International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development vol:14 issue:1 pages:40-55
The nationwide Five Million Hectare Reforestation Program (5MHRP) was adopted by the Government of Vietnam as a comprehensive policy to address deforestation and poverty in the mountainous regions all over Vietnam. The program started in 1998 and ended in 2010. It received significant nationally and internationally interests. Scholars and practitioners have commented on the effectiveness and/or ineffectiveness of the performance of the 5MHRP and its relevant policies, but there have been no or only few documents consolidating either theoretical or practical lessons learnt from the implementation of this program. Synthesizing from large archival records and empirical studies on the results of the implementation of the 5MHRP, this paper discusses the specific achievements and limitations of the programs. It especially questions the effectiveness and efficiency of the supported policies in relation to forest management and livelihood improvement of the people living in mountainous areas. It finally draws out seven key lessons learnt and five policy implications which are hopefully to serve as references for policy makers when setting up future programs, strategies and policies for mountainous development in Vietnam.