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"Contribution to revising the Land Law" Seminar


           On September 25 in Hanoi, the Tropical Forestry Research Centre in collaboration with the Vietnam Forest Science and Technology Association (VIFA) held a seminar program titled "Contribution to revising the Land Law". The Forum’s attendees are the representatives from State management agencies, which are Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, as well as research institutes, universities, domestic and international non-governmental organizations.

            The Centre for Sustainable Rural Development’s Deputy Director, Dr. Nguyen Phu Hung, represented the Centre to participate in this event. During the seminar, the SRD’s Deputy Director contributed our ideas in the fields of the current situation of the farming community, which have struggles in the matter of forest land use rights and potential conflicts between local communities and some forestry companies, who was land allocated. The problem is considered to be a result of overlaps between planning maps and factual issues.




         The 2013 Law on Land was passed by the National Assembly and came into effect from 1 July 2014. However, through reports on the situation of localities and comments from concerned organizations and individuals, the implementation of the Land Law is still facing many difficulties and problems. In particular, the issue of land use planning regarding agricultural and forestry land allocation and its impacts on the people’s lives in rural mountainous areas is essential. Not only does it create opportunities for mountainous people to stabilize their lives in a long time, but also it makes it possible for local laborers to participate in forest management, protection and development. Moreover, it helps the barren land area to be used effectively and contribute to creating jobs and improving income for the locals.




         Stable and long-term forest land allocation together with policy support in post-allocation time have motivated people to participate in planting forests for paper, supplying wood chips, producing wooden furniture. Therefore, the income from forestry industry accounts for an increasing proportion in the income of households. However, the improving legal basis process for the people's land use rights is still delayed in many areas. As a result, the number of people who have not been granted a land use right certificate is still large, while the land area is still overlapping, which all lead to many complaints.

           Participants showed that the 2013 Land Law and the 2017 Forest Law had some inconsistencies. First is the object and scope of planning due to the provisions of "forest land" and "religious land" in the two laws are different. This could lead to the inconsistent statistics in forest land between MARD and MONRE. For example, the Land Law has no concept of “forest land” and does not mention “forest land”, but its guiding documents do mention the concept of “forest land” (Circular 28/2014/TT-BTNMT). In practice, the natural resources and environment sector only considers the area covered by forests and newly planted forests as forest land while other areas such as areas zoned for reforestation which have not met the forest criteria are not considered forest land but are considered other unused land. On the other hand, the agriculture and rural development sector considers forest land to include all the area of ​​non-forest land that has been zoned into special-use, reforestation and production.




         Synthesizing the comments from all delegates, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Trieu Van Hung - Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Forestry Science and Technology, concluded that the Law on Land 2013 since its enactment until now has contributed greatly to land management. However, in the 2013 Land Law, there are still some issues that need to be considered and adjusted to suit the country development. The political organizations and social organizations participating in the law-making process should contribute their opinions so that the Law can be put into practice to achieve the highest results and be good for the people to the fullest extent.

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