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In early December 2015, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment held a National Conference on Strengthening the Management of Land Under Agricultural/Forestry Enterprises and Forest Management Boards Originated from State-Owned Agricultural/Forestry Farms. The report presented at the conference was prepared by the following group of consultants: Dr. Nguyen Do Anh Tuan (Director General, Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture & RD – IPSARD), Dr. Dang Kim Son (Senior AgroEconomist – MDRI’s Senior Advisor), Dr. Phung Duc Tung (Director, MeKong Development Research Institute – MDRI), and MA. Ngo Van Hong (Director, Center for Indigenous Knowledge R&D).

According to the report, during the whole country’s development SAFFs have been rearranged several times to play a leading role in agriculture and forestry production and trading and in forest development, significantly contributing to socio-economic development, environment protection, and social security in bordering remote areas. However, for more than 60 years, under the pressures of population growth, socio-economic development, and historical events, together with limited awareness of the environmental and ecological value of forest, the land use management of SAFFs has been inefficient. Consequently, forest resources have decreased and have been degraded significantly, especially since the reform to the market institution, which raised many land use conflicts with local people. Thus, the consultants propose policy recommendations that focus on four main groups of solutions: (i) formalizing SAFEs land management, (ii) proposing land use plans for land acquired from SFEs, (iii) promoting the efficiency of agriculture/forestry enterprises and FMBs, and (iv) reforming the mechanism of managing, exploiting, protecting, and developing forest.

In order to conduct and finalize this report, the consultants collaborated with subproject Supporting Poverty Reduction PRPP to organize a consultation workshop with participants from the Steering Committee for Enterprise Renovation of Government Office, the Enterprise Management Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Board of the Office of National Assembly. Representatives of the consultants participated in local monitoring groups of the National Assembly. An additional survey was also conducted in Ha Tinh, Dak Lak, and Ca Mau provinces. The key research subjects were land users and managers including forest management boards, and agricultural and forestry enterprises originating from state-owned agricultural/forestry farms. The consultants also conducted in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with staff, households, local authorities, and people to get a multidimensional perspective towards the current land use and management at enterprises originating from state-owned agricultural/forestry farms. In addition, the consultants commented on the draft outline, form reports of ministries, branches and local authorities on the issue of agro-forestry land to help gather and provide data and report to the National Assembly on the implementation of policies and regulations on land use management and use of land in the SAFFs during the period 2004-2014.

The overall objective of the consulting activity is to provide technical support to the Supreme Supervision of the National Assembly and to the development of a supervision report to realize the goals of the supervising activity specified by the Resolution No. 74/2014/QH13 dated 24/06/2014 of the National Assembly on supervision programs in 2015 and of the Plan No 809 / KH-ĐGS dated 12/10/2014 of The Standing Committee of the National Assembly on supervising “the implementation of policies and regulations on land use management and use of land in the SAFFs during the period 2004-2014”.

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