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Workshop on “Enhancing Csos to Effectively Participate in the Implementation of Emission Reduction Programme (Er-P) in North Central of Vietnam”

Forests are a fundamental ecosystem that provide for people's livelihoods and the environment. In particular, forests provide habitat to about 80% of terrestrial speiceis, and nearly 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. Consequently, every year, nearly 18.7 million acres of forest are lost. While this impacts people's livelihoods, and wildlife, it is also significantly effecting climate change. At the current rate, deforestation and forest degradation account for about 20% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gases emissions (GHG).
At the Center for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD), we realize how vital forests are to life, and how critical the issues of deforestation and forest degradation are. As the head of the executive board of the VNGO Network for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VNGO-FLEGT), SRD has actively coordinated member organizations and implemented activities to enhance the role and position of the network, enhance the capacity of its members, and contribute positively to the implementation of Vietnam's Emissions Reduction Program (ER-P).
From the 27th to the 29th of August, SRD co-organized a workshop with the People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) in Da Nang, with the participation of 30 representatives from social and local community organizations, research centers, cooperatives, and clubs working in the field of forestry and agriculture. The focus was on enhancing the participation of social organizations in the implementation of the ER-P in 6 provinces in North Central Vietnam, including Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue. The workshop was one of the activities under SRD's project "Empowering CSOs and LCs to effectively participate in the implementation of Vietnam's Emission Reduction Programme (ER-P)" sponsored by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) through ANSAB (Nepal). At the event, the representative of the FCPF Phase II Project Management Board presented about REDD +, the overview of the Emission Reduction Programme in North Central of Vietnam, and about the activities relating to the involvement of social organizations and local community.

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At the beginning of the workshop, Ms. Vu Thi Bich Hop, Chairwoman of SRD, proudly announced that SRD is one of two non-profit organizations that is sponsored by ANSAB (Nepal) to carry out the project. This project aims at building the capacity and support of local social organizations, communities, and related parties in REDD +, in the implementation towards the emission reduction target. The goal is also to reduce poverty in the forestry sector, and conserve biodiversity. Furthermore, at the workshop, Ms. Hop emphasized the importance of the participation of social organizations. According to her, this is a very good opportunity for organizations to participate in a long-term project to improve the capacity of REDD +, and to develop and implement projects locally.

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Representatives of the FCPF and PanNature also shared their overview of REDD +, REDD + activities, and the ER-P in North Central of Vietnam. They proposed that independent monitoring of forest conversion is an activity that needs to involve civil social organizations and local communities.

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Mr. Tran Ngoc Tue, Manager of FLEGT - Center for Sustainable Rural Development, shared conditions and methods for civil society organizations to monitor the forest.

Representatives from the VNGO-CC, VNGO-FLEGT network, and local socio-political organizations participated in discussions and shared the opinions in four sessions at the workshop.

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Overall, the discussions at the workshop were open and enthusiastic, and delegates were able to share their ideas on a number of issues related to REDD + in Vietnam. Accordingly, delegates agreed that this is a new issue in Vietnam and there needs to be changes in forest governance policies. In addition, the capacity of members participating in REDD +, data systems, information collection systems, monitoring and evaluation of forest developments, and the inclusion of REDD + in programs and present policies were also mentioned.

Action plans will be agreed on by the members of each province, in order to carry out activities, including coordinating activities, organizing workshops and dialogues with provincial authorities.

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