Northern Mountain Region
The Northern Mountain Region occupies around 103,000 km2, (about 1/3 of Vietnam) and hosts more than 11 million people. This region remains among the poorest areas of the country, with the deepest impoverishment in upland areas mainly inhabited by minority ethnic groups, who face many difficulties, including inadequate access to land, water, agricultural support services and off-farm jobs. In addition, the region has a complex geological structure, as mountains and hills occupy 80% of the region's area, consisting of rocks with a thin weathered layer, which is infertile and with poor water-absorption capacities. This situation is exacerbated by the vulnerability to flash floods, which have increased in intensity and frequency in the last years. The forest coverage in this region is the lowest in the country and there are extensive areas of bare land and hills that cannot keep rain water, adding to the causes of severe flash floods. Currently, the region is facing increased difficulties due to more severe and unpredictable extreme events, which aggravate the unstability of crop yields. The project established six pilot sites in the following provinces
Yen Bai Province
This province, located in the northwest of the country has two main regions, a low-altitude and more developed area and a more vulnerable high-land area, continuously exposed to floods, landslides and other extreme events. Main challenges in the area include limitation in cultivable land, complex topography, poorly developed transport system and lack of know-how. The pilot sites of the project were the Dai Phac commune (Van Yen District) and the Yen Binh commune (Yen Binh District).
Lao Cai Province
The province, located in the northwest of Vietnam is the homeland of numerous ethnic minorities. There is a lowland and a highland region. In recent years, the incidence of heavy reains and consequent flash floods during the rainy season (April to September) has rised considerably, as prolonged droughts during the dry season (October to March) which often lead to forest fires. The project established two pilot sites in the Son Hai commune (Bao Thang District) and the Muong Vi commune (Bat Xat District).
Phu Tho Province
This midland mountainous province, located in the junction point between Northeast, Red river delta and Northwest is highly vulnerable to floods, a situation aggravated by its complex topography. The low hill sub regions is strongly dissected with inter-located paddy fields and river bands. Tropical monsoon climate favors crop production, animal husbandry and aquaculture. The project established two pilot sites in the Minh Hac commune (Ha Hoa District) and the Chan Mong commune (Doan Hung District).