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Bringing International Best Practice to Inform Key Forest Sector Issues in Vietnam


Vietnam’s national commitment to using forests for sustainable and resilient growth is clearly articulated in the government’s Target Program for Sustainable Forest Development. Furthermore, the government has also shown its commitment to sustainable forest sector use by prioritizing policy actions related to the spatial planning of coastal forests in the ongoing development policy in financing climate change and green growth in the country. Vietnam is also revising its forest law that covers key issues such as collaborative management, restoration of coastal forest areas, and monitoring forest financing in the forest sector. As the forest law is being revised, it will be important to ensure that the legal framework for the sector facilitates involvement of private individuals, enterprises and communities in sustainable resource use and management. The World Bank is well positioned to bring the technical expertise needed to inform such ongoing and upcoming engagements, which includes informing the development of policy financing on Climate Change and Green Growth, the implementation of the Forest Sector Modernization and Coastal Forest Enhancement Project and the ongoing engagement on Emission Reduction (via the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility).


The scope of this activity will involve the following three sub activities:

1.  Confirm and prioritize the intervention areas for which technical expertise will be obtained;

2. Bring international expertise to:

  • Assist with the characterization of the forest users and understand what current demographic and socioeconomic characteristics means regarding who will be forest users and how they will use forests in the next 5 to 10 years.
  • Inform policy discussions on the intervention areas (for example, on how to track use of forest financing).
  • Assist with the piloting of approaches in the intervention areas (e.g., payments for ecosystem services in coastal forests, co-management arrangements, or citizen engagement in integrated planning of coastal forests) and learning from these efforts.
  • Develop implementation guidance in the selected intervention areas (e.g., guidelines on how to operationalize payments for ecosystem services in coastal forests from aquaculture).

3. Assist with transferring international expertise to the provincial, district and commune-level. 

The main audience of this work will be the Forestry Department within the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The activity will provide them with insights on how to technically and financially support these key areas.


This project has been completed and partly achieved its objective. It is informing implementation of investments in coastal forest management – ranging from stakeholder involvement, and mobilizing financing through PFES. The findings from the activity are still being used to inform the Government of Vietnam  forest strategy that is under preparation and the PFES decree that will be issued after pilot work is completed, so the activity, to date, has not informed policies to the extent envisaged.  

The work has offered relevant lessons from international and national practices to the stakeholder group that is mandated to implement sustainable forest management activities. The activity has also involved engaging closely with VNForest (the Agency within Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) mandated with policy and planning dimensions of forest management in Vietnam). 

At the VNForest level, the objective of informing policy is ongoing as VNForest regards local stakeholder involvement (via co-management) in management of coastal forests, and on PFES to inform the design of a pilot for carbon PFES in coastal forest areas. In addition to producing reports that synthesized the main findings, the activity involved workshops and trainings at the technical level and for Department of Agriculture and Rural Development leaders (i.e. leaders of province level agency responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development who are responsible for forestry and also have the mandate to submit the sustainable forest management plans to the provincial government).   

The work on co-management and on sustainable seedling supply to enable effective forest restoration is influencing the implementation of activities in the Forest Modernization and Coastal Resilience Project. The lessons and insights from the work on payments for ecosystem services (PFES) has informed the effort to pilot this approach in the same project and is being positioned to be one of the experiences from which lessons will be extracted in the development of the decree on PFES for carbon. (In Vietnam, decrees follow laws and provide more operational detail on how to implement specific elements of the law).


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Last Updated : 06-08-2020