Exchange Trip for Natural Forest Management - Co-management Model

  • CIRUM supports a two day exchange trip (9-10 Dec.2015) for LandNet members in Huu Lung district of Lang Son province to visit Suoi Mo Ecological Tourism in Nghia Phuong commune, Luc Nam district of Bac Giang province, Vietnam to learn more about how collaboration between Suoi Mo Management Board (SMB) and local people is workable for water source protection forest management and forest enrichment. 17 Huu Lung LandNet’s members and 2 CIRUM staff were participated in the exchange.

    Opportunity and challenges to regain forest land from State owned Forest Enterprise.
    In 2011, Bac Giang Provincial People Committee (PPC) decided to reallocate 1,065.32 ha of forest land taken from Bac Giang State Forestry Enterprise (SFE) to SMB for forest conservation, regeneration and enrichment. Of this, only 670.33 ha of natural forest area are issued for Red book, the remaining areas are not due to economic benefit from Eucalyptus development which is being managed by SFE. There are 395 ha of Eucalyptus plantation are still growing and quickly regenerating after 4-5 years which are giving promising income for SFE. This is making difficult for SMB to enrich the forest by local forestry species. Ms. Tran thi Mai, Vice Head of SMB shared that she made her efforts to have five meetings with the SFE but no result.

    Ms Tran Thi Mai, Vice Head of SMB, is showing Eucalyptus plantation area which is decided on paper to reallocate to SMB but SFE is still keeping Eucalyptus trees for management.

    Co-management for Water source Protection, Forest Conservation and Development
    To ensure the forest is well protected from encroachment of outsiders for illegal logging, SMB discussed with four communities (Na Tay, Pa Go, Dong May and Quynh of Nghia Phuong commune, Luc Nam district. They are Tay, Nung and San Diu ethnic minority people) who are living inside Suoi Mo Protection Forest Area for co-management between SMB and local villagers. As a result, the villagers are willing to co-operate with SMB to manage the forest. Eight villagers are selected by communities to become a Forest Protection Group. These members are in charge of managing forest areas which are far from villages and that the villagers cannot control.  These members are responsible for forest patrolling, recording diary what happened, then reporting to SMB and communities for action. They have monthly meetings between the villagers and SMB to discuss issues which need to be solved by both SMB and the communities.  SMB has paid 200.000 VND/ha/year to the members. In addition, the villagers can access to the Protection Forest areas for NTFPs. As a result, the allocated protection forests are well protected and awarded by Bac Giang PCP. Ms. Mai stated that there has no more forest fire since they started forest co-management.

    Enriching the forest with local forestry tree species
    In order to diversify the forest with local forestry timber species, SMB has been planting Erthrophleum (Lim), Michellia (Doi), Lithocarpus (De) and Acacia (Keo) which are valuable timber trees. For further forest development, SMB develops its own nursery having local forestry species to enrich allocated natural forests. By this strategy, it is inspiring local people to develop local timber species, instead of planning solely Eucalyptus which erodes soil and depletes ecological system.

     Forest covered by Lithocarpus trees which are quickly regenerating to become natural forests with local timber species.
    Feelings and comments from LandNet members
    All Landnet members were impressed with the co-management model for forest protection and development at Suoi Mo Ecological Tourism. Mr. Lam Van Chin, Ho Muoi Village Leader, LandNet member said “Here they can manage very well for thousand hectares of forest areas while we have much less but difficult to protect. Today is 10th December; I will mobilize our villagers to a meeting on 13th December to practice forest protection by forest protection groups as agreed before.” 

    CIRUM/LandNet, 2015