The conference has the participation of 85 delegates from partners, donors, institutes, universities, international NGOs and Vietnam NGOs, representatives from government agencies, media and people from Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue. Delegates listened to 5 reports selected from 20 registered reports. They listened to 2 policy reports and 3 experience reports from 3 NGOs in Hue, Quang Nam and Ha Giang.
The conference focused on sharing experiences from different stakeholders and organizations about government policies related to community forest management and initiatives in promoting the rights and responsibilities of ethnic minority communities. Community forests are a crucial part of local traditions. It links people’s benefit with the local spiritual beliefs and culture. It also plays an important part in the life and culture of mountainous ethnic minorities. In order to improve community benefits and their role in forest sustainability, the Vietnamese government has been allocating forest for community to use and manage for the long term since 1990. There are several models of forest management based on community in different areas. With the support from the Vietnamese government and other international organizations, they have gained many important achievements.
Improvinf the rights and responsibilities of ethnic minority people is the key for sustainable forest management. The delegates shared many interesting models and tools such as: environmentally friendly forest use clubs in Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue (C&E), hobby groups in Tay Giang – Quang Nam (project supported by Malteser International), and forest – service payment policies. According to the experiences of these organizations, in order to improve the rights and responsibilities of the community it is very important to build their capacity and raise their awareness towards the forest.
Government agencies and other project organizations need to clarify the government`s direction and policies about forest and forestland allocation for local people. The activities also should focus on building capacity and awareness for local ethnic minority communities to understand and use their rights and responsibilities towards natural forest better. Therefore they can increase their income, develop forest based livelihoods and be more environmentally friendly. These are some recommendations that were given out in this conference to help the community in the management of their allocated forest as well as the maintenance of a good livelihood.
“…When communities feel they are the true owner of the forest, it is for sure that the forest will be managed much more sustainably.” This opinion of one delegate summarizes the thoughts and message of the conference.
We would like to invite you to read more information about the conference in the newspapers: http://www.bienphong.com.vn/baobienphong/news/rung-se-duoc-quan-ly-ben-vung-khi-nguoi-dan-duoc-lam-chu-thuc-su/27850.bbp