The Green Livelihoods Alliance (GLA) is a collaborative program between Milieudefensie, IUCN Netherlands and Tropenbos International, in a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The program is carried out in 9 countries: Ghana, DR Congo, Nigeria, Uganda, Bolivia, Paraguay, Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia. In Viet Nam, the GLA is implemented by three local NGOs: Tropenbos Viet Nam, PanNature and Viet Nature.
Since the 1990s Viet Nam has been allocating forestland to local communities and individual households to promote forest protection. As part of the forest allocation the government has also conducted trial programmes for paying forest owners the costs for forest protection and the provision of related services, also known as Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES).
In Viet Nam, forest land is being converted into dams for hydropower plant development without thorough environmental impact assessments. Between 2006-2013 over 19,805 ha of forest land were converted along the 27 provinces of the country.
Forestland has been excessively converted to rubber plantation, even in areas where rubber has never been planted before. By 2012 the total of rubber plantation reached already 910,500 ha. It means that the strategy to 2015 set by the Government is exceeded 200,000 ha by booming rubber plantations in almost every province.
Viet Nam’s forest land allocation (FLA) program has been decentralizing forest governance on an ongoing basis since the 1990s, aiming to give equal focus to rural livelihoods and sustainable forest management. Forest lands are allocated to public and private socio-economic institutions, mainly to local level stakeholders such as individuals, households, and communities. Analyzing this policy development and implementation provides essential insight into the success or failure of such decentralization programs.