Very large numbers of rural households in Viet Nam earn much of their incomes from selling timber products. Growing pressures on agricultural lands lead to forest extraction and conversion, exacerbating climate change and adversely affecting rural people’s livelihoods. Meanwhile, the potential of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are yet to be explored in the country as most attention is still on timber production.
Enabling rural farmers to derive income and benefits from NTFPs so that they will protect forests is likely to be part of the solutions for improving livelihoods of forest dependent communities while curbing climate change effects from deforestation and forest overexploitation. Likewise, improving the adoption of agroforestry is believed to ensure environmental and economic benefits for smallholders. However, there is little knowledge about the spatial distribution of existing agroforestry systems and how these can be widely adopted. This points out a crucial need for research on NTFPs and agroforestry mapping for the whole Vietnam.
Recognizing this need, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Viet Nam program is providing support to the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change Phase 2 in research and capacity-building activities regarding NTFPs, agroforestry mapping, institutional development of community forest management and in promoting policy dialogues and sharing experience on the role of agroforestry in harnessing the benefits of social forestry and in addressing climate change.
Community forest in Tul village, Yang Mao
House of poor farmers in Phu Loi village,
Community forest management group of Bunor
ICRAF Viet Nam’s activities are aimed at developing a social-forestry policy framework for Viet Nam and other ASEAN member states. The activities are also targeted at strengthening knowledge sharing and networking on agroforestry, social forestry and climate change at local, national and regional levels.
- To better understand the potential of NTFPs to contribute to livelihoods and income for forest-dependent communities
- Explore and understand agroforestry systems nationally in Viet Nam, that is, where they exist, benefits that flow from the systems (carbon, economic, social and environmental), current practices and gaps, so as to provide direction for strategic interventions
- Better understand how indigenous knowledge is used and can be up-scaled in landscape management
- Produce specific analyses of relevant topics of importance for ASEAN member states
- Promote the adoption of ICRAF’s research results, tools and methods for practical use, for example, through capacity building and training
- Provide support to the Government of Viet Nam to strengthen social forestry in the country;
- Provide a forum and venue where policy recommendations can be formulated based on emerging needs of ASEAN and member states
- Learn from best practices and use such lessons for improving forest management in Viet Nam.
Research methods and approaches
A combination of approaches is employed including GIS work, field data collection, expert consultations, workshops, focus-group discussions and extensive review of knowledge and research results.
Expected outcomes and outputs
- ASEAN priority policy and strategic issues in social forestry and climate change are commonly identified and assessed.
- Capacities of ASEAN Social Forestry Network focal points and network partners are improved to effectively reach the relevant decision makers and influential stakeholders within ASEAN and Member states.
- Policy recommendations on the contribution of agroforestry to social forestry and climate-change adaptation and mitigation are mainstreamed within ASEAN and member states.
- ASEAN Social Forestry Network focal points and network partners effectively participate in the Network and fully contribute to knowledge sharing and capacity development.
- ASEAN Social Forestry Network
- Center for International Forestry Research
- RECOFTC The Center for People and Forests
- Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture
- Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme for South and Southeast Asia