Mountain Rural Development, Vietnam. Integration biodiversity aspects in development cooperation -a case study

The report describes and analyses to what extent and how biodiversity aspects have been identified and addressed within a broad rural development programme in five provinces in northern Vietnam. Biodiversity issues have to some extent been considered in relation to the forestry-related components of the programme - but the general picture is that they have not been coherently and consciously addressed. Some positive impacts on biodiversity can be seen from the programme primarily an increased diversity of the "managed landscape" (home gardens, forest gardens etc), and some increase and/or return of wildlife and birds is noted in several villages when forest areas increase. Negative impacts include contributing to the trend of declining agrobiodiversity, through provision of high-yielding seed varieties, a limited selection of fruit trees, fish species and livestock varieties. For the future the report recommends that: a) biodiversity issues be more consciously and strategically addressed during planning and reviews, b) stakeholder involvement and consultations take place and include biodiversity issues, c) Sida's EIA guidelines provides good checklists and should form a key tool in the planning and reviews, d) monitoring should include biodiversity issues, but must be kept simple and involve the local communities concerned.