In October 2016, the New Generation Plantations (NGP) platform held a study tour in Laos along the Ho Chi Minh Trail looking at how plantations can integrate multiple land uses for improved livelihoods. Three years later in March 2019, NGP came back to the region to organize a Smallholders Fieldshop in Vietnam looking at the experiences of smallholders in the forestry sector in Thua Thien Hue.
Rapid land-use change and increasing interest in plantation development present challenges and opportunities for Laos and Vietnam. Building on the previous NGP events in the two countries, this study tour will look at the importance of developing a transboundary landscape approach to the environmental and social challenges across the Central Annamite mountains.
Field visits on either side of the border will showcase promising projects and approaches, enabling governments, private companies, investors, NGOs and local communities to share knowledge and experience. In Laos, we’ll explore the participatory land-use planning model that Stora Enso is using to integrate plantations with community agriculture, and how this provides an alternative to large-scale monocrop concessions. In Vietnam, we’ll see how an FSC certified smallholder cooperative can attract private investment and support landscape restoration, and how the government is replicating forestry cooperatives nationwide.
By sharing learning and ideas, we aim to scale up the development of plantations that help improve local livelihoods and restore ecosystems while delivering returns to investors.