Viet Nam governments invest in Smart Trees
Local government agencies in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces are fully supportive of more trees on farms to help farmers adapt to climate change
On 11–14 March 2015, the regional project team from Bogor, Indonesia visited the Viet Nam sites of the Climate-Smart, Tree-Based, Co-Investment in Adaptation and Mitigation in Asia (Smart Tree-Invest) project and met an enthusiastic reception from representatives of communes and other local government agencies. The project is co-funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Research (IFAD) and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.
The local government representatives very much appreciated the scientific research methods being applied by the World Agroforestry Centre. The local governments were looking forward to receiving the results from the studies, which will be used in their sectoral planning. They are also keen to see the Centre develop pilot activities that follow on from the research and help farmers directly. The intention is to expand the successful pilots throughout the provinces.
In particular, the government would potentially invest in environmental services’ schemes that provide co-management of natural forests by state forest management boards, commune people’s committees and communities; ‘climate-smart’, tree-based systems, like intensified home gardens with organic and market orientation, and; local innovative solutions, such as tree planting along river banks to reduce flash floods and landslides.
The two provinces’ smallholders derive their main incomes from annual crops, such as maize, green beans, peanuts, while rice cultivation is crucially important for household food security. However, increasingly over the last decade the farmers have experienced many extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts and landslides that have had a negative impact on their agricultural activities and reduced the amount of agricultural land.
During the first year of project, the project’s Viet Nam team, in cooperation with the district governments and communes, had carried out research, through ‘key informant’ interviews to understand local people’s perspectives using the project’s results in agricultural and forestry development plans; focus groups with government representatives and farmers; household socio-economic surveys; field observations of environmental problems and land use—particularly the farming systems—in the watersheds; collecting data of socio-economic, spatial, ecological and biophysical aspects.
After the research in the first year, the second and third years of Smart Tree-Invest will focus on action, such as clarifying threats to the farmers’ resilience, including changes in ecosystem services, climate patterns, and other environmental and socio-political changes, and; developing ‘co-investment’ schemes that promote climate-smart, tree-based agriculture, enhance the provision of ecosystem services in the watershed and also improve smallholders livelihoods.
At the end of the visit, the team also met with the provincial project management board of the project’s co-funder, IFAD, in Ha Tinh province. During the meeting, IFAD representatives expressed enthusiasm to closely collaborate in the activities on the ground between Smart Tree-Invest and IFAD’s loan project, particularly in a value-chain study and development of climate-smart agriculture models.
Smart Tree-Invest is carried out by the World Agroforestry Centre in Viet Nam, the Philippines and Indonesia to find ways to improve the livelihoods and resilience of smallholders. In Viet Nam, the project works in Ho Ho sub-watershed in two communes in Ha Tinh province and Huong Hoa commune in Quang Binh province.
This project is supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry