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USAID supports joint efforts of Vietnam and Cambodia in response to avian influenza A (H5N1) prevention and control

USAID Office of Health Director Laurel Fain addresses the workshop.
USAID Office of Health Director Laurel Fain addresses the workshop.
Photo: Timothy Meinke/USAID

HO CHI MINH CITY, September 24, 2013 -- Vietnamese and Cambodian public health and animal health officials today opened a two-day,USAID-funded tabletop simulation exercise of an avian influenza outbreak at the border between the two countries.

Hosted by the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health of Vietnam, the workshop aims to strengthen surveillance and response procedures to the avian influenza A (H5N1) between Vietnam’s An Giang Province and Cambodia’s Takeo Province.

“USAID is pleased to support this practical and important workshop,” said USAID Office of Health Director Laurel Fain. “We hope that this exercise will teach us ways to strategically and practically prepare for and respond to diseases and threats of common concern.”

This year, two-thirds of the 29 globally reported human cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza have occurred in Cambodia, with Vietnam reporting two human cases; both countries continue to see poultry outbreaks of the virus.

With technical assistance from World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, participants are sharing experiences and lessons learned in the prevention and control of H5N1 in animals and humans. In particular, central and provincial level officials from Vietnam and Cambodia discussed roles in implementing response mechanisms in the event of a disease outbreak. Officials will also identify gaps and challenges in cross-border collaboration to prevent and control H5N1.

Since 2005, USAID has contributed more than $50 million in assistance and technical support to combat avian influenza and other emerging infectious diseases in Vietnam.

USAID Supports Comparative Review of Vietnam’s Payments for Forest Environmental Services Scheme

USAID Supports Comparative Review of Vietnam’s PFES Scheme
Participants at the workshop discuss payment for forest environmental services.

HANOI, August 20, 2013 -- More than 100 representatives from Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, provincial authorities from across the country, and development partners came together today in Hanoi for a U.S,-supported workshop to share experiences of Vietnam's Payments for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) scheme.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been a key supporter of PFES in Vietnam, including support for the development of the national PFES Decree and its piloting in Lam Dong province. PFES is an innovative approach to sustainable conservation financing that is generating significant resources to support forest protection and local livelihoods. Following a two year piloting phase, the national PFES Decree 99 was officially approved on September 24, 2010 by Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, becoming the first such policy in Asia.

The scheme is now being implemented in 31 provinces across the country and to date has mobilized approximately 1.8 billion Vietnamese Dong (about $85 million) for forest protection. In the scheme, the beneficiaries of environmental services (or PFES "buyers", such as hydropower facilities, municipal water supply companies, and ecotourism operators) provide financial incentives to the "suppliers" of these services such as local communities and forest management boards. Hydropower plants currently represent nearly 98 percent of payments, with water and tourism companies also making contributions.

Following the expansion of PFES across Vietnam since 2010, there has not yet been a comprehensive review of PFES experiences in the country. USAID has therefore partnered with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the US Forest Service, and others to assess the current status of and challenges with PFES implementation. The national-level workshop on August 20 brought together relevant stakeholders from across the country to discuss the findings of the review, assess progress and challenges, and to make recommendations for further improvement and enhanced effectiveness. Lessons learned from PFES to inform efforts to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) were also discussed.

USAID, through the new Vietnam Forests and Deltas project, will continue to support PFES and REDD+ implementation in Vietnam as an innovative model for developing economically-viable approaches to support the conservation and sustainable management of Vietnam's forests. Together with CIFOR, USAID also plans to look at how other countries in the Mekong region are currently implementing, or thinking about implementing, similar approaches in their countries.

Last updated: April 28, 2016

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