This article briefly highlights the achievements of the project on ‘Research on Forest Enrichment using High Valuable Native Species in Hoa Binh Province, Viet Nam (AFoCO/022/2021)’, which is a research-based project jointly implemented with the National Institution of Forest Science (NIFoS) of the Republic of Korea.
Viet Nam has suffered from the degradation of its natural forests caused by illegal logging, forest fires, land conversion, unsatisfactory rehabilitation, and free grazing, despite the efforts made to establish sustainable forestry management and development policies. Particularly Hoa Binh province in the Northwest, where the largest hydroelectricity plant in Viet Nam is located, requires a large and stable watershed forest to accommodate the power plant. However, approximately 85% of the natural forests in the province remain poor and degraded, and in need of urgent rehabilitation. Various efforts have been made for rehabilitation and forest enrichment using native species such as Xoan dao (Prunus arborea), Re huong (Cinamomuminer), De cau (Quercus Platycalyx Hickel) which have been successful in other regions of Phu Tho province. But these programs were not as successful in Hoa Binh province due to its inadequate choice of site-species and techniques, and the lack of scale and concentration in its efforts, once again stressing the need to ameliorate current methods and skills. Thus, under the support from AFoCO and NIFoS, a project called “Research on Forest Enrichment using High Valuable Native Species in Hoa Binh Province, Viet Nam (AFoCO/022/2021)” has been launched, where the lessons and knowledge collected through the project will be applied for practical use in the entire province as well as similar ecological zones in Viet Nam.
The research project will start in May 2021 and last until April 2023. With the goal of restoring degraded natural forests in Hoa Binh province by planting high-value native species to enrich the forests, the project will contribute to raising the environmental value of natural forests in Viet Nam and help improve the livelihoods of locals. The main objectives of the research are as follows:
- Assessment of current status
An assessment of the current status of degraded natural forests, forest enrichment models, techniques, and related policies in Hoa Binh province will be conducted first through desk research and reviews of relevant documents and surveys, including semi-structured interviews with local stakeholders. The collected data will be analyzed through statistical programs.
- Development of an appropriate technical guideline
The technical guidelines on forest enrichment using high-value native species in Hoa Binh province will be developed based on the assessment results as well as inputs from experts and relevant stakeholders.
- Organization of technical trainings for relevant stakeholders
Technical trainings in Hoa Binh province will promote inclusivity and include the participation of all relevant stakeholders.
- Building of demonstration plots utilizing the technical guideline developed
The selection of sites for the demonstration plots will be carried out in close consultation with the locals in Hoa Binh province, and the site will be established based on the technical guideline produced. Approximately 5 high-value native species will be selected in this process, and the assessment results and data collected will be utilized accordingly.
Expected outcomes of the research
The expected outcomes in accordance with the research objectives states above are as follows:A report of the assessment of the degraded forests, forest enrichment models, applied techniques, and related policies in Hoa Binh province
- A technical guideline on the enrichment of natural forests through using high-value native species in Hoa Binh province
- Four technical training courses on forest enrichment through high-value native species
- 2 ha of demonstration plots of enrichment models using high-value native species
- Two scientific research papers to be published
Overall, the research project will enhance the knowledge, skills, and raise further awareness in forest enrichment using high valuable native species for various stakeholders; forest owners, local residents, local researchers, and officials through meetings, workshops, and trainings. The technical guidelines and training documents produced will be disseminated to local farmers where they will be able to apply and utilize the materials in similar environmental contexts and situations. On top of this, the project will add to the research on forest enrichment in general by providing a fundamental understanding of the nature of the problem, a synthesis of the research results with adequate guidelines and training schemes that will overall benefit all levels of stakeholders, from the provincial level to individual households.
Contributed by Cha Ji Yea, Team Assistant