Are capacity building services meeting countries’ needs in Asia-Pacific?

Are capacity building services meeting countries' needs?Jim Stephenson summarizes key findings from a recently-completed assessment of capacity building services providers in four Asia-Pacific countries. 

Today, RECOFTC, with financial and advisory support from UNEP/UN-REDD, launches the full set of four country reports for a regional assessment of the organizations providing REDD+ capacity building services in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Viet Nam.

You may have seen the interim policy brief released for Durban last year, but now is the chance to explore the findings of the full assessment country-by-country.  Accompanying the country reports is an updated policy brief, to bring together the findings from across the region.


RECOFTC and Vietnam Administration of Forestry sign MOU

RECOFTC and Vietnam Administration of Forestry to work together to expand community forestry and fight poverty in Vietnam

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Ba Ngai (center left) and Dr. Tint L. Thaung (center right) signing the MOU

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Ba Ngai (center left) and Dr. Tint L. Thaung (center right) signing the MOU

How can governments and international organizations work together to reduce poverty and combat deforestation? Collaborative efforts based on mutually beneficial goals sometimes fail to live up to expectations for a variety of reasons. However, the shared history that develops between long standing partners can offer a good basis for more ambitious collaborations.


Realizing forest rights in Vietnam

Vietnam’s forest tenure reform will lead to desirable outcomes only if local communities can realize the rights given to them, say Thomas Sikor and Nguyen Quang Tan

One can easily get the impression that forest policy is predominantly made at global summits and in transnational initiatives these days. Consider, for example, the attention given to the recent Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC in Durban.

Yet in practice, national governments remain the primary actors in forest policy-making in most countries. National law defines the statutory tenure rights granted to local communities. National regulatory frameworks condition local communities’ ability to utilize forest tenure rights in practice.

For this reason, national policy analysis and national-level engagement with stakeholders remain of critical importance for community forestry and sustainable forest management. Thus, a new publication edited by Thomas Sikor from the University of East Anglia and Nguyen Quang Tan from RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests entitled Realizing Forest Rights in Vietnam: Addressing Issues in Community Forest Management provides valuable insights into forest policy in Vietnam.


In the news – government efforts to curb illegal logging

A weekly news roundup by Lena Buell, RECOFTC Assistant Communications Officer. RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests does not necessarily endorse the content of the news, nor is it our official position.

This week, we’ve seen a number of encouraging examples of governments working harder to crack down on illegal logging. While much is still to be done, it’s heartening to see officials enforcing stricter regulations.


Guest post: Indigenous rights in Vietnam

People and Forests E-News reader Anura Widana wrote us in response to our recent publications on policy reform in Vietnam. Here are his thoughts on ethnic minority rights in Vietnam. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments! 

Dear People and Forests E-News Editor,

I’ve read the most recent e-newsletter with interest, and wanted to express my deep concern about the erosion of rights of ethnic minority people to control their own traditional land in Vietnam.

I’m aware about the manner by which their traditional lands are taken over by so-called development projects, which is a matter for huge concern. In the long run, these minority people not only will lose their land—which as you rightly pointed out has been used for generations—but their very survival is at a crossroads. Governments must recognise that one of the main characteristics of ethnic minority people is their communal attachment to land base which is sine qua non for their very survival.

I have a couple of questions and concerns about the story of ethnic minority people and about their eroding rights on land and resource management in Vietnam.

Daily News Digest – 14 December 2009

Reuters – Forest communities said key to climate fight

Reporting from CIFOR’s Forest Day 3, officials and academics agree that safeguards to protect and compensate local communities are key for halting deforestation. Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom also spoke at the event:

“If local people and indigenous people in the developing world are not recognised and assigned clear rights, we could end up with more deforestation,” – Elinor Ostrom, 2009 winner of the Nobel Prize in economics.

Full article on Reuters

Bangkok Post – Firms seek tough stand on climate deal

Local business leaders in Thailand have called on the government not to ratify any new climate change deal if developed countries do not commit to funding and technology transfers. Full article in the Bangkok Post.

Thanh Nien News – Vietnam third most disaster-ravaged nation in 2008

A recently released report named Vietnam as one of the countries hit the hardest by natural disasters, reaffirming the need for COP15 and a climate change treaty to enable transfer of funds and technology to developing countries for adaptation. Full article in Thanh Nien News. – UN Climate Wall brings climate change testimonies to COP 15

The UN Climate Wall is a touch screen display embedded with real-life stories, where people from Cambodia, Bangladesh, and other countries describe how climate change is impacting people their lives. Full article on

Mongabay – New REDD text is weak, say activists
Associated Press – Lack of money could hurt forest deal
IPS News – Asian delegates want ‘political accord’ for now
The Guardian – Poor countries threaten climate deal showdown at summit

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