Innovation lab

Forest land allocation model with participation of farmers in Bac Kan province – Viet Nam

Regional research “Agricultural innovations review in Sub-Mekong region countries” in the framework of the project “Network for Agriculture and Rural Development Think-tanks for Countries in Mekong sub-region” – November 2022 - April 2023.

Vietnam's land and forest allocation policy, implemented since the 1980s, aims to prevent deforestation, improve forest cover, and alleviate poverty. This policy is divided among state-owned forestry enterprises, communities, and households. However, issues like overlapping land and technical facilities can slow progress. The Bac Kan Province Commercial Smallholder Support Project (CSSP) is implementing a sub-component, Land allocation, and forestry land use right certification, to promote equitable ownership among asset groups and genders. This model ensures people's right to use forest land and resources, improving living conditions and natural resource protection.

Forest land users in Bac Kan province are households contracted for forest planting areas from state forestry enterprises. These households planted forests and were certified by the forestry enterprise. However, there is no accurate map of the land plots, leading to disputes and conflicts over land use rights. The 3PAD project, piloted between 2011 and 2012, combines high-precision mapping technology with people's participation in all steps of land allocation and grant of land use right certificates.

The Provincial CSSP Project Steering Committee issued two decisions on land and forest allocation in Bac Kan province, including a handbook on participatory land allocation and issuance of land use rights certificates (LURCs). These handbooks have been compiled based on references and synthesis, the development of methods and documents on land use planning, and participatory land allocation of projects led by the European Union, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the German Technical Cooperation Organization, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

the activities of land and forest allocation are often complicated and involve many agencies and departments from the province to the district level, the commune level, the village level, and households. By the end of 2021, forestry land allocation has been granted 11,177 forest land LURCs to 6,915 households, including 56% poor households, nearly poor households, and 12% female-headed households.

The participatory model of land and forest allocation with the participation of people has brought sustainability to the management and use of forest land in Bac Kan province. It has given local people real ownership over the allocated forest, contributing to forest development, forest cover, and quality. Additionally, it has created consensus in the village community, allowing households and villages to agree on land allocation and sign border receipts through village meetings.

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