On May 27, 2022, The Consultative Institute for Socio-Economic Development of Rural and Mountainous Areas (CISDOMA) has cooperated with Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Kon Tum province to organize a workshop on “Forest and Land allocation to ethnic minority communities – difficulties and solutions” in Kon Tum city. There were more than 60 participants from different ministries, National Assembly’s Ethnic Council, Scientists, Managers, State Agriculture Forest Enterprises, etc. They are from Ha Noi and 6 provinces.
In the workshop, the participants shared their experiences on the allocation of forest and forest land to ethnic minority communities. The discussion has focused on forest and land allocation for the land which was managed by forestry companies and has been handed over to the local authorities according to Resolution 118/2014/ND-CP on restructuring, innovation, and development of State Agriculture and Forest Enterprises for enhancing their effectiveness, dated December 17, 2014.
Besides positive results of forest and land allocation to ethnic minority communities, the participants also shared about difficulties and challenges in the process of forest and land allocation to the ethnic communities, as well as in conservation, protection, and development of forests and how to improve the livelihoods of ethnic communities through managing their allocated forest and forest land. During the workshop, there were presentations and speeches from participants who came from State management agencies such as the Legal Department of General Department of Land Management, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), General Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), National Assembly’s Ethnic Council, etc on relevant policies.
Picture 1: Representative of National Assembly’s Ethnic Council and CISDOMA leader chairing the workshop
During the workshop, participants seriously discussed solutions for promoting the process of forest and land allocation to ethnic minority communities and also solutions for the effectiveness of forest management as well as improving the livelihood of ethnic minority communities, who be allocated forest and land. Solutions have focused on key problems such as:
1) Handling the inadequacies in legal regulations between Land Law, 2013 and Forestry Law, 2017;
2) Solutions to standardize the database on current forest status;
3) Solutions to solve problems in the process of forest and land allocation;
4) Measures to ensure the participation of the community members in the forest and land allocation process, and appropriate to the cultural and social conditions of the communities.
5) Solutions to capacity building for communities in terms of organizations and institutions in order to enhance the effectiveness of forest management after forest and land are allocated to the communities.
Picture 2: The scene of the workshop
With the expectation of promoting the process of forest land allocation to ethnic minorities, the ideas and recommendations from the workshop will be synthesized by representatives of Government Organizations and the National Assembly; and these ideas and recommendations will submit to higher levels and policy makers. These ideas will contribute to the process of review and revision of Land Law 2013 as well as related regulations, laws, and policies.
Picture 3: Participants present the results of group work
The project “Restoring ethnic minorities’ rights to customary land” was funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by The Consultative Institute for Socio-Economic Development of Rural and Mountainous Areas (CISDOMA), Centre for Research on Upland Resource Governance (CEGORN), Centre for Rural Development (CRD) and Oxfam Vietnam. The project areas are in Lao Cai and Kon Tum provinces and the project lifetime is from 2021 to 2023.