A project on forestry development for livelihood improvement in the Central Highlands has contributed to bettering forest protection and improving living standards in regional provinces, according to the Central Highlands Steering Committee.

The project “Forests for Livelihood Improvement in the Central Highlands” (FLITCH) has total investment of over 91.26 million USD co-funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Trust Funds for Forest (TFF).

It has been carried out between 2007 and 2015 in 97 communes in the five regional provinces namely Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Lam Dong, and neighbouring Phu Yen province.

Its objectives are to reduce the poverty rate and narrow the income gap among local households, as well as enhance the management and use of forest land and bio-diversity conservation.

Under the project, so far, nearly 25,000 out of 44,000 ha of forest have been planted, fulfilling 55 percent of the target, while nearly 60,000 ha have been protected. The project has also provided jobs and increased incomes for more than 33,000 local households.

According to the ADB review mission, the project has basically accomplished its objectives and met the aspirations of the regional localities.

In addition, other ODA projects on forest development and protection are underway in the region, including those funded by Germany’s Development Cooperation Organisation (GIZ), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD Programme).

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is completing necessary procedures for the approval of the Ecosystem Projection and Integrated Management Project funded by the German Reconstruciton Bank (KFW).

The 15 million USD project will be implemented in Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Quang Nam province with the aim of supporting the effective management and recovery of natural forest areas and developing livelihood for local people.-VNA