Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Quang Nam

Key Achievements in Quang Nam

Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Quang NamQuang Nam Province is located in Vietnam’s central coast region with 680,806 hectares (ha) of total forested area, accounting for 60 percent of the province’s natural area. Although there is significant potential to benefit from the forest, the province faces forest degradation and deforestation. Together with the provincial government, USAID’s Sustainable Forest Management Project has been implementing a wide range of interventions to address these issues. In 2023, the Project helped develop seven Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) Plans and three Community Forest Management (CFM) Plans covering a total of 16,039 ha of forest and organizing hundreds of forest patrols. This contributed to better forest protection and management for 11 communities. The Project also helped improve livelihoods for forest dependent communities by promoting four value chains: rattan, bamboo, and leaves (RBL), medicinal plants, betel nut, and acacia. To implement these value chains, the Project signed nine partnership agreements with local conservation friendly enterprises. As a result, nearly 10,000 people benefited from the cooperation and USD 688,000 was mobilized to support the value chains. The Project also improved production forest management practices by engaging with Hiep Thuan Cooperative and Thien Hoang Company to implement the following interventions: i) capacity building on sustainable forest management and forest certification, resulting in the formation of 12 smallholder groups (584 households); ii) development of two SFM plans; iii) implementation of forest mapping; iv) addressing audit-identified issues for forest certification with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC); and v) developing a plantation forest insurance mechanism, and completing the biomass supply chain. As a result, Hiep Thuan Cooperative received FSC certification to sustainably manage 1,195 ha of acacia forest managed by 221 smallholders. Thien Hoang Company is currently working towards the FSC certification of 3,000 ha in 2024.

Protecting forest owners and households from natural disasters with risk mitigation mechanisms.

The effects of climate change are present in central Vietnam, including in Quang Nam, causing enormous damage to plantation forests. The current lack of affordable insurance schemes for farmers to purchase for coverage is a major obstacle to implementing sustainable forest management and developing large dimension timber forests. Hiep Thuan Cooperative was established in 2017 with 15 cooperative members, including farmers from neighboring communes in Quang Nam province. The Cooperative recognized that farmers’ plantations needed technical solutions to mitigate risks from natural disasters. The Cooperative established a pilot model on risk mitigation for plantations to help members and associated households mitigate losses from natural disasters. With technical assistance from the Project, Hiep Thuan Cooperative established the ‘Regulation on Risk Mitigation Fund’ in August 2022 to mobilize funds from local forest owners, cooperative members, bank deposit interest, assistance from organizations, businesses and individuals, assistance from the State, and assistance from development projects.

Through technical, production, and financial solutions, the risk of damage from natural disasters and forest fires will be minimized, building the trust and confidence of forest owners to plant large timber forests to meet the cooperative’ business strategy (and environmental target) of 1,500 ha of sustainable plantations by 2027. This risk mitigation mechanism will motivate members and the community to prolong the plantation rotation, which will contribute to increasing carbon sequestration and will create an opportunity to help small forest owners (farmers) improve sustainable plantation management practices, leading to improved livelihoods as well as social and environmental benefits.

Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Quang Tri

Key Achievements in Quang Tri

Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Quang Tri Quang Tri province is a coastal province in the North Central region of Vietnam—a significant part of the East-West Economic Corridor connecting Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar via the ‘Lao Bao’ international border gate to ports in the central region. Quang Tri was one of the provinces most impacted by war destruction and has suffered from slash-and-burn cultivation for many years, especially in forests already degraded by chemical toxins. Therefore, the natural forest ecosystem is degraded, the area of natural forest reserve has been reduced, and forest quality is poor. Effective measures are needed to strengthen forest management and protection, and to restore natural forests. In 2023, the USAID Sustainable Forest Management Project (the Project) made progress on its 85 sustainable forestry activities in Quang Tri. The Project’s biggest achievements in the province were: developing a Community Forest Management (CFM) Plan for 212 households of Gia Gia village that jointly manage 1,614 hectares (ha) of natural forest; improving and systematizing cooperative forest protection and forest fire control at community forest management sites between 11 communities (1,234 households) to manage and protect 4,164 ha of natural forest; and lastly, supporting seven conservation friendly enterprises (CFEs) in the medicinal plants, coffee, and acacia value chains to jointly benefit 1,765 people and mobilize nearly USD 10 million towards sustainable forest value chains.

Reducing Emissions Through More Sustainable Management of Harvest Residue in Acacia Plantations: Quang Tri currently has 121,420 ha of planted forests (nearly 49% of the province’s total forested land area) of which 85,406 ha (70%) is planted production forests. The majority of these planted production forest owners (64%) are individuals and households. Currently, about 7,000 ha of production forests are planted annually in the province, mainly with the use of hybrid acacia planting material. In Vietnam in general, and in Quang Tri particularly, acacia plantation owners traditionally burn harvest residue—such as stumps, leaves, and bark—–to prepare the ground for new planting. This causes air pollution, soil fragmentation, biodiversity loss, and CO2 emissions. It can even lead to nearby forest fires. In Quang Tri, the Project launched a study on forest certification and management of harvest residue for acacia plantations that demonstrated the costs and benefits of different harvest residue approaches. As a result of this targeted intervention, 2,000 ha of acacia plantation in four districts of Quang Tri province will apply non-burning residue practices, which are proven to be more environmentally friendly. Secondary data shows that one hectare of acacia plantation (aged six years) will produce 32.4 tons of dried harvest residue, equivalent to 55.8 tons of CO2. The Project will contribute to reducing 5.5 -7.8 million tons of CO2 per year by promoting non-burning practices across 110,000 ha/year in Project areas.

Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Nghe An

Achievements in Nghe An

Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Nghe AnNghe An has approximately one million hectares of forested area—the largest forest area of any province in Vietnam. However, the province faces difficulties implementing sustainable forest management practices due to a shortage of technical and financial resources. In 2023, the USAID Sustainable Forest Management Project (the Project) helped Nghe An’s forest-dependent communities with the following achievements:

  • Strengthening community forest management: Supported five communities to elaborate five Sustainable Forest Management Plans to protect 4,529 hectares (ha) across two districts; and provided support to 22 communities under forest protection contracts to prepare forest protection and management plans, including forest patrolling schedules, to better manage 15,308 ha. The Project supported the better management of 19,837 ha altogether in two districts of Tuong Duong and Con Cuong.
  • Environmentally friendly value chains and livelihood development: Supported Nghe An to develop rattan, bamboo and leaves as well as medicinal plants value chains benefiting 1,431 people and mobilizing USD 274,000 in value chain investments from the private sector.
  • Improve sustainable forest management and forest certification: Identified 43,3246 ha for improved forest management, including 10,000 ha of plantation forest for forest certification, of which 2,823.3 ha of plantation forest was awarded Forest Stewardship Certification (FSC) and ‘Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification’ (PEFC) representing 29 farmers’ groups (1,072 people); and improved management of 24,843 ha by supporting District Protection Management Boards to develop and implement Sustainable Forest Management Plans.
  • Develop forest policies to strengthen forest law enforcement: Developed seven provincial forest policies to strengthen forest law enforcement and building capacity of Forest Protection Department forces.
  • Forest environmental services payment mechanisms: Updated and finalized Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) mapping and raised awareness on future launch of carbon trading via carbon-PFES, or C-PFES mechanism in Vietnam.

These initial achievements are helping Nghe An province implement Provincial Directive No. 10 (issued by Nghe An’s Party Standing Committee) to promote high-quality intensive plantations toward forest certification of 50,000 ha by 2025, and to implement the Provincial Strategy on Forestry Development 2020-2030, to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, enhance carbon stock and CO2 sequestration, and to combat climate change.

Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Thanh Hoa

Key Achievements in Thanh Hoa

Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Thanh HoaIn 2023, with technical support from USAID’s Sustainable Forest Management Project (the Project), Thanh Hoa province implemented Sustainable Forest Management Plans to better manage a total area of 25,044 hectares (of which 8,745 ha are production forests). The Project engaged with Biomass Fuel Nghi Son through a partnership agreement to improve knowledge and promote participation in forest certification groups for households with the goal of certifying 4,500 ha of forest by 2024 and 14,000 ha of certified forest by 2026. The Project helped two Forest Protection Management Boards to build and deploy Forest Management and Monitoring Systems using technology, such as satellite imagery to check and detect changes and fluctuations in forest areas, using smartphones to gather field data and to quickly synchronize, and using QGIS to update changes in forest/ plantation status and to generate reports. The Project provided technical assistance to improve the capacity and produce high-quality seedlings for six selected nurseries and supported building 15 big-timber plantation models using the forest-thinning method and more than 40 forest-tending models using the branch-pruning method. The Project worked with 11 communities spanning 12,600 ha to enhance their management and protection of community forests, and initiated forest and forest land allocation associated with connecting forests to residential communities. The Project worked with Thanh Hoa province to upgrade Xuan Lien Nature Reserve to National Park status for better forest resource protection and biodiversity conservation. Once it is designated as a national park, Xuan Lien will have more opportunities for forest landscape and biodiversity conservation, and 32,000 members of forest-dependent communities in the buffer-zone will have enhanced international-domestic resource mobilization and better livelihoods through education, recreation, and ecotourism activities. The Project also developed the bamboo and rattan value chain, establishing four bamboo and rattan cooperative groups and organizing trainings to improve their skills and products based on market requirements. The Project also supported 54 female representatives of companies/ cooperatives/ production groups to improve their capacities in entrepreneurship and business planning related to forest protection and development for improved livelihoods and reduced pressure on forests. At the “Women’s Start-up Contest to Promote Local Resources” organized by Thanh Hoa Provincial Women’s Union, 11 Project-supported women won prizes and one businesswoman won the consolation prize at the national level for her idea of using indigenous medicinal plants to make healthcare products.

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.

Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Hoa Binh

Key Achievements in Hoa Binh

Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Hoa BinhIn 2023, the USAID Sustainable Forest Management Project carried out many activities to comprehensively support forest management and development in Hoa Binh province. Those activities resulted in positive outcomes for forest owners, communities, conservation-friendly enterprises, and other stakeholders in the province. Through targeted capacity building, the Project established 19 Community-based Forest Management Boards and 21 Community Forest Patrolling Teams. As a result, 7,131 hectares of natural forest (both protection and production confident in production and in 21 communities of Da Bac, Mai Chau, and Lac Son districts are now well managed by community patrolling teams. To improve production forest management practices, the Project helped establish 131 famers’ groups in 131 villages of 19 communes with 4,414 members total (90% ethnic minorities). These smallholder farmers’ groups were granted sustainable Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificates for an area of 6,106 ha of acacia plantation reaching about 16,000 beneficiaries. The Project supported the plantation of about 500 ha of new acacia from seedlings, engaging 360 households. For International Day of Forests on March 21, 2023, the Project organized a successful tree plantation event with the participation of more than 250 representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hoa Binh’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, USAID, youth unions, local households, and mass media to plant 500 trees (Michelia tonkinensis) and to hand over one million acacia seedlings to local forest growers. To reduce pressure on forest resources, the Project supported 16 cooperative groups, five cooperatives and their 836 member households by enhancing the rattan-bamboo-leaves and medicinal plant value chains. The Project also increased functionality of law enforcement systems for forest crimes, developing policies and regulations to support forest protection in the province. As a result, the province piloted the innovative new Forest Violations Database Management System (FVDMS)—a digital tool to comprehensively track, monitor, and manage forest violation crimes— and developed six policies and regulations this year. The Project’s targeted activities in Hoa Binh led to 13,630 ha of forest being under improved management.


Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Lao Cai

Key Achievements in Lao Cai:

Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project 2023 Provincial Profile: Lao CaiIn 2023, through the Sustainable Forest Management Project (the Project), USAID supported Lao Cai to reach key achievements on community forest management (CFM), and medicinal plant and cinnamon value chain development. The Project worked with four communities of Van Ban, Bac Ha districts and Sa Pa town, where the total forest area managed by communities is about 4,645 hectares. The Project helped allocate 1,987 ha of forest and forest land for two communes of Red Dao and Mong ethnic minorities in Lien Minh commune, Sa Pa town. Forest land use right certificates were retrieved from individual households and then allocated to communities for better sustainable forest management. The Project also helped Bac Ha Protection Forest Management Board develop a community-based forest ecotourism plan covering 2023-2030 to strengthen CFM and to better protect, conserve, and promote traditional cultural values. Lastly, the Project developed a Forest Protection Plan and provided patrolling equipment to improve forest management of 4,600 ha.

After identifying medicinal plants and cinnamon as two key value chains contributing to sustainable forest management in Lao Cai province, the Project implemented activities to develop these value chains by improving institutional capacity, production, and processing, and through community-business matchmaking and market linkages. The Project provided technical support and equipment for select conservation-friendly enterprises and helped to design a Red Dao Medicinal Plant Performance Space in Sa Pa town, which is now in the process of calling for investments. Cinnamon is considered the most important key crop in Lao Cai province, which is why the province is prioritizing the Project’s support of the cinnamon value chain. In 2023, the Project established a total of 14 organic cinnamon farmers’ groups and provided training on forestry (planting, tending) techniques and training on pre-processing support, which helped improve 1,300 ha of cinnamon forest and benefited 2,800 people. The Project also provided nursery management support for 20 nurseries, signed partnership agreements with two nurseries, and delivered two tons of high-quality seeds for the plantation of 1,300 ha of forest.

 Wildlife Producers Association of Zambia

Private sector collaboration to promote an inclusive legal wildlife economy and reduce wildlife trafficking

Wildlife Producers Association of Zambia (WPAZ) is the only association representing producers of legal game in Zambia. From private wildlife estates and community game ranches to ornamental farms, WPAZ brings together a broad range of wildlife associations including safari operators and guides, the Crocodile Association, and the Zambia Community Resources Board Association. With USAID support since 2020, WPAZ is professionalizing its secretariat and investing in the sustainability of the association to promote an inclusive wildlife economy. WPAZ aims to consolidate the experience of its members, to grow the supply and demand of legal game meat, and support the increased inclusion of communities and customary land in the wildlife economy.


 Petauke District Land Alliance

Addressing natural resources and development planning

The Petauke District Land Alliance (PDLA) is a Zambian civil society organization advancing community rights to land and natural resources. Since 2016, with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), PDLA has documented individual and community land rights in Petauke and Lusangazi Districts. This work is critical in resolving long-standing tensions over customary and state rights within a former resettlement area and in promoting improved planning in one of Zambia’s largest game management areas adjacent to South Luangwa National Park. PDLA’s partnership with district councils brings together customary chiefs, communities, and line ministries to make informed decisions on land use and the management of natural resources.



 Frankfurt Zoological Society

A partner in land rights and habitat protection around North Luangwa National Park

Frankfurt Zoological Society is an international conservation organization that focuses on maintaining biodiversity and conserving wildlife and ecosystems in protected areas and wild places. In Zambia, FZS supports the Department of National Parks with management of North Luangwa National Park and adjacent Game Management Areas. With USAID’s Integrated Land and Resource Governance Project, FZS is documenting land rights of households in two chiefdoms, supporting community forest management, and exploring the viability of community game ranching.