Improved Forest Regulations Benefits All Provinces

With Danish support regulations of forest tree planting material have been improved. In three workshops held in Northern, Central and Southern Vietnam, the effects of the regulations have been evaluated, and it was found that also remote rural areas are now benefitting from the regulations.

Forest is an important natural resource in Vietnam, and notably poor rural households benefit directly and indirectly from forest products. Being aware of the significance of this resource and concerned about its degradation, the Vietnamese government has approved plans to stop logging in order to minimise harvesting and has launched major initiatives to develop the reforestation. It is the objective of the national 5 million hectare reforestation programme to increase the forest cover up to 43 per cent by 2010 via.

Since 1998, the Danish-supported Vietnam Tree Seed Project has provided technical and regulatory support to improving quality and availability of better planting material for forestry. In recent years the project has increasingly focused on mandatory regulations and control of forest tree planting material. With the support of the project a full set of regulations has been drafted and adopted by the Government. The regulations came into effect in 2006 and have since then been adopted in all provinces of Vietnam.

The effect of the regulations is gradually being seen in the form of a changed pattern of plant material. The most substandard planting material is disappearing and improved planting material (seedlings and cuttings) has reached even remote areas in Vietnam, leading to increasing yields and profits for the many planters who adopt the newly provided material.

Some unforeseen drawbacks, however, have also resulted from the regulations and among these a decrease in the supply of natural species gives reason to concern. To evaluate both the positive results and the unintended problems related to the regulations, three Danish-supported regional workshops have been conducted in August 2008 in the Northern, Central, and Southern Vietnam.

The workshops have identified problems and suggested solutions, including proposed amendments to the regulations. Regular assessment of the results of the regulations is crucial to ensure the efficiency of the efforts and achieve the objective of increasing wood and wood quality production and at the same time excluding substandard planting material occupying land and preventing more profitable use. It is the aim that all provinces in Vietnam benefit from the improvements resulting from the regulations.

As the Danish support now comes to an end after 10 years, it is very much expected that Vietnam can sustain the results achieved.



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