Viet Nam First Country Globally to Launch a National UN-REDD Phase II Programme
Once again at the forefront of global efforts to fight climate change, Viet Nam became the first of 47 UN-REDD partner countries to move into the second phase of a US$30-million programme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through improved forest and land-use management.
On 29 July, an official signing by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the UN marked the start of Phase II of the UN-REDD Programme. Financed by the Government of Norway, the National UN-REDD Programme to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) will be a major pillar of Viet Nam's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture and rural development sector by 20 per cent by 2020. By developing and implementing improved policies that address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, the aim is to increase Viet Nam’s overall forest cover to 45 per cent by 2020.
“Once the documents are signed and we leave this room, the clock starts ticking,” said H.E. Dr. Cao Duc Phat, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam. “We will have no time to lose in getting the programme up and running.”
As one of the original pilot countries of the UN-REDD Programme, Viet Nam has been on the frontline of global REDD+ activities for the past four years. The country has successfully piloted REDD+ readiness work in a number of key areas including supporting strong coordination among national stakeholders, developing a framework for Measurement, Reporting and Verification, and testing approaches for the free, prior and informed consent of ethnic minorities and other forest-dependent communities.
Phase II will build on the REDD+ readiness work of Phase I, and start implementing Viet Nam’s National REDD+ Action Programme in six provinces across the country, namely Lao Cai, Bac Kan, Ha Tinh, Binh Thuan, Lam Dong, and Ca Mau. Over the next three years the Programme will help identify, negotiate, plan and implement land-use practices that are sustainable, climate-smart and adapted to local needs. Additional financial incentives will be made available by the Government of Norway and other international partners for transparently measured and verified greenhouse gas emissions reductions achieved through the Programme.
Addressing the signing ceremony, UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam, Ms Pratibha Mehta, said that the event was a landmark for Viet Nam and for the UN-REDD Programme. “The Phase II Programme includes a very clear and targeted way forward for Viet Nam to benefit in multiple ways, not just from this US$30 million Programme. However, if Viet Nam is to make the most of the opportunities, Phase II must deliver on time on all of its objectives. By Delivering as One, the UN will help maximize the impact of Viet Nam’s efforts in climate change mitigation,” she noted.