SRD organized training on participatory community consultation and research in assessing livelihood impacts of VPA/FLEGT

SRD organized training on participatory community consultation and research in assessing livelihood impacts of VPA/FLEGT

Nearly 30 representatives of VNGO-FLEGT network’s member organizations and local government officials of Phu Luong district (of Thai Nguyen province) and Yen Binh district (of Yen Bai province) attended a training course, which was held on 19th and 20th of April in Hanoi.

The training course was held in the framework of the project “Strengthening the capacity of CSOs and forest-dependent communities to effectively participate in the VPA process” (VM050), funded by EU FAO FLEGT Program. The project’s objective is to enhance the capacity of concerned CSOs and forest-dependent communities to assess the likely impacts of the VPA, enabling them to effectively participate in FLEGT/VPA negotiation and implementation.

In the opening speech, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hoa, SRD’s Vice Director said that she hoped the course would provide the participants, especially those from the 2 districts with a basic understanding of VPA/FLEGT, with the steps of the Livelihood Impact Assessment (LIA) to assess the likely impacts of VPA/FLEGT, and enable them to actively participated in the LIA research which will be conducted in their district. She also emphasized that the course was a valuable opportunity for the local government officials to share challenges of community forest governance and forest law enforcement in their district with the representatives of NGOs and research institute in VNGO-FLEGT network.

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Vice President of the People's Committee of Yen Binh district making presentation about the current status of forest management in the district

The training course is followed by a LIA research in Phu Luong and Yen Binh district, which aim to collect detailed information on VPA/FLEGT’s vulnerable groups, select the most vulnerable one and identify the lively impacts and transmission channels through which VPA/FLEGT will affect the livelihood of this group. After the research, a workshop will be organized in each district with the aim of developing risk mitigation plans for these districts.

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Facilitators and participants at the workshop

The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FELGT) Action Plan is an initiative developed by the European Union (EU) in response to illegal logging and trading as well as to promote effective forest governance. The key element of this Action Plan is the negotiation and implementation of Volunteer Partnership Agreement (VPA) in timber-exporting countries. Conducting the assessment of VPA’s livelihood impacts, participated by a wide range of stakeholders, will help identify winners and losers in the VPA implementation process and create risk mitigation plans, and therefore provide inputs into the VPA process.

Phu Luong and Yen Binh are 2 mountainous remote districts of Thai Nguyen and Yen Bai province respectively, where local people mainly rely on forest resources for their livelihood. It is worth noting that SRD is currently implementing 2 projects in these areas, one about participatory land use and management and another about conservation and development of traditional remedies and herbal plants. Therefore, the LIA research in the 2 districts is expected to offer not only a helpful insight into the possible effects of VPA/FLEGT on forest-dependent communities but also crucial recommendations for those above projects.

 

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