Tuesday, 29 May
10.45am -12.30pm: Public Participation in Policy-Making

Presenter: Ngo Van Hong: nvhong@cird.org.vn
Organization: Forest Land Coalition, FORLAND / CIRD

Policy advocacy is a very new activity in Vietnam, because there is yet any legal system to regulate this activity. As a result, advocacy activities are often considered "sensitive" and in such fields as land, forests and ethnic minorities, implementation of this activity becomes more difficult. However, if there are appropriate approaches, they could help overcome barriers and change attitudes of government agencies toward policy advocacy.
In 2017, the National Assembly of Vietnam adopted the new Law on Forestry, which is evaluated to include a number of advanced contents that recognize communities as forest owners in an equal term with other forest owners; acknowledge the customary laws of the community in forest management; regulate the respect for living spaces in the implementation of forestry activities; describe the mandatory priority in allocating forests to ethnic minority people; and mandate the invitation of people’s participation in forestland allocation and conversion of forest use. These are the hinge elements of the policy, which acknowledge the shift from the State’s centralized management of natural resources to forest management by the people, especially ethnic minorities.
These positive points have resulted partly from the policy advocacy activities by FORLAND in the framework of the MRLG-supported program in Vietnam. FORLAND has worked with local people, experts, drafting agencies of the Government and the legal verification authority of the National Assembly to reflect the voice of the people in the draft Law. Appropriate advocacy strategies, which were implemented by FORLAND, were an important basis for the delivery of the achievements of the Law on Forestry 2017. The detail contents can be viewed at FORLAND's attached report and presentation at the Land Forum - Bangkok May 2018.

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