National Forestry Strategy for the period 2006 2020

Vietnam has a natural area of over 33.12 million hectares, of which 12.6 million ha of forests and 6.16 million ha of barren land are targeted for agriculture and forestry production. Thus, the forestry sector has been managing and running production activities on the largest area of land, as compared with other sectors in the national economy. The forest land area is distributed mainly in the mountainous and hilly areas of the entire country, where 25 million people from different ethnic groups live. These people have low education levels, backward farming practices, slow economic development and many livelihood problems.Forestry not only creates forest products as commodities and services contributing to the national economy, but also plays an important role in environmental protection, such as watershed protection, soil and water conservation, and climate regulation, contributes to protecting national security as well as border and island areas; and makes vital contributions to livelihood improvement and poverty reduction for people in the rural and mountainous areas.According to the existing regulation on classification of the national economic sectors, forestry is ranked as the economic sector level II, with major activities being reforestation/afforestation, forest protection, harvesting of forest products and some forestry services. The final products are materials supplied to processing industries and consumption.Based on the current published data, the GDP of the forestry sector comprises just over 1% of the total national GDP. The GDP value of forestry has been just calculated, due to the current practice of statistics, as the value of official production activities as planned, without including the values of forest products exploited, processed and marketed by people; particularly the value of industry for processing forest products is not yet included. Significant impacts of forests, such as protection functions for watershed, coastal and urban environment, values for biodiversity conservation, conservation of gene sources, and ecotourism, etc., have not been accounted for in the GDP of forestry. This is leading to insufficient understanding by different levels, sectors and society concerning the efficiency of one sector managing almost half of the national land area with a rich forest resource, and where 25 million people live. This insufficient awareness could affect the policy formulation by the State related to the development and investment for the forestry sector. According to the definition of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations’ classification of the forestry sector, which is recognized by many countries in the world, and based on the current situation of Vietnam, there is a need to have a comprehensive concept on the forest sector, as follows:Forestry is a specific technical economic sector, including all activities connected with commodity production and services from the forest, such as reforestation/afforestation, harvesting, transportation, production and processing of forest products, and providing environmental services related to forests; the forestry sector plays very important role in the protection of the environment, biodiversity conservation, and poverty reduction, particularly for the people in the mountainous areas, and contributes to social stability and to national defense security.On the basis of the Forest Protection and Development Law in 2004, and other related laws, the orientation for national socio-economic development in the next period and a full concept of the forest sector, there is a need to make comprehensive adjustments for the orientation of  sector development in order to meet the needs of renovation and the trends of international economic integration, thereby creating conditions for the mobilization of more domestic and foreign resources for sectoral development investments. Only with full awareness and consistent action concerning the role, position and the needs of the sector, then could forestry have the conditions to develop rapidly, strongly, and contribute to the industrialization, modernization of rural agriculture, hunger eradication, poverty reduction for people in the mountainous areas, environmental protection, and basically to lead our country to become an industrial nation with modern trends by the year 2020, as stated in the 10th Congress resolution.Due to the above-mentioned reasons, a National Forestry Strategy for the period 2006 – 2020 is needed, as a basis for orientation of the long-term sector development. This strategy has built upon the previous Forestry Development Strategy, period 2001 – 2010, approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), and the framework of the Forest Sector Support Program (FSSP), and added new viewpoints and orientations to meet the requirements for renovation, international economic integration and sustainable development. The contents of the strategy consist of 8 parts:Part one: Current status of the forestry sectorPart two: Context and development projectionPart three: Viewpoints, Objectives and Development orientationPart four: Solutions for implementationPart five: ProgramsPart six: Implementation arrangementPart seven: Monitoring and evaluationPart eight: Estimated fund requirement and funding sources

The main text is followed by tables and annexes attached with this strategy

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