Stakeholders make recommendations for the draft decree for the implementation of the Forest Law 2017

Stakeholders make recommendations for the draft decree for the implementation of the Forest Law 2017

Viet Nam - 09 May, 2018

Following the adoption of the new forest law in 2017, the government of Viet Nam is now drafting decrees that will put the law into operation. Tropenbos Viet Nam organised the workshop “Disseminating the Forest Law 2017 and Consultation for Development of Draft Decree Guiding the Law Implementation” together with Gia Lai Science and Technology Association on 4 May 2018 in Pleiku city of Gia Lai province. The workshop aimed to disseminate the main contents of the new law with stakeholders and to formulate recommendations for the contents of this decree.

The new forest law 2017 approved by the Vietnamese National Assembly in November 2017 aims to promote forest value chains through improved forest products for economic development, society and global integration. The draft decree guiding the implementation of the forest law 2017 is the legal framework for applying the law properly. To guarantee transparency and participation of all stakeholders during the drafting process it is relevant to disseminate the law, and gather inputs and views from various relevant sectors and actors. This also allows policymakers to have a clear overview of the current status and the challenges faced.

More than 50 participants, representatives from Viet Nam Forest Administration, provincial state management agencies, research institutes, universities, civil society organizations (CSOs), forest owners, and local communities in the Central Highlands attended the event. Based upon the information on the forest law 2017 and its draft decree, participants recommended to include the following issues into the draft decree:

  1. specify tenure rights on forest and forestland for local people and communities;
  2. identify an adequate approach for forest and forestland management in mountainous areas with minority people taking into account their traditions, forest management practices and cultural values;
  3. develop co-management mechanisms between local people/communities and management boards of special-use and protection forests; and
  4. make use of other potential environmental services to generate stable financial sources for forest protection and development.

Experts provided presentations about: the main contents of the forest law 2017; an overview of the draft decree guiding the implementation of some provisions of the law; the current status of forests in the Central Highlands; forest/forestland conflicts in the Central Highlands; and contributions by CSOs to the development process of forest law 2017.


During the discussion sessions, participants indicated the necessity to withdraw 2.1 million hectares of forest which are currently managed by commune people’s committees (CPCs) nationwide, as well as the forest/forestland areas allocated to forest companies as they have failed to use them effectively for production purposes. An ineffective use and management of forest and forestland by CPCs and forest companies have led to land conflicts and social instability in the Central Highlands as local people have limited access to land for cultivation and production activities.

The recommendations and ideas provided by the participants together with other recommendations from experts will be presented to the team that is preparing and revising the decree.