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Greener Viet Nam expected through new int'l initiative

Update: October, 12/2013 - 09:43
During the next three years, this will translate into better forest and land-use management in six pilot provinces: Bac Kan, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Ha Tinh, Lam Dong and Lao Cai.— File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam yesterday took another major step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and rural development, marked by the start of the UN-REDD Phase II Programme.

More than 100 stakeholders from the government, local authorities, NGOs and development partners participated in a workshop in Ha Noi to shape the implementation of the programme.

The project follows a Joint Declaration on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) signed by Norway and Viet Nam in late 2012.

As part of the Declaration, the Government of Norway has provided a NOK180 million (US$30 million) grant to support the implementation of the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme.

This makes Viet Nam one of a very select group of countries taking REDD+ to the next level, moving from "getting ready for REDD+" to implementing activities on the ground.

Phase I (2009-13) has successfully developed a National REDD+ Action Programme and built skills, knowledge and experience among stakeholders.

It was jointly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) the and UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

During the next three years, this will translate into better forest and land-use management in six pilot provinces: Bac Kan, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Ha Tinh, Lam Dong and Lao Cai.

While Phase II's key goal is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, it is also expected to bring additional environmental and social benefits.

To meet these goals, the first steps have already been taken to prepare for participatory local-level REDD+ planning in Central Highland Lam Dong Province.

Addressing the workshop, UN Resident Co-ordinator Ms Pratibha Mehta highlighted the need for greater stakeholder engagement.

"The most important lesson that we have learned so far is the need for much greater stakeholder engagement and better co-ordination and collaboration," she said.

"Although the UN and Government will jointly be held responsible for implementing this Phase II programme, its success will depend on many others, including civil society organizations, communities and the private sector," she said. — VNS

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