People engagement and participation play an important role in ensuring the transparency and accountability of forestry programs, including REDD+ development and implementation.
In practice, however, citizens have neither proper understanding of their rights, responsibilities and benefits nor methods to practice them. Therefore, the two day training “How to monitor forestry programmes implementation” in Lam Ninh village, Truong Xuan commune, Quang Ninh District was organised to improve local people’s understanding and give them good opportunities to raise their voice.
Practical and effective monitoring tools
On the first day, people in Lam Ninh learned about monitoring techniques, forestry programmes, and issues that need monitoring in forestry. They came to understand the effects of monitoring tools proposed by Towards Transparency and Transparency International in solving corruption risks. Some typical corruption risks are that citizens do not receive adequate money for growing and protecting forest, have incorrect information about how much land area they are assigned to protect, or receive delayed payment.
On the next day, the local people were divided into groups to practice scoring the implementation of plantation and forest protection programmes, using the Community Score Card (CSC) introduced on the day before.
Representatives from each group were excitedly present their results
Living in the mountainous area, most of Van Kieu people – a minority ethnic of Vietnam – participating in the training are not even fluent in Vietnamese national language. However, using the simple and effective tools introduced, they can understand how to monitor the implementation of forestry programs.
We have never known about things that we are trained today. As now we know, we are no longer disadvantaged.
– Ho Thi Ly, a forestry citizen in Lam Ninh Village
The local citizens engagement in the forestry monitoring programmes not only contributes to the national nature resources protection but also has socio-economic meaning to the forestry citizens. According to people in Lam Ninh, allowance from state policy for each household to grow and protect forest is sufficient to cover their living. Being equipped with knowledge from this training, citizen are able to use the monitoring tool to ensure their benefits, which has meaningful impacts on their family’s life.
Towards long-term impacts
Themed “Enhance citizens and other stakeholders’ engagement in governance and monitoring forestry plans on forest development and REDD+ governance”, the training is organised under project “REDD+ Governance and Finance Integrity” (RGFI) implemented and coordinated by the Rural Development and Poverty Reduction Fund (RDPR), Transparency International (TI) and Towards Transparency (TT) in Quang Ninh District – Quang Binh Province.
This project activity is aimed to train the trainers who will ensure that the project’s achievements will be sustained and more people will benefit, even in the context of limited resources.