Sustainable forest development in a changing climate

More than 200 Vietnamese and international delegates gathered in Hanoi on September 7-8 for a regional conference to discuss measures to ensure sustainable forest development in the current context of climate change.

The event was co-organised by the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It was part of the activities to mark the 35th anniversary of Vietnam-Germany diplomatic relations and the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi.

Addressing the conference, MARD Deputy Minister, Hua Duc Nhi, emphasised that countries should adapt to current climate change as well as political and economic changes caused by specific events, such as the recent global financial crisis.

Mr Nhi stated that climate change has posed many challenges for Vietnam. To overcome these challenges, he said, it is essential to create a closer link between the State and the private sector, as well as boosting cooperation with international partners. This has provided a good opportunity for Vietnam to use its cooperation strategy to strengthen ties with foreign countries and build new financial models.

BMZ Deputy Minister, Gudrun Kopp, highlighted the importance of raising public awareness of the effective and sustainable use of forests, as well as forest development and protection.

Ms Kopp said that for many years, the German government has actively provided assistance to Vietnam’s forestry sector. So far, Germany has pledged total financial support of US$145 million, including US$90 million in finances and US$55 million in technical support. Most of the funds have been used for sustainable forest exploration and management, biodiversity preservation and coastal forest protection to cope with climate change. Currently, the two countries are implementing 13 cooperation projects worth US$92 million in the forestry sector. The forestry cooperation with Vietnam is German’s most important forestry strategy in Asia, she added.

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During the two-day conference, delegates will focus their discussions on analyzing and evaluating achievements of Vietnam’s forestry sector and highlight the effectiveness of long-term cooperation between Vietnam and Germany.

The conference will highlight lessons learnt in forest management and development in Vietnam and regional countries, and address current and future challenges in the field.

The participants will identify development objectives for Vietnam’s forestry sector to ensure sustainable forest management, forest conservation and rehabilitation, as well as promoting adapting to and mitigating climate change.

In addition to discussing issues of global concern, such as climate change, food security and poverty reduction, they are expected to make recommendations to enable the financing of cost-efficient and effective development and management of planted and natural forests in Vietnam./.

Tran Ngoc