Forest Livelihoods Important for Combating Poverty in Vietnam

14 Mar 2005,

CIFOR & FSSP-CO Hold Seminar and Launch DfID Sponsored Book in Hanoi – March 14, 2005

The Government of Viet Nam’s increased focus on the role of forest livelihoods in national poverty alleviation strategies is an important step in Viet Nam’s ongoing economic and social development, according to the author of a new report on poverty alleviation.

Dr. William Sunderlin from the Center for International Forestry Research and co-author with Huynh Thu Ba of Poverty Alleviation and Forests in Viet Nam says, “Because forests are an important source of livelihood for hundreds of thousands of people in Viet Nam, it is very pleasing to see the government emphasizing the links between forest-based livelihoods and reducing poverty.”

“The logic of paying attention to forest resources in national poverty alleviation planning is sound,” Sunderlin said, “Those who are most poor in Vietnam and the country’s remaining natural forests tend to be concentrated in the same places – in remote areas away from big cities, big roads, ports, and other infrastructure.

“It therefore should be no surprise that forest resources are highly relevant to those who are most poor, especially ethnic minorities.”

Funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), Poverty Alleviation and Forests in Viet Nam is a summary and analysis of existing literature dealing with poverty and forest issues in Viet Nam.

The book provides useful guidelines on how future research into forests and livelihoods can best be used to improve Viet Nam’s national poverty alleviation planning and programs.

The publication will be launched at Hanoi’s Press Club on March 14, 2005 at a seminar on the role of forests in Viet Nam’s national poverty alleviation program. The seminar will provide those attending an opportunity to learn more about the role forests play in reducing poverty. Dr. Sunderlin will be available for interviews after the seminar is concluded.

Topics at the seminar will include:

  • How to enhance communication between experts working on poverty alleviation with experts working on forestry and natural resource management; and
  • How to promote greater inclusion of forest issues in national poverty alleviation programs.

Speakers at the seminar include:

  • William Sunderlin, who will provide an overview of the findings in Poverty Alleviation and Forests in Viet Nam.
  • Rob Swinkels, Senior Economist, Poverty and Social Unit, Word Bank Office in Vietnam, who will also provide comments on the publication.
  • Names of the Vietnamese forestry experts to speak at the seminar are to be confirmed.

The remainder of the program will be an open discussion.

The sponsors of the event are the Forest Sector Support Program Coordination Office (FSSP-CO) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Date and time:  Monday March 14th, 2005, 2:30 – 4:45 pm

Place:                 The Press Club
                           59 A Ly Thai To Street
                           Hoan Kiem District
                           Hanoi, Vietnam

Sponsors:           Forest Sector Support Program Coordination Office (FSSP-CO)
                           Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), headquartered in Bogor, Indonesia