Economy and Commerce
From one of the world’s poorest countries in late 1980s, in a period of 15 years, Vietnam transformed from an agricultural – based economy into a transitioning lower-middle income country. Poverty rates declined sharply from 79.7% in 1992 to 6.6% in 2018 (US$3.2/day PPP). The speed of this transformation outpaced its peers such as Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Busy Hanoi at night| Photo by Florian Wehde| Licensed by Unsplash
Coping with COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam
Vietnam recorded the country’s first COVID-19 cases on January 23, 2020. As of April 27, 2020, there were 270 confirmed cases.
The Government of Vietnam’s COVID-19 response has involved a series of initiatives from the central to the local level since late January 2020.
Data about COVID-19 consolidated by ODV team is available here
A woman labour| Picture taken by Thomas Gerlach. Licensed given by Pixabay.
Vietnam’s civil society and ethnic minorities
In Vietnam, ethnic minorities are supported by a network of non-governmental organizations, known as “civil society”. Civil society includes international non-governmental organizations, Vietnamese mass organizations, Vietnamese umbrella organizations, Vietnamese NGOs, community-based organizations, and professional organizations, although professional organizations work rarely related to ethnic minority issues. Together they work to promote inclusive growth, and protect indigenous knowledge and religious customs. However, their work occupies a sensitive space marked by difficulties.
The Vietnamese Government recognizes 53 ethnic minorities. Other counts suggest the existence of more than 90 groups, amounting to approximately 10 million people, or nearly 10% of Vietnam’s population. Most ethnic minorities inhabit remote areas of Vietnam and have their own belief systems which are heavily tied to land.
The agriculture sector plays a crucial role in Vietnam’s economy and society. In Vietnam, the sector includes crop production, livestock, fisheries, and forestry. Vietnam’s tropical climate, fertile soil, abundant water supply and rich biodiversity means that after 40 years of Doi Moi economic reforms, the country has developed a diverse commercial agriculture sector to meet domestic and global demands. At present, a comprehensive restructuring program is being promoted as the sector stands at a crossroads of both opportunities and challenges.
Forest policy and administration
Key Laws: Circular No. 34/2009 / TT-BNNPTNT on the criteria for determining and classifying forests (2009); Decree No.117/2010/ND-CP on Organization and Management of the Special-Use Forest System (2010); Land Law (2013); Law on Forestry (2017)—replaced Law on Forest Protection and Development (2004).
All land and the natural resources found under or on it is owned by the people through the state in Vietnam. However, the state recognizes long-term, alienable usage rights over both land and resources. Those with these usage rights in forest land are known as “forest owners.”
Forest and Forestry
The Government of Vietnam considers forests an important ecological resource, valuable for the socio-economic development and well-being of communities throughout the country. Forests play a major role in adapting to climate change as well as in regular environmental functions such as preventing erosion and maintaining water circulation. Both forest and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are important sources of nutrition. Forests also have a social function, contributing to job creation and incomes. At present, there are about 25 million Vietnamese people for whom 20%, or by some estimates up to 40%, of their annual income comes from the forest.
Ethnic minorities and indigenous people
Vietnam is considered a multi-ethnic country, made up of 54 ethnic groups. The Kinh ethnic group makes up 85.4% of Vietnam’s population, or 78.32 million people. The remaining 53 ethnic groups make up only 14.6% of the country’s population.
Although Vietnam voted in favour of UNDRIP, the government does not recognize ethnic minorities as indigenous peoples. Instead, the government uses the term “ethnic minority” to refer to everyone but the Kinh majority. The focus of the Vietnamese government is on “unity in diversity”.
Vietnam's Population and Census
Vietnam’s population and housing census is conducted every ten years and begins on April 1st. The country has conducted four population and housing censuses since the revolution in 1975, specifically in April of 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2009.1 The fifth population and housing census in 2019 will aim to collect information about national indicators and some sustainable development indicators.
Vietnam is vulnerable to CC. It ranks the fifth in climate risk in the Global Climate Risk Index for 2018 (CRI) and eighth in the Long-Term Climate Risk Index (CRI), a list of the 10 countries most affected by extreme weather events from 1997 to 2016 (annual averages).
Aid and development
International aid plays a significant but decreasing role in Vietnam’s national expenditure. The nature of development assistance has changed a lot over time. Previously aid came largely from developed countries members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), however recently, China, Arab countries, multilateral organisations, and private philanthropy is having a larger influence on how aid is accessed in Vietnam.
At the end of 2015, Vietnam had only met 3 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals. Now as they report on the first Voluntary National Review at the 2018 High Level Political Forum the work over the last two years to align Vietnam’s Sustainable Development Goals are highlighted in this examination of the localisation and monitoring progress of Vietnam.
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