Japan to help VN care for forests

Viet Nam and Japan yesterday signed a record of discussion on sustainable natural resource management project that will be carried out in five provinces in the northern and Central Highlands regions.

The project will be implemented in the northern provinces of Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Son La and Hoa Binh, and the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.

The agreement was signed between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and five provincial people’s committees.

The five-year project, scheduled to begin next month, aims to enhance the national capacity for sustainable natural resource management with a focus on forests, biodiversity and residents who depend on these natural resources for their livelihood.

JICA is currently implementing the REDD+ Action Plan in the northern province of Dien Bien, under the project for Sustainable Forest Management in the Northwest Watershed Area. This was the first action plan officially approved in Viet Nam.

REDD+, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, focuses on the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.

The project will use experience from the Northwest Watershed Area project to expand the action plan in three neighbouring provinces: Lai Chau, Son La and Hoa Binh.

JICA will consider provide ODA loans to implement the action plan in four provinces in the northwest, and will dispatch a survey mission this month.

Biodiversity conservation is also a focus of the project.

Last month, the Bidoup National Park in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong was designated as the Lang Biang Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO Man and Biosphere programme.

The project will develop a collaborative management of the biosphere reserve, with broader stakeholder participation, based on the experience of the previous JICA cooperation agreement. 

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