About 10 years ago, due to the lack of equipment, forest areas allocated to the community could not be specified either on maps or on the ground. The forest land allocation documents were inconsistent, resulting in disputes and ineffective management. Forests, therefore, were not sufficienctly protected and the people living in the forest had many difficulties with the bureaucracy. CIRUM’s assistance has significantly improved the situation.
Bat Xat district has 70,500 hectares of forests and forestry land. Now that five communities have land certificates recognizing their ownership of their community forests, they are working to protect their own forests. These communities manage 765.2 hectares of forest, out of about 16,000 hectares of land which has been allocated to communities to manage.
"Since the forest was allocated to the village community, forest management and protection has significantly improved. The community strictly protect their forests, which they enforce by issuing regulations and conventions. They set up forest protection groups and organize patrols to protect the allocated forest area.", shared Mr. Ly Van Cui, Head of Den Sang hamlet, Den Sang Commune.
As well as protecting the forest, people are also developing the local economy by utilising their forest’s products. "They are growing their own plants for daily use. They receive a forest protection fee. They can also harvest the timber when there is a surplus.", said Mr. Tran Van Hung, a Bat Xat forest guard leader.