Global initiative gears up for reducing forest destruction and degradation in Viet Nam

11 Oct 2013

Ha Noi – The Government of Viet Nam today took another major step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and rural development with the gathering of more than 100 stakeholders from national government, local authorities, non-government organizations and development partners at an inception workshop in Ha Noi to shape the implementation of UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II.

It follows a Joint Declaration on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) signed by Norway and Viet Nam in late 2012. As part of the Declaration, the Government of Norway has provided a NOK180 million (US$30 million) grant to support the implementation of the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme. This makes Viet Nam one of a very select group of countries taking REDD+ to the next level, moving from “getting ready for REDD+” to implementing activities on the ground.

Jointly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Phase I (2009-2013) successfully developed a National REDD+ Action Programme and built skills, knowledge and experience among stakeholders. During the next three years, this will translate into better forest and land-use management in six pilot provinces, Bac Kan, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Ha Tinh, Lam Dong and Lao Cai.

While Phase II’s key goal is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, it is also expected to bring additional environmental and social benefits. To meet these goals, the first steps have already been taken to prepare for participatory local-level REDD+ planning in Lam Dong Province. During the coming months, discussions between Government representatives, forest owners and local communities will take place to agree on measures to reduce forest destruction and degradation, to promote the sustainable management of Viet Nam’s forests and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. They will also negotiate positive incentives or benefits for local land users, who are the key to bringing about necessary changes on the ground.

Addressing the inception workshop, UN Resident Coordinator Ms Pratibha Mehta highlighted the need for greater stakeholder engagement. “The most important lesson that we have learned so far is the need for much greater stakeholder engagement and better coordination and collaboration,” she said. “Although the UN and Government will jointly be held responsible for implementing this Phase II programme, its success will depend on many others, including civil society organizations, communities and the private sector”.

The successful implementation, which includes the measurement, reporting and verification of carbon emission reductions, should then lead into the full REDD+ implementation phase (Phase III), when developing countries are expected to be compensated for their efforts to combat global climate change. Building on lessons learned, the National REDD+ Action Programme will  be implemented throughout the country from Phase III.

Mr Cao Duc Phat, Minister of MARD co-chaired the inception workshop along with Ms Mehta and H.E Ståle Torstein Risa, Norway’s Ambassador to Viet Nam. A strong Norwegian-based delegation, just returned from a field trip to Lam Dong Province, was also an active participant in the event.

More on the UN-REDD Programme
The UN-REDD Programme is the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) in developing countries. The Programme was launched in 2008 and builds on the convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). For more information on the work of the UN-REDD Programme, visit www.un-redd.org or email the Programme at un-redd@un-redd.org.

More on REDD+
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. "REDD+" goes beyond reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Pham Manh Cuong
Director of Viet Nam REDD Office
Tel: (04)-38438814; Fax: (04)-38438793
Website: http://www.vietnam-redd.org
Email: manhcuongpham@vnforest.gov.vn 

Contact UNDP in Viet Nam
Nguyen Viet Lan, Communications Officer 84 4 3822 4383 ext.121
nguyen.viet.lan@undp.org
Phan Huong Giang, Communications Officer 84 4 3822 4383 ext.119
phan.huong.giang@undp.org