The event was jointly organised by the Vietnam Administration of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
According to Nguyen Van Bong, the provincial Department of Forest Protection, the criteria for forest identification in Article 4 of the draft Decree should be re-examined.
Participates said if trees on the hill and those in the mangrove forests are required to 5 metres high and 1m above, respectively, many areas in the country will basically no longer be forest.
As stipulated in the draft, there will be very few forest trees with a height of over 1m. Thus, many forest areas and special-use forests (SUF) such as mangrove and coastal forests will not be identified as forest anymore, they stressed, adding that it is necessary to re-consider this technical criteria.
Nguyen Quang Vinh, director of the Department of Forest Protection of Lao Cai province stressed the need to clarify the role of the management boards of special-use forests for buffer zones, especially those near the core forest zones.
It should be stipulated that investment projects must be approved by the SUF management board because there are projects that affect the core forest area, he said.
Consultant Pham Xuan Phuong said that Article 36 of the draft Decree related to forest allocation and lease is unclear.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development need to be responsible for allocating forest and land, while the Department of Natural Resources and Environment shall assess and supervise the work, Phuong added.
Participants also suggested clarifying the concept of "first forest allocation" and reviewing the allocation of natural forests to households and individuals as they are forest destroyers.
Pham Van Dien, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, said comments given at the event are very exact.
The drafting board will collect opinions to serve the drafting of not only the Decree but also another decrees and circulars for the Law on Forestry, Dien stressed.