On 2 December 2022, the 2nd Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting for AFoCO/031/2022 on the “Rehabilitation of degraded and potentially deserted forest land in the Northwest region of Viet Nam through the application of integrated technical measures“ was held in one of the project sites, Hoa Binh Province. Monitoring of the project site was followed after the 2nd PSC meeting, which discussed the physical and financial progress of 2022 and approved the annual work and budget plan for 2023. The meeting acknowledged the excellent progress of the project and the hard efforts of the Implementing Agency (IA).
The project aims to establish a total of 20ha enrichment plantation models in four different provinces of Northwestern Viet Nam — Son La, Hoa Binh, Dien Bien, and Lai Chau. The monitored project site in Hoa Binh province is a 2-hour drive from Hanoi and is a 15-20 minute boat ride away. Located on a steep hill (35-40 degrees), the project site in Hoa Binh will be officially selected by Q1 of 2023, but the IA has already finished surveying the site and a tentative selection has already been completed. The site which is within a total land area of 306 ha, is being managed by the Forest Protection Unit for 50 years under a contract between the Unit and Research Institute for Forest Ecology and Environment (RIFEE), which is under VAFS.
The site, now a reservoir, used to be a road, but the government decided to convert it into a reservoir to prevent illegal logging and slash-and-burn practices that led to degradation and deforestation were prevalent in the past. Although the site looks well-maintained, the project team mentioned that there are no timber trees growing on the site, and only naturally regenerated bamboo trees exist. This is due to extent of degradation of the soil which makes it unsuitable for the growth of timber species. The project will proceed to establish the 7-ha enrichment model plantation in 2023. For the plantation, the land preparation will begin during the dry season based on the plantation design and planting activity will be conducted from June 2023 during a rainy season.