- Agriculture and rural development
- Forest protection
- Environment and sustainable development
- Planning and development
- Economics and Finance
Land-use finance mapping in Central Highlands, Vietnam
1. Scoping summary
2. Detailed objectives of the study
The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam, in collaboration with the Vietnam REDD+ Office and the UN-REDD Programme. It aimed to identify and quantify relevant planned public investments (2016-2020) in land-use sectors in the Central Highlands’ five provinces to:
- Identify the main sources of finance and spending patterns related to land use and forests
- Quantify the contribution of public investment spending to the achievement of REDD+ objectives and identify the main gaps in the implementation of the NRAP
- Understand the role of investments from central and provincial levels in potentially driving land-use change and forest loss in Central Highlands
- Support the implementation of the NRAP in Central Highlands and the integration of sustainable land-use objectives into provincial socioeconomic development.
3.1 Stakeholder involvement
- The EU REDD Facility implemented the project with the CIEM, a research institute of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, as well as with support from two staff members of the National Institute for Finance of the Ministry of Finance. Implementing the project with finance experts from central ministries was essential to identify and approach data sources, in particular at subnational level.
- No specific committee was formed to steer the project, as it was challenging to engage national-level stakeholders on a sustained basis. The study team coordinated closely throughout the study with the main data providers at national level (the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Vietnam REDD+ Office and the UN-REDD Programme), including to provide relevant contacts at provincial level. The team also collaborated with the UN-REDD Programme experts in charge of drafting the NRAP investment plan.
- The bulk of the data was collected during a three-week field mission to Central Highlands, where all five provinces were visited. Workshops were organised in each province to introduce the study and data needs, as well as discuss local context and challenges.
- At national level, three workshops were held with technical ministries and international partners, on the scoping of the research and sources of data, and for the presentation of preliminary and final results.
3.2 Typology development
The project team first assessed existing relevant typologies. The 2015 Climate Public Expenditure and Investment Review typology served as an initial basis for discussion around the scope of the land-use finance analysis. However, the framework was still insufficiently developed in relation to forest-related activity types. This study developed its own typology, specific to the scope of the NRAP and aligned with the typology developed as part of the NRAP Mid-Term Implementation Plan 2018-2020 and Resource Mobilisation Framework.
Classifying investments according to NRAP policies and measures was not deemed feasible given their high number and the very limited available information on detailed activities to be pursued. In that context, the typology was developed building on the following thematic clusters of policies and measures: sustainable forest management; natural forest protection and enhancement; forest fire prevention; livelihood support to reduce forest encroachment; sustainable agriculture (other or unspecified); sustainable coffee production; sustainable rubber production; sustainable land management; Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT); REDD+ readiness and planning; and research and development.
3.3 Data collection and analysis
There is no centralised source of detailed information on planned expenditures in Vietnam. The study therefore adopted a bottom-up approach, collecting information from different sources at provincial and national levels. It then cross-referenced collected data to fill gaps and avoid double counting.
The following data sources were mobilised:
- Provincial investment data was the central dataset used. Detailed data was available at provincial level through the Departments of Planning and Investment, in particular: decisions related to five-year and annual socioeconomic development plans of provinces; medium-term public investment capital plans for 2016-2020; medium-term budgetary finance plans; and resolutions of the Provincial People’s Committees and People’s Councils related to the implementation of land-use projects.
- National investment data was collected on the national target programmes and national programmes led by relevant departments of various national ministries.
- International development partners’ data was obtained from a database of donors and projects in the green sector in Vietnam managed by the Vietnam REDD+ Office, as well as from online data. This information was double checked by surveying eight donors or technical partners active in Central Highlands.
- Other sources of data included the Vietnam Forest Fund for data on the payment for forest environmental services, and data from state-owned enterprises.
Budget lines, projects and programmes related to the identified policy areas were first checked for double-counting and aggregated into a database. Where possible, information was broken down to project level and coded according to the nature of the funding, involved ministries and related policies. The study team categorised and coded the information following the key questions and steps outlined below.
4. Outputs of the study
5. Main findings and use of results
- The study highlights the importance of the land-use sector in the Central Highlands region and the potential negative impact on forests of planned public investments. Ongoing planning reform at national level in Vietnam should ensure better mainstreaming of environmental and forest protection objectives, including in spatial planning. Results from this study supported the piloting of the new Planning Law in selected Central Highlands’ provinces.
- Furthermore, the study demonstrated that additional support is needed for Central Highlands to transition to sustainable commodity production and align planned investments with forest protection objectives. Results from the study fed into a proposal for a jurisdictional programme targeting forest protection and zero-deforestation agriculture production.
- This first step in mapping public actors and flows related to land-use investments offered a methodological approach that Vietnamese provinces and their partners can build on and improve when developing their sub-national REDD+ investment plans. Results from this study will be built upon to support selected provinces in Central Highlands in updating their sustainable development and zero-deforestation strategies.
6. Limitations and lessons learnt
- Reconciling national and provincial level data was complex, as different reporting formats were used. Generally, data was limited as far as breakdowns per component of programmes, year or geographical focus. Provincial data was privileged as the main source of information as it was the most detailed.
- Apart from the National Target Programme on sustainable forest development, no detailed information was available regarding national programmes, which made it impossible to assess their potential implementation in Central Highlands.
- There was very limited information available on disbursement channels and implementing agencies, as well as beneficiaries of the planned programmes. This limited the analysis of actors involved in the life cycle of land-use investments.
- There was very limited qualitative information on project available. Information focused on the general objectives of projects and programmes. In various cases, these were purposely kept broad to accommodate changes depending on local priorities. These circumstances and the forward looking nature of the study made it challenging to tag budget lines according to the typology. This is likely to be a common limitation for ex-ante studies.
- The study lacks a comprehensive overview of planned donor funding for several reasons: provincial budgets reflected poorly planned donor support; some donor funding might not have been approved at the time of the study; and only half of the donors surveyed for the study responded to the study team.