This blog series features interviews with the winners of the 2020 Climatelinks Photo Contest. This photo, submitted on behalf of the USAID Green Annamites Project, is available on the Climatelinks Photo Gallery.
Can you tell us the story behind the photo, such as the woman in the photo and/or how it was captured?
A farmer waters young acacia trees during the dry season in Tien Phuoc, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. This photo was taken randomly during a field visit, so we just know that she is one of the beneficiaries within the project area.
As the photographer, what does this photo mean to you?
Thirty years ago, only 27 percent of Vietnam was covered in forest.
Today, forests cover more than 41 percent of the country thanks to a combination of environmental policies, financial incentives, and the commitment of the Vietnamese people to recover their rich forest heritage. There are more than 4 million hectares of planted forests in Vietnam, and acacia is the dominant tree. This tree helps restore heavily degraded soils and add vegetative cover to barren lands.
This year’s theme was “Healthy Forests for Healthy People.” Tell us more about how your photo relates to the theme.
Acacia plantations dominate the rural landscape in Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue provinces. Acacia is usually grown on small plots in 3 to 5 year rotations, but when properly managed, acacia trees can develop with diameters bigger than 13 centimeters, bringing higher returns for 4 to 6 more years. The bigger-diameter logs are mainly sold to furniture manufacturers, which is one of the major industries in Vietnam.
The USAID Green Annamites Project is implementing several activities to promote long-term sustainable forest management and acacia plantation sustainability certification. In June 2019, Thừa Thiên Huế Forest Owners Sustainable Development Association and USAID signed a memorandum of understanding with Scansia Pacific, one of the main exporters of acacia furniture in Vietnam. This agreement ensures farmers access a selling price 15 to 20 percent higher than the average market price for non-certified acacia and also receive support for certification. This increased income will greatly improve these farmers’ ability to provide nutritious food for their families and withstand climate-related shocks
How does this photo show work that is being done to combat climate change?
USAID's Green Annamites Project provides support to the Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue provinces to increase carbon stocks by conserving and strengthening existing carbon reservoirs and reducing emissions from changes in land use practices.
The Climatelinks community is encouraged to submit new photos to the gallery through this submission form.
Climatelinks is a global knowledge portal for USAID staff, implementing partners, and the broader community working at the intersection of climate change and international development. The portal curates and archives technical guidance and knowledge related to USAID’s work to help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.