A national forum on community forestry was opened in the northern province of Thai Nguyen on April 23, looking at the practice that has proved effective in forest management.

The two-day event, the first of its kind so far, drew nearly 100 Vietnamese and foreign experts in the field.

The Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VAF) said many community forests have been piloted across Vietnam in the past years.

More than 5,000 households of 10 provinces joined a national project in the first phase from 2006-2009, bringing some 16,800 hectares of forests under their supervision.

At present, nearly 4 million hectares of forests are being managed by local communities in Vietnam.

At the forum, participants discussed the legal framework on community forestry, benefits that this practice brings about, sustainable forest management, and wood processing.

They said that the implementation of the model helps improve local people’s awareness of the importance of forest protection and development and brings about profits to those who join it.

The forum is held by the VAF, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the Center for People and Forests, and the Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry.-VNA