Scaling up community-led ecosystem-based adaptation in biodiverse forest landscapes in Viet Nam

IIED and the Viet Nam Farmers Union (VNFU) aim to reduce climate risk and improve livelihoods for farmers through upscaled ecosystem-based adaptation approaches in biodiverse landscapes in Viet Nam.

Began September 2022
Kata Wagner

Researcher (forests and prosperity), Natural Resources

Localising forest-climate action
A programme of work engaging with locally-controlled forestry organisations to upscale effective climate change adaptation, resilience and mitigation through the restoration of forest landscape biodiversity
Foggy forest landscape with wooden housing

An agricultural and forest landscape in northern Viet Nam (Photo: IIED/Duncan Macqueen)

Viet Nam’s upland Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IP and LCs) are experiencing more frequent and intense droughts, cyclones, typhoons and crop pest and disease outbreaks. Ecosystem-based adaption (EbA) can help forest and farmer producers diversify their farming practices, and sustainably manage and restore their land to increase resilience to climatic changes.

However, based on a seven-year partnership between The Viet Nam Farmers Union (VNFU) and IIED in Viet Nam and a recent survey conducted with forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs), the biggest challenges to scaling up community-led EbA activities in forest and farm landscapes in Viet Nam lie in knowledge exchange on EbA best practices between forest and farm producer organisations, access to markets and finance.

These are also common challenges shared by other EbA practitioners around the world – including many FFPOs also supported by the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) and linked through regional alliances such as the Asian Farmers Association (AFA).

Building on strong local organisations and ongoing initiatives in Yen Bai, Bac Kan, Hoa Binh, Son La and Thai Nguyen provinces, the project will address those challenges, document and scale up equivalent EbA practices – nationally and globally. This will be done through VNFU and FFF’s networks and global EbA networks including Friends of EbA (FEBA).

What is IIED doing?

IIED and VNFU will work with 17 communes of five provinces of northern Viet Nam.

Our work will involve co-developing, documenting, and spreading knowledge of EbA best practices  with and among local communities. We will:

  • Draw on new diversification for resilience planning under way in established forest and farming producer organisations, and
  • Build on traditional knowledge and biocultural heritage.

The project will complement provincial peer-to-peer capacity building around EbA approaches with training to promote innovations in product labelling and marketing that incentivise EbA through improved market and finance access. A new participatory guarantee scheme pilot initiative will certify products from those landscapes that adopt EbA.  

We will also develop links that reward best practice within established Vietnamese finance opportunities, such as payments for ecosystem services schemes. Multimedia communication work, involving both the VNFU and the AFA, will spread uptake of lessons through established national and global networks.