Features & Commentary
Phasing out REDD+ Phase I in Viet Nam
Viet Nam is one of the first UN-REDD Programme partner country to operationally close its UN-REDD National Programme focused on REDD+ readiness work under Phase 1, and begin moving forward with its REDD+ Phase II efforts.
By: Thomas Enters
On 4 October 2012, the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry (VNForest), FAO, UNDP and UNEP organized the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase I Programme closing workshop. More than 80 people gathered to reflect on the achievements of the Programme, on lessons learned and challenges faced, which were presented by Madam Pham Minh Thoa of VNForest.
Without learning, there cannot be any progress and we may make the same mistakes again. To avoid this, the Programme commissioned a lessons learned report, which has provided valuable insights. Mr. Pham Quoc Hung of VNForest presented key lessons described in the report. This was followed by a lively debate on experiences gained in stakeholder engagement at national and local levels.
The workshop was timely, as the Phase I Programme was completed at the end of September. In general, presenters and participants left no doubt that significant milestones were reached since Viet Nam's UN-REDD National Programme began three years ago. Through the Viet Nam REDD+ Office, the REDD Network and six very active sub-technical working groups, a solid structural foundation has been put in place at the national level for Viet Nam to move smoothly from Phase I to Phase II activities for REDD+. Sub-technical working groups continue to meet and work, which is a good indication of sustainable achievements.
Less visible achievements, all generated through effective multi-stakeholder engagement, include an MRV Framework, piloting of an FPIC process, and progress on a benefit distribution system for REDD+. One of the remaining key challenges, which is not unique to Viet Nam, is to raise the low level of awareness on REDD+, especially at provincial and local levels, and to respond to the high expectations of many people living in rural areas. Similarly, engaging the non-forestry sector and especially the private sector is still in its infancy.
It is clear that awareness raising and capacity building need to continue during Phase II, which in fact is foreseen in the Cancun Agreements. Phase II was on many participants’ mind, with many already picturing their role in the implementation of REDD+ and the National REDD+ Action Programme. It was only a matter of time for someone to inquire about the status of the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme proposal. Mr. Pham Manh Cuong provided the requested update and highlighted that the finishing touches were about to be completed.
The future for REDD+ in Viet Nam looks bright, not only because of the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme. Numerous other development partners are very active in Viet Nam, helping to build capacities of Vietnamese stakeholders, and have significantly contributed to where Viet Nam is today. The time has come to reduce emissions and conserve and enhance forest carbon stocks on the ground.
|Thomas Enters is the UNEP UN-REDD Regional Coordinator in the Asia-Pacific region.