From 1998-2001 the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, the UNEP Resource Center for Asia and the Pacific and the Mekong River Commission, implemented a project for development of a Strategic Environmental Framework for the Greater Mekong Region. The project created a Strategic Platform, based on a combination of analytical, participatory and policy-oriented processes, that is now being used to guide investment decisions in the transport, water resources development and environmental sectors in the region. During 2005 SEI joined forces with the SARD Initiative to develop methodological tools for national implementation of SARD and prepare a funding proposal for support to regional and national activities in the Mekong that would build on what has already been achieved. The plan is to define and introduce an approach for self-empowerment of marginalised rural people to enable them to participate more effectively in governance processes for SARD, initially in Vietnam and subsequently in all interested countries of the sub-region.
Participatory Rural Environmental Management in Vietnam
In Northern Vietnam, rapid industrial, population, and urban growth have put great pressure on land and water in rural agricultural areas, yet awareness of environmental issues among decision-makers is quite low. As a result of this, the Vietnam Agricultural Science Institute (VASI) carried out research into Participatory Rural Environmental Management during 2003 and 2004. They produced five main reports and a synthesis report, as follows (click on the titles to read the reports):
• Participatory Rural Environmental Management: Synthesised Report
• Rural Environmental Management at Central Level
• Analysis of agricultural environmental institutions in the north of Vietnam
• Participatory Rural Environmental Management in the Red River Delta
• Participatory Rural Environmental Management: In the Northern Upland Areas
• Assessing Participatory Rural Environmental Management: In the Craft Villages
SEI in Vietnam
The SARD Initiative intends to use the work done by VASI as a starting point for initiating a national implementation process in Vietnam, in partnership with Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Swedish University of Agricultural Science. The programme will facilitate and enable self organization of civil society for SARD with particular focus on up scaling of good practices.
The intended programme will be implemented in three phases; first, to identify and assess SARD good practices, second, to facilitate the introduction of impact assessment tools and third, to prepare a set of impact reports. The latter will also serve as the basis for national reports to the review session of the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) in 2009.