Consultative workshop on “Forest Protection and Development Law 2004” in Thua Thien Hue province
On November 11th, 2014, Forest Land Network (FORLAND) with the support of Oxfam, organized a seminar on “Community and families consultation of the Law on Protection and Development of Forest 2004”.

 In collaboration with the University of Highlands, the seminar was part of the Center for Rural Development in Central Vietnam (CRD) and Center for Research and Consulting Resource Management (CORENARM) research activity called “Consultation on the Law of Forest Protection and Development 2004”.

On November 11th, 2014, Forest Land Network (FORLAND) with the support of Oxfam, organized a seminar on “Public consultation and families of the Law on Protection and Development of Forest 2004”. In collaboration with the University of Highlands, the seminar was part of the Center for Rural Development in Central Vietnam (CRD) and Center for Research and Consulting Resource Management (CORENARM) research activity called “Consultation on the Law of Forest Protection and Development 2004”.

The study was implemented in three provinces: Dak La, Hoa Binh, and Thua Thien Hue. Thua Thien Hue workshop provided an opportunity for researchers to share and evaluate their findings on the survey process execution for the Forest Protection and Development Law 2004. Based on the finding, members made recommendations to be sent to policy makers during the upcoming law amendment.

The workshop had 65 representatives from Oxfam Great Britain, the functional departments of Thua Thien Hue: Department of Forestry, South East district ranger, and experts in the environmental resource fields. More than 40 families participated in the study and 10 journalists from newspapers, radio, national, and local reported on the seminar. Mr. Hoang Manh Quan – Executive Director of FORLAND presented a brief report including the introduction of FORLAND content and information about the research team that has developed. The workshop is an opportunity for researchers to share and evaluate the findings of the survey implementation Forest Protection and Development Act 2004.   

 

Overview of the Seminar

Mr. Le Van Lan representative group of experts presented the study results. Results were based on literature reviews in conjunction with the primary information collected from farmers, group discussions and interviews with experts. The results showed that Thua Thien Hue province has more than 307,000 ha of forest land, approximately 56% land coverage. Since 2000 – 2011, the province has allocated 19,322 hectares of forest land to forest management and protection. Through primary data, research teams have discovered 7 issues of enforcement process: assignment of forest management groups have positive results, cannot prove ownership groups of assigned forests, lacking mechanisms to handle illegal logging, forest owners’ rights are not detected in violation, difficulties in forest protection mechanisms because no benefit, and no recovery mechanism for rotten wood in the forest.

Mr. Lê Văn Lân – presented research results.

The team came up with four stories from the community to demonstrate the findings in the report. Each story is a typical example from practice due to the inadequacies in the law enforcement process which has caused significant difficulties for communities in the protection and development of forest have been allocated

During the last session, workshop participants discussed and shared positive findings and opinions of people. In regards to state management agencies, representatives shared statements that supported the changing situation in the country. Nguyen Dai Anh Tuan shared “ownership (possession, use and disposal) of natural resources: decentralization, empowerment of the State to the other subjects. To the extent that this right is not yet clear.”

 

Mr.Nguyễn Đại Anh Tuấn – Deputy Director of Thua Thien Hue Forest Protection Department shares his opinion.

“Regulation on community forest are not appropriate: should to consider forest management by household groups, clans, customary but not village all. Forest are associated with allocation: cause inconsistency of view the two sectors.” Mr. Nguyen Huu Huy, from Thua Thien Hue Forestry Department stressed.

Mr. Pham Quang Tu assistance program coordinator advocacy coalition – Oxfam also said that “the State has  forest policy closed mechanisms, sho how the State can encourage participation of people to protect natural forest. Any recommendations with regards to the content coincides scope of the law: Land Law, Civil Law”.

In addition, the conference also noted comments from participations regarding issues such as forest allocation regulation do not fit with communities; limitations and problems in the legal allocation of groups of households; allocation is not integrated with land allocation, delayed completion of the grant, renewal of certificates of land use rights of forest people, no consistent benefit policies for people management and protection

At the end of the seminar, Ms. Do Bich Thuy, Professional from Oxfam reviewed and agreed with the delegates about the need to recommendation on (i) the concept of forest owners: communities, (ii) the rights of forest owners must be clearly defined in law, (iii) adding policies initiatives to support for forest owners, (iv) Specific mechanisms are needed to guide the implementation of the text/policy, and (v) there should be policies to support delivery and after FLA.

FORLAND confirmed the comments at the workshop as a basis for making recommendation to contribute to the amended law in 2015. Advocacy activities  based on concrete evidence should FORLAND's plan next year will expand the study area and subjects to suggestion of FORLAND more valuable when it is sent to make policy level.

My Thuyen/FORLAND
 

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