Small Grants Aim to Make Big Contributions to Sustainable DevelopmentJan 2, 2004
Ha Noi - The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Commission (EC) launched today a series of projects under Small Grants Programme to Promote Tropical Forests (SGP PTF) to help local communities implement sound forest management and preserve the forests as the country pursues its drive for sustainable development. SGP PTF in Viet Nam is part of a SGP PTF’ Regional Programme with a total grant of Euro 15 million, funded by the EC and implemented by UNDP to promote tropical forests in nine Asian countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Five projects launched, with a total of nearly VND 3.4 billions (around $ 215,000), will benefit poor communities of ethnic peoples such as Nung, Dao and H’mong in northern mountainous areas in Viet Nam. These communities are dependent on forests for their livelihood and have little access to financial and technical resources to implement their own innovative approaches to sustainable forest management at the local level. The projects aime to support community-based forest management for ensuring the use right of local people for resources from the forest that they manage and for improving their production system and household economy that will raise incomes and contribute to poverty reduction. The communities will be trained in silvicultural and other techniques applicable to production of both timber and non-timber forest products, to forest protection as well as in applying appropriate farming system.
Ambassador, Head of the EC Delegation to Viet Nam, Markus Cornaro, said the EC, through these grants, wants to recognize and promote the essential role of local communities in the protection of environmental and natural resources in Viet Nam. “Support for innovative sustainable forest management at the local level and building grassroots level capacity to tackle problems that are contributing to forest destruction and degradation are essential elements of the EC’s support to Viet Nam.”
Viet Nam has set an ambitious target of reaching 43% forest coverage by 2010 as part of its efforts toward achieving its own development goals and the UN Millennium Development Goals. The country has made major progress in forest management, protection and development, through National Reforestation Programmes, which helped to increase the forest coverage by 32.2% in 2001. Community-based forest management is being given considerable attention by the Government and has the potential of becoming one of the important forest management modalities in Viet Nam.
UNDP Resident Representative Jordan Ryan said: "We are delighted that the past couple of years have seen rapid economic growth which has improved the life of the Vietnamese people. But we are worried that short-term economic gains are often made at the expense of depleting natural resources." What is at stake is important since 70% of the Viet Nam's population earns their living by utilizing the natural resources of the country.
Putting a priority on sustainable development , Ryan said, can offer a more lasting solutions to the twin problems of poverty and environmental degradation: "We hope that through these initiatives, it can be demonstrated that the creation of livelihoods together with the protection of the environment, is best achieved when communities are able to participate in and manage such decision and processes that directly affect their lives."
List of small grants projects
Total SGP PTF funding (VND)
A model for community forest development of the Dao ethnic people.
Farmers’ Association of Thai Cuong Commune;
Height 716 Thai Cuong Commune, Thach An District, Cao Bang Province
Strengthening community participation in the sustainable management, protection and development of the forests in the core area of Hoang Lien National Park
Farmers’ Association of Ta Van Commune, Sa Pa District, Lao Cai Province;
Ta Van Mong Village, Ta Van Commune, Sa Pa District, Lao Cai Province
Supporting community forest management and sustainable livelihoods
Farmers’ Association of Pu Nhung Commune, Tuan Giao District, Lai Chau Province;
2 villages De Chia and Phieng Pi, Pu Nhung Commune, Tuan Giao District, Lai Chau Province.
Community-based food security and sustainable forest development
Farmers’ Association of Lien Minh Commune, Vo Nhai District, Thai Nguyen Province
Nac village, Lien Minh Commune, Vo Nhai District, Thai Nguyen Province
Capacity building in community forest management and development, forests and forest lands allocation for the Dao people.
Veterans’ Union of Tan Dong Commune, Tran Yen District, Yen Bai Province
Village 6, Tan Dong Commune, Tran Yen District, Yen Bai Province.
Tel. 942 1495 (ext 113) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org