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Outline of the Project

Project Name

Project for Sustainable Forest Management in the Northwest Watershed Area (SUSFORM-NOW)


Viet Nam

Date of R/D Signed

28 May 2010

Project site

Dien Bien Province

Term of Cooperation

15 August 2010 to 14 August 2015

Implementing Organization

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) of Dien Bien Province, Dien Bien Provincial People's Committee, etc.

Project Background

Most of the people living in the forest areas of Viet Nam, especially ethnic minorities, are living in poverty. Lack of appropriate forest management had resulted in continuous degradation of natural forest and biodiversity of the area. In order to increase forest coverage and improve local livelihoods, the Government of Socialist Republic of Viet Namissued "The 5 Million Hectare Reforestation Programme (5 MHRP, also known as "Programme 661")" in 1998, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) developed "Vietnam Forestry Development Strategy for 2001-2010 (VFDS)" in 2001. The government further modified and integrated these programme and strategy into more comprehensive and advanced "National Forestry Development Strategy 2006-2010 (NFDS)" for qualitative and quantitative forest recovery, reflecting opinions from donor agencies. In addition, the government amended the Programme 661 in July 2007, supplementing a number of stipulations to enable the local people to obtain benefits from Non-Timber- Forest Products (NTFPs) development.

The series of national strategies resulted in the increase of forest area to 39.6% in 2008, which was once down to 28% in 1995. However, the country was still its half way to the goal for 2020 (i.e., increasing its forest coverage to 47%, the forestry sector accounting for 2-3% of GDP, and 2 million new employments created in the forestry sector). Especially in the four northwestern provinces, i.e., Hoa Binh, Son La, Dien Bien, and Lai Chau, which are the important catchment areas for the Hoa Binh and Son La Hydroelectric Power Plants, the poverty rate was high, and forest degradation was still ongoing due to local practices including fuel wood collection, slash-and-burn agriculture, and conversion of forest into farmland.

In Dien Bien Province, about 55% of the forestland is classified as protection forest, and about 40% as production forest on the plan, aiming at balancing the protection and use. However, the boundaries among production, protection, and special-use forests as well as those between forestland and farmland remained unclear on the ground. In addition, nearly half of the total forestland was degraded. Although forest allocation to households was relatively more advanced in the northwestern region as compared to other regions in the country, forest boundaries in the plan were not always consistent with the actual land use in the field, which led to unclear understanding on forest ownership and use rights. While the multifunctional benefits of forest are quite important, there were a number of challenges in implementing effective forest management in the northwestern region.

In response to the above, JICA launched "Project for Rehabilitation of Natural Forest in Degraded Watershed Area in the North of Viet Nam (RENFODA)" from October 2003 to September 2008 in Hoa Binh Province with the objective of developing an appropriate set of technologies for natural forest rehabilitation. RENFODA developed field-tested agro-forestry and livestock raising models applicable to local villages through research and on-farm trial.

To achieve forest restoration in the northwestern region and to maintain its watershed conservation function, the following measures are necessary: 1) to control deforestation through livelihoods development of the local farmers with practical application of the results of RENFODA on-farm trials and use of NTFPs and 2) to establish the community forest management system with allocated forest in order to maintain its multifunctional benefits. Furthermore, technical and institutional capacity building for executing agencies including DARDs and Protection/Special-Use Forest Management Boards in the northwestern region as well as future replication strategy are also critical.

With the above background, the MARD requested the Government of Japan for its technical assistance in implementing sustainable forest management in the northwest region to address said issues and challenges.

Overall Goal

Participatory forest management and livelihood development are promoted in the areas with similar conditions to the additional project pilot sites in Dien Bien Province through the implementation of the Provincial REDD+ Action Plan (PRAP).

Project Purpose

Participatory forest management and livelihood development are promoted (in the project pilot sites) through the implementation of the PRAP.


  • 1. The effectiveness and feasibility of the REDD+ action plans in the additional project pilot sites are verified.
  • 2. Technical and institutional capacities of executing and partner agencies in implementing the PRAP are strengthened.
  • 3. Necessary plans and technical documents are prepared for the implementation of the provincial REDD+ in Dien Bien Province.


1-1 Select pilot sites.1
1-2 Conduct a socio-economic survey.2
1-3 Clarify and gain stakeholders' agreement on the current status of land use and forest use rights.3
1-4 Mobilize local people for introduction and formulation of pilot activities through consultation meetings.4
1-5 Formulate a REDD+ action plan in each additional pilot site.5
1-6 Implement the REDD+ action plan in each additional pilot site.5
1-7 Monitor the progress of the pilot activities.6
1-8 Evaluate and analyse the results of the pilot activity.
1-9 Share lessons learned with relevant stakeholders.
  • 1 "Pilot sites" consist of (1) the initial pilot sites (seven pilot sites selected in the first half of the Project and (2) the additional pilot sites (sites selected in the last half of the Project). The additional project pilot sites will be selected (Muong Moun and Muong Phang Communes).
  • 2 Socio-economic surveys have been completed for the initialproject pilot sites and will be conducted for the additional project pilot sites.
  • 3 This activity has been completed for the initialproject pilot sites and will be implemented in the additional project pilot sites.
  • 4 Consultation has been completed for the initial project pilot sites and will be conducted for the additional project pilot sites.
  • 5 Only participatory forest management plans and livelihood development plans will be implemented in the initial project pilot sites.The activities defined in the REDD+ action plans will be implemented in the additionalproject pilot sites.
  • 6 "Pilot activities" mean the activities conducted according to the respective plans of the initial project pilot sites and the additional project pilot sites.
2-1 Identify the roles of the implementing agencies and develop the PRAP implementation structure and annual work plans.
2-2 Support the implementing agencies in carrying out the PRAP.
2-3 Train technically the implementing agency staff for PRAP implementation.
2-4 Evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation structure as well as capacity of the implementing agencies and provide recommendations for improvement.
3-1 Review existing guiding documents for participatory forest management and livelihood development.
3-2 Review existing government funds and other outside funding sources that can be utilized for the PRAP implementation.
3-3 Integrate existing guiding documents, available fund information, and know-how acquired through pilot activities into technical guidelines.
3-4 Implement the PRAP and review the results of the REDD+ pilot activities in Dien Bien Province.
3-5 Revise the PRAP for Dien Bien Province as necessary.
3-6 Formulate and submit recommendations to central government and related agencies.


Japanese side

  • 1) Japanese Experts (long-term)
    • Chief Advisor/REDD+ planning and implementation structure
    • Administrative Coordinator
    • Other long-term experts, if necessary
  • 2) Japanese Experts (short-term)
    • Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) system
    • GIS database development andmaintenance
    • Other short-term experts, if necessary
  • 3) Machinery and equipment
    • As necessary
  • 4) Training
    • Training in Japan or third country
  • 5) Project budget

Vietnamese side

  • 1) Counterpart staff
    • Project Director
    • Vice Project Director
    • Project Manager
    • Other technical and admistrative personnel
  • 2) Facility, machinery, and equipment
    • Project office, meeting room, necessary machinery and equipment
  • 3) Project counterpart budget


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