Policy formulation and strategy development in Viet Nam

As a part of a national reform process, and also in response to the TFAP, by 1992 the forestry sector in Viet Nam was in a strong position to initiate work with a renovated policy framework for the sector. A new forest law, the Forest Protection and Development Act, was promulgated on 19 August 1991 and key subsidiary decisions and decrees have subsequently been issued, including: a decision on the provision of funds for long-term investment in the development of forest resources (1992); a decision to create a programme for the development of upland areas and ethnic minorities (1993); and a decree on the allocation of forest land to non-state units (1994).

In Viet Nam, forest policies are now giving priority to rural people and food security, as well as to the resource itself

The country's capacity to formulate suitable policies for forestry development has recently been improved. Previously, policies were mainly directed at the forest resources themselves. More recently, they have taken account of the first priority of rural people, food security. A long-term national programme, Regreening of bare hills and protection of forest resources, was initiated in 1992, within the framework of the renewed national policies and was based on the technical conclusions reached during the implementation of TFAP, The Forestry Sector Review for Viet Nam.

The programme is unique in that it has been set up purposely to bridge the gap between the macro and micro levels in the present context of rapid national change. The following are the key characteristics of the programme: a multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach; protection of biological diversity and sustainability; people's participation, combining top-down and bottom-up approaches, applying decentralized planning methods; and strengthening the national capacity in mobilizing local resources and absorbing external support.