|Two Dao ethnic minority women come back home after harvesting mushroom in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh
HA NOI (VNS) — Since its inception in the year 2000, the Forest Sector Support Partnership (FSSP) has supported Viet Nam in environmental protection; improving livelihoods of people in forestry areas and enhancing the contribution of forestry to the economy, said Ha Cong Tuan, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development at a meeting to hand-over the programme to Viet Nam in the capital city yesterday.
Tuan said over the past 15 years, the partnership programme provided jobs to about five million people, most whom are poor and ethnic minorities living in mountainous regions.
Thanks to the programme, some 1.2 million households have escaped poverty and become better off. In provinces like Quang Tri, Quang Ninh, Tuyen Quang and Ca Mau, many households are able to earn over VND100 million/ha (US$4,500) a year.
"During 15 years of operation, the FSSP has drawn the participation of 31 international partners world wide with some $31 million in funding contributed," Tuan said.
Under the document signed between Viet Nam and the FSSP, the programme funding will come to an end in two weeks time, he said.
"The programme has supported Viet Nam to develop more than 45 legal documents, including laws, decrees and others. What's more important, the programme has helped Viet Nam catch up with new international initiatives on forestry," Tuan emphasised.
However, during its 15 years in operation, the programme has also shown some weaknesses, particularly the uneven commitments among the FSSP members or lack of harmonisation of interest between Viet Nam and donors.
Speaking at the meeting, Nguyen Ba Ngai, deputy director of the Viet Nam Forestry Administration expressed his hope that entering a new phase, the FSSP will continue to support Viet Nam.
"A very important assignment for the forestry sector in the years to come is to implement Viet Nam's commitment toward climate change, protection of wild life and sustainable forestry. Viet Nam hopes that it will receive further support from the FSSP in carrying out the assignment," Ngai emphasised. — VNS