Lesnický rozvojový projekt “Revitalizace odlesněných území místními druhy jako nástroj rozvoje venkova v oblasti centrální vrchoviny” realizovaný ve Vietnamu v období 2006-2007 Mendelovou zemědělskou a lesnickou univerzitou.

Forest Rehabilitation in Vietnam

 Czech government follows the long-term course of the EU development effort to mitigate poverty and to assist with sustainable use of natural resources in the third world countries. One of the contemporary forestry projects implemented by Czech expert institutes on 3 tropical continents in last decade was entitled “Rehabilitation of degraded natural forests and landscape restoration on degraded lands using indigenous species as a tool for sustainable rural development in the Central Highlands”. This small scale project (budget around 300 th. USD) focused on rehabilitation of degraded natural forest and reforestation has been successfully finalized in Vietnam in 2007. Pilot forestry components have been bilaterally implemented by Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry (Czech) and Forest Science Institute of Vietnam (FSIV) in 4 provinces (Giai-Lai, Yen-Bai, Hoa-Bin, Son-La), influencing in total some 350 ha. Project models covered among others forest tending of underplanted belts (established in 1979, 1981 & 1995) and new enrichment planting itself in Kon Ha Nung area (Giai Lai province), located nearby provincial capital Pleiku where US-Vietamese conflict began in 1965. Here is located the largest tropical rain forest remnant of Vietnam with originally predominant emergent Endospermum chinensis & Dialum cochinchinensis, presently mostly exhausted secondary forest after heavy “selective” logging between 1978-1985. Local FSIV Tropical Forest Research Centre manages indigenous forest area for research purposes for about 3 decades and takes care of 1305 ha – the best conserved forest segment. In 1999 the Forest Research Support Programme for Asia and the Pacific (FORSPSA) of FAO supported FSIV to establish a small project to set up a series of demonstration plots and Czech-Vietnamese bilateral project has revived this idea. As the result almost 200 ha have been influenced by tending and enrichment planting by indigenous Dipterocarpus alatus, Michelia mediocris, Toona surenii, Cinnamonum cassia, Podocarpus imbricartus in 4m spacing, 5 m width of belts and 10-15 m lines distance.

Ushering the above mentioned activity into broader Vietnamese context – it is connected to challenging “National 5 mil ha Reforestation Programme” (5MHRP) aimed to establish 5 million ha of forest between 1998 and 2010 to restore forest cover of the country back again to 43%, the same percentage that was under forest in 1943. The stated objectives of this effort are to reverse environmental degradation –combining of reforestation and natural regeneration (planned 1 mil ha). At the same time the Programme means to boost the productivity of the national forestry sector. 2 mil ha of “degraded” lands are to be converted to industrial wood plantations, 1 mil ha to “cash crop tree species”, and 2 mil ha to conservation forest (indigenous tree species).

2007 announcements by FAO and Vietnamese MARD about satisfactory fulfillment of the 5MHRP an leading position of Vietnam among most reforestation active countries in the world are very positive but in the light of ground knowledge these might be misleading, since overall forestry impression is that overpopulation (270 inhabitants/Km2 at average) reduced presence of old growth or middle aged forests down to minimum and national woods are just arising from destruction phase.

Jindrich Pavlis