Options for Monitoring Forest Degradation in Northern Vietnam: An Assessment in Systems Design and Capacity Building Needs in Con Cuong District, Nghe An Province
USAID’s Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF) Program is partnering with Vietnam to strengthen its ability to monitor deforestation and degradation and associated emissions. This report describes how monitoring of degradation can be carried out in the Con Cuong District, in Nghe An Province, as well as assessing what is driving it.
A team also assessed data sources and on-the-ground activities at the pilot site level that contribute to greater knowledge of above-ground forest carbon stocks. It evaluated four forested areas.
The main driver of forest degradation is tree harvesting for commercial and domestic lumber and fuel. The study also identified small-scale agriculture, gathering of medicinal plants, and hunting. The building of roads and hydroelectric plants have also accelerated tree removal and mining has hurt water quality.
It notes that monitoring systems commonly used in Asia include remote sensing, field-based measurements, and participatory forest monitoring. The report includes recommendations on how each system could be carried out, as well as statistical analysis, and what technical skills are necessary. It recommends that USAID and partners carry out a field demonstration with the Vietnamese government.