Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Son La

Key Achievements in Son La

Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Son LaSon La is one of the two first provinces in Vietnam that piloted the financial mechanism of ‘Payment for Forest Environmental Services’ (PFES) starting in 2008. Building off success from the USAID Vietnam Forest and Delta Project, the USAID Sustainable Forest Management Project continued supporting Son La province with two main activities to better protect and manage its community forests. This included: 1) developing the fruit, and rattan-bamboo-leaves (RBL) value chains, and 2) supporting the implementation of PFES and developing and preparing for the future piloting of carbon-PFES. With technical support from the Project, Son La’s Provincial People Committee issued a Decision on piloting sustainable forest management and carbon trading in river-basins of small-hydropower plants in Muong La and Bac Yen districts. Withing the PFES system, this initiative will be an innovation for direct payments from companies to communities protecting forests in watersheds. In 2023, the Project provided technical assistance and advocated a provincial policy on forest and forest land allocation (F/FLA) in three districts of Muong La, Moc Chau, and Van Ho. An estimated 15,342 ha of FA/FLA in 40 communes will be re-allocated for local communities in 2024. In September 2023, the
Project supported communities to develop three community forest management plans covering 2,239 ha, which were verified by Commune People Committees. This process directly engaged local communities, especially women and ethnic minority groups in the fruit value chain and helped improve their capacity on tendering, harvesting, and processing products, and on business management. Through a public, private, and community partnership (PPCP) approach, the Project signed partnership agreements with local conservation-friendly enterprises in the RBL value chain and mobilized investments of up to 21 billion VND (USD 866,000) from the public and private sector. Son La is also the first province to install the innovative Project-developed Forest Violations Database Management System (FVDMS) tool from provincial to district level, contributing to better forest management.

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