MARD Vice Minister Ha Cong Tuan, USAID Acting Mission Director Bradley Bessire, Ministry representatives, provincial leaders, forest owners, private sector partners, local organizations, and community members, joined the event to review the results and lessons learned from the Vietnam Forest and Delta's work, and share recommendations on how to sustain the project's results for future development of the forestry sector in Vietnam.
The USAID Vietnam Forests and Deltas project, a $31.4 million climate change program implemented by Winrock International from 2012-2021, helped Vietnam's transition to climate resilient, low-emission sustainable development. Over its more than eight years of implementation at the national level and in the provinces of Quang Ninh, Nam Dinh, Son La, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Lam Dong and Long An, the project achieved significant results, which received wide recognition from the Government of Vietnam, local communities and other related stakeholders.
Notably, the Vietnam Forests and Deltas project supported MARD to successfully implement the Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) system at national scale, which now generates approximately $120 million annually to finance the management of approximately 6 million hectares of Vietnam's forests. The PFES system contributes to increasing incomes and living standards for hundreds of thousands of people living in the mountainous areas who receive payments to help protect forests. The project also helped MARD expand the PFES system to increase its transparency, efficiency and effectiveness through application of electronic payments in disbursing funds and enhancement of monitoring and evaluation. In addition, the project trained approximately 350,000 people on climate change adaptation, forest management and livelihoods development and helped over 200,000 people implement climate change risk reduction practices in the Mekong and Red River Deltas.
In his opening remarks, Acting Mission Director Bessire said, "The Vietnam Forests and Deltas project is the first climate change collaboration program between USAID and the Government of Vietnam. We are very proud to work closely with the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and a number of provinces to strengthen forest management and build resilience for vulnerable communities in the Red River and Mekong Deltas through this program."
USAID also announced two new projects which will build on Vietnam Forest and Delta's successes and expand assistance in helping Vietnam respond to the impacts of climate change and strengthen forest and biodiversity conservation. The new Sustainable Forest Management project (2020-2025) seeks to avoid carbon emissions from natural forest conversion and increase carbon sequestration through the improved management of plantation forests; and the Biodiversity Conservation project (2020-2025) aims to maintain and increase forest quality, and protect and stabilize wildlife populations in national parks and natural reserves, in high conservation value provinces. These projects will work in 12 provinces across Vietnam.
To view Vietnam Forests and Deltas project photos, visit: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmVfYxXR
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