More than 50 State-run management agencies and agricultural businesses gathered at a workshop on April 2 in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong to dicuss sustainable management of the local landscape.

The worskop—the second of its kind—was held by the provincial People’s Committee, the Institute of Policy and Stratefy for Agriculrue and Rural Development and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) as part of the Initiative for Sustainable Landscapes (ISLA).

Stakeholders defined challenges in the protection and development of the natural landscape in the province and the Central Highlands at large, looking towards cooperation measures to support management in the region – one of the most important farm produce production areas in Vietnam.

Launched in 2014, the ISLA has gathered public-private partners to build programmes on the sustainable management of land and warter in six vulnerable landscapes around the world, including the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

In Vietnam, the programme focuses on three urgent issues: diminishing water supply, deforestation and land degradation.

Covering an area of 54,700 square metres, the Central Highlands of Vietnam comprises Lam Dong, Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces.

Fifty-five percent of the area is covered in forest – the highest coverage rate across the nation. The region is also rich in minerals such as coal, bauxite, iron, zinc and rock crystal, while the highly fertile land, a quarter of which is basalt, is ideal for growing perennial crops.
The Central Highlands is vital for the production of some of the country’s key agricultural and forestry commodities including coffee, pepper, rubber, cashews, tea and cocoa.-VNA