|Ethnic and minority residents afforest in central Quang Binh Province. Eight million ethnic minority people across the country are expected to benefit from a project that launched in Ha Noi yesterday to promote their land rights. — VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Eight million ethnic minority people across the country are expected to benefit from a project that launched in Ha Noi yesterday to promote their land rights.
According to research reported at the ceremony, ethnic minority populations live in remote areas, face language barriers, have low access to education and depend primarily on forest and agricultural lands for their livelihoods. They are also living under the poverty line.
A shortage of land for farming and foresting was blamed for the situation, the participants said.
And the root of the problem is local authorities' poor management in allocating land for the ethnic minority people, they added.
Therefore, the three-year project, with financial support of about US$700,000 from the European Union, was established to protect and promote the ethnic minority people's rights in accessing forest and farming land.
The project will take effect in six provinces of Lao Cai, Lang Son, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Kon Tum, and will be implemented by Care International in Viet Nam and Culture Identity and Resources Use Management (CIRUM).
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Thomas Anthony Corrie, Deputy Head of Co-operation of the EU's delegation in Viet Nam, said the project would contribute to the restoration of the rights of ethnic minority people and the communal forest lands over which they traditionally had free access and control.
It would do so through a two-pronged approach of garnering support from policy makers for the reorganisation of ethnic minority rights in the forthcoming amendment of the Law on Forest Protection and Development, he said.
Vice Chairman of the Ethnic Council of the National Assembly Giang A Chu said he supported the project and hoped the EU would continue to implement intensive assessments of ethnic-minority policies of Viet Nam and contribute ideas to help the country perfect its regulations.
Ho Thi Kon, a Van Kieu ethnic minority woman living in the central Quang Binh Province's Truong Son Commune, said she hoped that her Van Kieu ethnic minority group and all ethnic minority groups would be able to allocate more land for farming. These measures would help ethnic minority people escape from poverty more quickly, she said. — VNS