Fighting deforestation in Lam Dong
22/09/2010 // Vietnam is about to enter a second phase in its efforts of reducing green house gas emissions from deforestation through the UN-REDD programme. The province of Lam Dong has been a pilot site for phase 1 of this project, and was the host of the Norwegian delegation that visited Vietnam in September.
Vietnam is one of nine pilot countries to implement the United Nations Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), and one of the first countries on its way to enter phase 2 of the UN-Programme. Norway has provided financial support for the first phase, and representatives from Norway arrived in Vietnam in mid-September to observe how the progress is moving along before the beginning of the second phase.
Norway started the Climate and Forest Initiative 3 years ago because emissions from deforestation and degradation equals 20 % of the total emissions, and the need for reducing emissions from the forest sector is therefore of key importance in the fight for the environment. Deforestation as a global climate challenge was put on the agenda when the UN-REDD was launched in September 2008, with Norway as the first and largest donor.
- Vietnam and Norway share a common concern for climate change. We believe in international cooperation to face this challenge to humankind, H.E. Hans Brattskar, the Ambassador of Norway’s Climate and Forest Initiative said while visiting the Lam Dong province.
Ambassador Brattskar led the Norwegian delegation consisting of senior adviser in NORAD Asbjørn Løvbræk, senior adviser in the Ministry of Environment Leif John Fosse, and regional forest counsellor Hege Ragnhildstveit. The Ambassador of Norway to Vietnam, H.E Ståle Torstein Risa, also participated in the fieldtrip.
During meetings with representatives from Vietnamese authorities, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), local people in the pilot districts, and the UN-REDD team in Vietnam, discussions were held on how phase 2 of the UN-REDD programme will be implemented.
- The UN-REDD programme is very important for Norway, and I am impressed by the Government of Vietnam and their cooperation with UN-REDD. We all share the conviction that our joint efforts here have to benefit the people living in the forests, Ambassador Brattskar underlined.
Ambassador Risa added that “if REDD does not function on the ground, it does not function. Period.”
Further developments in Lam Dong province and the upcoming second phase of the UN-REDD are in other words essential in the success of reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation in Vietnam.