Minutes of ISG Plenary Meeting

30/5/2000

Ms. Bui Thi Lan, ViceDirector of ICD:  Introduce the participants and brief the important role of the Meeting.

Minister Le Huy Ngo: Opening Speech

Mr. Edouard Wattez (UNDP): Opening Speech

Ms. Fernanda Guerrieri (FAO): Opening Speech

1) ViceMinister Cao Duc Phat’s presentation.

Open forum for questions:

Question 1: First Secretary, Dutch Embassy: Assessing possible bottle necks?

Mr. Phat’s answer:

How to implement strategic objectives

Major constraints faced during implementation of programmes: Human resource

  • Insufficient staff (including scientists, technicians), lack of skillfull workers. Farmers don’t have knowledge of a market economy. Many of them are not aware of doing a marketoriented business, still sticking to selfsubsistant production system.
  • Businessmen are not well prepared for doing business in the environment of international competition.
  • Vietnam will fully implemented commitment under AFTA by 2006 and now is in the process of negociating for accession to WTO. That means more qualified and trained staff are required.
  • Prior to 1999: staff were mainly trained in Eastern European Countries. Many of them got now old and outdated.
  • We need management staff who are equiped with knowledge of market economy.
  • Vietnam is a poor country with abundant human resource but limited natural resources
  • Needs for advanced technology and capital for development

Question 2: Not clear

Mr. Phat’s answer:

  • We must rely on science and technology to develop Agriculture to produce more valueadded products which are competitive
  • Technology should  be diverse and taking into comparative advantages of Vietnam, combining hitech with indigenous technology.
  • Hightech but small scale to fit with small scale production at house hold level.
  • Land accumulation should follow market mechanism and fit with industrialisation process.

2) Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Binh, Director, Forestry Development Department.

Answers to 10 questions.

Question 1: In the 1st year of the Programme of 5 MHRP, many problems and issues were found and reported to the Gov. Many adjustments were made to facilitate the implementation and speed up the disbursement.

Question 2: The Gov. encourages localities (provinces) to mobilise their own resources to implement the 661 decision.

In the 1st year of 5MHRP:

The province of Lang Son mobilised 950 million VND

The province of Thua Thien Hue: 2.8 billion VND

The province of Khanh Hoa: 7 billion VND

The province of Dak Lak: 4.1 billion VND

Question 3: During 19981999 the “Forest Cover Monitoring” Programme had consolidated data on “Forest Cover” of most of provinces throughout the country (except for 10 provinces)

According to preliminary assessment early May, forest cover increased up to 33,2%

In 1999 when the 5 MHRP started: total forest area was 9.5 million ha. And now: more than 10 million ha.

This is the results of natural forest protected. New policies encouraging farmers protecting forest.

Question 4: The MARD issued a technical guidelines of Instruction on forest plantation, tending and protection. This is used for evaluation. At provincial level, an Evaluation Committee is set up.

Question 5: Lending interest for forest plantation is high. Low income from plantation forest. These discourage farmers’ planting forest.

Selling price of raw material at plant (e.g. Bai Bang Paper Mill) is 420.000 VND/ton (which is considered reasonable) but at farm gate lower than 150.000 VND/ton.

Recommendation for support policy to increase farm gate selling price while maintaining price at plant gate.

Question 7: Many think that the 5MHRP is ambitious.

The MARD believes: this is an opportunity to improve livelihood of mountainous population though job opportunities created within this Programme.

Many challenges to be faced: land use planning.

To implement succesfully this Programme, we must solve following problems:

    • Slow land allocation process; land use planning and land tenure certificate issuance
    • By the 3rd quarter of this year: complete forest cover assessment.
    • End of 2000: land evaluation: how many ha available for the 5MHRP.
    • Policy: Support policy to forest plantation; policies on tax, credit and investment; science and technology.

Role of donor community: Very important especially in affestation for environment protection.

Question 6: MARD is very interested in seeking resources from private sectors as well as from foreign sources for forestry sector.

At present, MARD is using fund from Global Environment Fund for Forestry.

Question 10:

2nd challenge: How to involve more people into the 5 MHRP.

How to maintain partnership.

When commitment is made how to implement.

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