Keywords: five million hectare reforestation programme, 5MHRP, forest production, forest protection, special use, forestry policy, mountainous regions, Vietnam, deforestation, poverty, policy effectiveness, policy efficiency, forest management, livelihood improvement
The five million hectare reforestation programme in Vietnam - lessons and policy implications
The nationwide five million hectare reforestation programme (5MHRP) was adopted by the Government of Vietnam as a comprehensive policy to address deforestation and poverty in the mountainous regions all over Vietnam. The programme started in 1998 and ended in 2010. It received significant national and international interests. Scholars and practitioners have commented on the effectiveness and/or ineffectiveness of the performance of the 5MHRP and its relevant policies, but there have been no or only few documents consolidating either theoretical or practical lessons learnt from the implementation of this programme. Synthesising from large archival records and empirical studies on the results of the implementation of the 5MHRP, this paper discusses the specific achievements and limitations of the programmes. It especially questions the effectiveness and efficiency of the supported policies in relation to forest management and livelihood improvement of the people living in mountainous areas. It finally draws out seven key lessons learnt and five policy implications which are hopefully to serve as references for policy makers when setting up future programmes, strategies and policies for mountainous development in Vietnam.