The Thai ethnic minority people in Dong Van commune get long term land rights for the first time
- A ceremony for granting land right certificates to village communities in Dong Van commune, Que Phong district, Nghe An province was conducted at the communal office on 24th March 2017. Forty participants representing for 11 villages, especially 3 direct beneficial villages of Tuc, Pang and Dong Moi, district and communal officers, land allocation technicians, officers representing adjacent communes of Thong Thu and Tien Phong, and CIRUM staff have joint this significant event.
CIRUM and Que Phong district People’s Committee (DPC) have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a cooperation for land and forest allocation and forest protection programme on 5th May 2016. Dong Van is the second commune in the district having successful land and forest allocation according to Joint Circular 07/2011/TTLT-BNN-BTNMT dated 29th January 2011 enacted by ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE). After six months carrying out land and forest allocation activities, communities and households of three villages of Tuc, Na Chao and Pang received land right certificates for a total of 285.4 ha of land, which were formally granted by the Que Phong DPC on 15th March 2017. The approaches of "People-centered" and "People know, people discuss, people do, people evaluate" have been applied throughout the process and contributed to the achievement of the programme. Besides, active participation of the district and communal officers and technicians and members of LandNet is significant for the success.
At the ceremony for granting land certificates, Mr. Sầm Văn Duyệt, vice chairperson of district People’s Council appreciated the result of the land and forest allocation in Dong Van commune. He states, "Confirming community land and forest right is an encouragement for the local people. Most of the allocated forestland is covered with natural forests, watershed and sacred forests. Those forest areas have been helping stabilize livelihood and preserve cultural values of the local communities while water sources, valuable big trees and such non-timber products as bamboo shoots, bamboos, medicinal herbs are protected and used in a sound way".
Mr. Vi Đình Văn, LandNet member in Que Phong district, added, "land and forests allocated to communities will be used stably by local people without fear for selling out or rent to outsiders. Forests will belong to community forever if people protect forests well. While population is increasing, the allocated forestland becomes significant reserved areas for the next generations. People have the right to decide on how to use forest land through setting up their community regulation and getting approval by the local authorities."
The granting of land certificates and confirming land right opens up new development opportunities for the local people. Mr. Hà Văn Ninh, Na Chao village leader, shared, "Na Chao village obtains legal ownership over community forests from now on. That helps us protect forests better. Outsiders used to encroach our forests, but we did not know how to prevent them from collecting forest products. That caused forest exhaustion until recently. Now it changes, we all know clearly our community forest location and borderline. If outsiders violate, we will apply our community regulations, which have been approved by communal authority".
For closing remark at the ceremony, Mr. Lang Văn Tuần, Dong Van communal party leader recommended Que Phong DPC and CIRUM continuously support land and forest allocation on 300ha for communities of other villages, including Đồng Mới, Khủn Na and Đồng Tiến.
Picture 1: Mr. Lô Thanh Hương reporting on results of land allocation programme
Picture 2: Mr. Lang Văn Tuần, communal party leader giving speeches
Picture 3: Mr. Sầm Văn Duyệt, vice chairperson of Que Phong district People’s Council
Picture 4: Mr. Nguyễn Văn Sự, vice director of CIRUM
Picture 5: Sharing of Mr. Hà Văn Ninh, leader of Na Chao village
Picture 6: Sharing of Mr. Vi Đình Văn, LandNet member in Que Phong district
Picture 7: Granting land certificates to communities of Tục, Pang and Na Chảo villages