In the Central Highlands, IDH collaborates with major coffee brands, the Vietnamese government, research institutions and NGOs and works towards improving livelihoods, enhancing agricultural production and protecting water and land resources. We do this by addressing key agriculture-led environmental issues through governance and field level activities.
Vietnam is the world’s second biggest coffee exporter after Brazil and 95 percent of its coffee is produced in the Central Highlands region. Other important crops such as pepper, tea, fruits and vegetables, flowers, rubber, and cashew are also produced in this region, making the Central Highlands vital for Vietnamese economy as well as for international companies sourcing from the country.
The region’s economic power is thanks to its favorable natural conditions: abundant water resources (which besides agriculture, currently contribute to 22 percent of Vietnamese hydropower energy), fertile lands, and forests regulating the climatic conditions and water cycle among other.
The rapid growth in agricultural output in the past decades is the consequence of favorable economic policies and has led to improvements in income and livelihoods to a large portion of the population. However, it also led to large-scale deforestation, water pollution and land degradation, which now threaten the future of agriculture, livelihoods and economic development in the region. Two key threats are:
Due to a strong request from the private sector, government of Vietnam and mandate from international donors, IDH addresses these issues through its ISLA program.
In the case of extreme climate events, we work with public and private stakeholders in order to identify, test and scale up adaptation measures at farm- and landscape levels. These include diversification of agricultural systems, reforestation and agroforestry to enhance watershed functions, efficient water use, and water resource conservation and management.
To address toxic loading, we collaborate with public and private sector stakeholders, to identify the most important risk factors at user, trade, and governance levels and jointly pilot and scale-up solutions.
Our activities are two-pronged: we work at governance level (convening) and we carry out field-level activities, all addressing the key issues and all in partnership with public and private sectors.
Green Growth Planning in Lam Dong
Lam Dong Province is one of the main hubs for our landscape activities. How can high agricultural production and productivity be sustained and improved while safeguarding the province’s natural resources? In close collaboration with the private sector operating in the area, the provincial and national governments, knowledge partners and NGOs, IDH is supporting the provincial government to develop a green growth plan based on strategies to increase the production of agricultural commodities while restoring and/or conserving water resources and forests. This plan will be supported by a land use plan, detailing how the various strategies spatially reinforce one another. This will help determine which strategy can best be employed where, and will provide directions for the scaling-up of a number of pilot projects by IDH as well as initiatives by the government, development partners, and the private sector.
Steering Committee in Lam Dong
IDH convenes private sector companies and government organizations in the provincial Landscape Steering Committee in Lam Dong. One of the key outcomes of the work of the Steering Committee is a (draft) long-term vision for sustainable agriculture and natural resource management in 2025, with medium-term targets for 2020. This will be the basis for the Green Growth Plan that will be developed in 2017.
Related to the Steering Committee are two technical working groups on water and (agro)forestry, with participation of knowledge institutions, technical government and company staff. These discuss the design, (intermediate) results, and recommendations of the different pilot projects of the landscape program and beyond.
These activities will be scaled by replication to other provinces.
Piloting options to adapt farms to droughts and to ensure water is used responsibly (both in Lam Dong and Dak Lak provinces):
Piloting adaptation options in the area of forestry/agroforestry which are closely related to the water issues:
The (intermediate) results from our pilot projects feed back into the governance work.
Pilot projects are in development.
The Little Sustainable Landscapes Book, which was launched at the COP21 in Paris, is now available Spanish, making it available for a large audience base, primarily in Latin America, where it is most relevant.
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