SDM Project: Community Implementation of Mixed Species Restoration for Livelihoods and Ecological Function
Community Entrepreneur Development Institute (CENDI)/Vietnam
SDM, CENDI, Lien Trach Communal People’s Committee and Farmers Union and Youths Union.
DATE OF SUBMISSION
Mixed species planting, local indigenous varieties, grassroots mobilization, restoration strategy, policy support
Dang To Kien, Project Coordinator
Mono-plantation landscapes and the lack of sustainable direction for long-term livelihoods security i.e., by working out the integrated-farming models combined of diverse tree species and animal farming in the rural communities targeting young generation and interested stakeholders in contemporary context needs pilot project with evidence-based farming models to act as a living model for learning, public awareness raising and policy advocacy. The SDM 2018-2020 initially scheduled for 2 years’ operation but due to the heavy African swine fever happened in late 2019 followed by the really long-held impacts from COVID-19 occurred throughout 2020 and most heavily in 2021 affecting almost all regions in Vietnam, the project had to extend until March-April 2021 followed by the second extension till end of July 2021.
Key project activities include worked out successfully 03 out of 05 farming models from youths in Lien Trach with integrated tree species and animal farming focusing on local indigenous varieties. Conduct of a series of workshops and exchanges amongst farmers to farmers, youths to youths and also local communities added to the extensive awareness raising and knowledge sharing amongst farms, youths, local communities, and concerned stakeholders of the importance of mixed species planting/restoration for livelihood and ecological resiliency. Documentation from SDM 2016 has continuously been utilized.
Key project outcomes have been the dissemination of mixed species planting awareness and that practical actions have cultivated many families and communities. Two key policies addressed by the top government are that they have requested to restore landscape degradation by prioritizing local trees mixed species planting. The November 2020 address by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development explicitly spelled out the need to replace the mono-plantation model with local indigenous species mixed planting (https://vnexpress.net/do-che-phu-rung-o-viet-nam-thap-hon-cac-nuoc-xung-quanh-4187868.html). Address by the Prime Minister (2020) with the commitment to planting 1 billion trees, also targeting local tree species, gained much popularity throughout Vietnam. Admits COVID-19 impacts, this project shows a fine level of resilience amongst farmers and youths pilot and continues seeing integrated-farming models appear as a relevant practical strategy to contribute to the restoration journey