June 9, 2022 — the Project Inception Meeting and the 1st Project Steering Committee Meeting were held via online for the implementation of the project Rehabilitation of Degraded and Potentially Deserted Forest Land in the Northwest Region of Viet Nam through Application of Integrated Technical Measures (AFoCO/031/2022). The meetings were joined by representatives from the Research Institute for Forest Ecology and Environment (RIFEE), which is the Implementing Agency (IA), the Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences (VAFS), Viet Nam Administration of Forestry (VAF), and the AFoCO Secretariat. The participants warmly greeted each other and each side made brief introductions of the participants.
The Project Inception Meeting (PIM) started with welcoming remarks from Viet Nam, where the chair of the Meeting, Dr. Vo Dai Hai, the Director of Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences emphasized the need for restoration of degraded land in the Northwest region of Viet Nam and expressed sincere appreciation for the support of AFoCO. The main agendas discussed during the Meeting were the following:
(1) Introduction of the AFoCO Project Management
(2) Presentation on General Information of the Project
(3) Presentation on the Overall Work and Budget Plan and the Development of the Project Implementation Matrix (PIP Matrix)
The Meeting was also attended by the provincial offices of project sites: (1) Lai Chau Province (2) Dien Bien Province (3) Son La Province (4) Hoa Binh Province. The representatives of the provincial offices emphasized to the Meeting that cooperation with local units and organizations is essential, in selecting the suitable species in different sites with different levels of degradation, where the provincial offices should be fully engaged with the landscape restoration for both biological and socio-economic aspects. The Meeting took note of the comments and suggestions from the provincial offices and the Chair further emphasized the strong cooperation and coordination between the central office and provincial offices would be crucial factors in contributing to the overall success of the project.
The PIM, which was successfully adjourned with fruitful discussions and comments from both Viet Nam and the AFoCO Secretariat, was followed by the 1st Project Steering Committee Meeting, where the Meeting mainly covered the annual plan for 2022. The following agendas were discussed during the PSC:
(1) Adoption of the Rules of Procedures of the PSC
(2) Presentation on the Annual Work and Budget Plan for 2022
The AFoCO Secretariat acknowledged the efforts of Viet Nam in the smooth preparation of the back-to-back meetings, while Viet Nam side also expressed appreciation for the Secretariat’s assistance in the preparation of the meetings and active participation. The Meeting ended with hopes that the project will progress well in time for the Secretariat to visit Viet Nam in-person for the 2nd PSC meeting that is to be held at the end of this year.
Contributed by CHA Ji Yea, Assistant Program Officer