communities received allocated land and natural forests from the state for this purpose. Some models on people right-based natural forest management have been implemented in different areas with supports from GOV and foreign organisations. Significant achievements have been acquired. However, there are shortcomings in the enforcement of policies and implementation of these models in various areas. For example, state regulations are unclear and incomplete. People are not fully aware of their rights and obligations. They lack required knowledge and capacity to willingly and effectively participate in natural forest management and protection. Therefore, people’s rights of access to forests and forestland resources as well as their access to sciences, techniques, capital and the market have not been fully utilised. Much valuable indigenous knowledge on management and use of forest and forestland has been lost. People have not really benefited from their receipt and management of forests as much as they have expected.

With the financial support from Rosa Luxemburg Siftung –Germany, Center for Development of Community Initiative and Environment (C&E) in cooperation with Center for Education, Communication and Environment (CEACE) and Forestry Science-Technology Association of Thua Thien- Hue province held a workshop on “People right-based natural forest management”. This workshop aims to exchange and share information and experience in attracting the participation of the community effectively in the management of natural forests. Simultaneously, the workshop also synthesises and makes recommendations, appropriate solutions to advocacy and contributing to sustainable forest management in Vietnam.

This workshop facilitates for delegates from agencies from central and many local, Vietnamese non-governmental organizations, international organizations, scientists and some local communities to learn about natural forest management issues based on people’s rights in different regions across the country.

The workshop took place in two days in Thua Thien – Hue, in which, the first day is meeting at the hall for presentations and general discussion and the second one is visiting to a model on CFM. There are 20 selected reports in the proceedings, including 10 reports were presented at the workshop. Reports and discussions in workshops focus on the following:

·   Results obtained from the natural forest management of people, signification and its value as well as the shortcomings and recommendations to enhance and expand the application of community forest ma nagement.

·   The system of policies related to people’s rights to access, manage and use forestland and natural forests.

·   The forest management mechanism of the community and coordination and management activities among stakeholders

·   Support measures in terms of sciences, technologies, capital, and markets.

The workshop is to draw experiences and lessons from local realities and make recommendations, good solutions for better community forest management effectively in the future.




Hoang Thanh Tam, M.Sc.

Director of Center for Development of Community Initiative and Environment


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