LandNet seminar on forest management and protection
The seminar on "Sharing experiences in forest management and protection" took place at the Human Ecology Practical Area (HEPA), at Son Kim 1 Commune, Huong Son District, Ha Tinh province on September 26th and September 27th, 2020. There were 21 representatives from 9 communes of 7 districts and 5 provinces attending the event. The participants of the seminar were officials of village and commune mass organizations and former leaders of communes. The content of the seminar focused on the implementation of rights and responsibilities in the land management, protection, particularly in case of investment in forest land.
Mr. Tran Quoc Viet is talking about HEPA and management and protection of forest land in Son Kim commune
Mr. Nguyen Huu Lai, former Secretary and Chairman of Ngu Hoa commune (Tuyen Hoa district, Quang Binh province) shared the process of advocating for the allocation of forest land to the local people, setting up nursery, planting acacia, pepper, fruit trees and other forestry trees in the commune. According to Mr. Lai, "forest land must be brought back to specific people, the land must be managed by a confirmed owner. Land rights should not be unconfirmed, because in that case, no one is concerned with forest protection".Ms. Truong Thi Tuyet Ba, former Vice Chairman of the commune and leader of the Women's Union of Kim Hoa commune (Tuyen Hoa district, Quang Binh province) has been working closely with local people to keep the forest land area for their protection and use. As a prestigious person in the commune, Ms. Ba is advising incumbent leaders on how to protect the local forestland in accordance with the law. “Someone warned me: Why do you want to take your burden by asking to keep the forest? If someone cuts forest trees, you (the communal officers) will have to bear responsibility. I replied: for the people’s long term livelihoods, we need to keep the forest land areas"- shared Ms. Ba.
The representative of Hanh Dich commune (Que Phong district, Nghe An province) said that people in Hanh Dich are not as advantageous as those in Kim Hoa commune (where Ms. Ba resides) because the Hanh Dich communal leaders do not care about and support community forests. However, local people have repeatedly asked Que Phong Rubber company and authorities at all levels to solve the problem of the encroachment on community land for rubber plantation. The community received a document from the Provincial People's Committee, asking the company to cooperate with local authorities to resolve people's petitions against the encroachers. With local people’s constant pressure, so far the Rubber company stopped its encroachment on the community land although this company has not sent an official document or promise to solve this problem.
Participants of the seminar
People in Dong Van commune (Que Phong district, Nghe An province) are tending to convert acacia monoculture to forest protection and growth of indigenous tree species (such as Luong/ a local bamboo species). They have gained initial success, with better income in comparison to acacia plantation. More importantly, the ecological environment is guaranteed, there is no cut-off scene as harvesting acacia, so soil erosion and degradation can be avoided.
Mr. Nguyen Duc Su, representative from Cao Quang commune (Tuyen Hoa district, Quang Binh province) shared the process of advocating for the State Forest Enterprise (SFE) to return land to the locality to allocate land to households for acacia plantation, reforestation and diversified gardening in the commune. Mr. Su shared his experiences that: "In land allocation, we must go to the boundaries, to make sure that every households know their land area clearly, otherwise discrepancies will happen".
Representatives from Truong Son commune (Quang Ninh district, Quang Binh province) raised their issue that: although the local Van Kieu ethnic people are entitled to the policy of ensuring productive land according to Decision 134 of the Prime Minister, the area allocated to each household remains too narrow,