Country Profile: 

Demography (thousands): 89,730.3
Multidimensional Poverty Index (%): 0.017
HDI Rank: n.a.
GDP per capita (US$): 3,013

The focus of PEI in Viet Nam was on harmonizing poverty reduction and environmental goals in policy and planning for sustainable development. It aimed at strengthening government capacities to integrate environment and poverty reduction goals into policy frameworks for sustainable development.

    
The project was launched by UNDP-Viet Nam prior to the launch of the UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative and its scale-up across regions. It was originally entitled  Poverty-Environment Project (PEP). The project was jointly financed by UNDP, DFID and the Government of Viet Nam.The project was coordinated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.The implementation started in 2000 and ended in September 2009.

The budget for the programme encompassed USD 3.7 millions (UNDP: USD 1,4 million, DFID: USD 2 millions and Government of Viet Nam: USD 300,000).  Selected activities are still being implemented and supported through on-demand technical and policy advisory services.

Viet Nam was one of the first PEI pilot projects launched by UNDP in 2005. Despite Viet Nam’s rapid economic growth that has enabled significant progress in human development, the impacts of climate change and other environmental challenges are reversing the progress made in human development and poverty alleviation. 70% of the population works in the agriculture sector making them directly dependent on the quality and availability of natural resources. At the same time, a growing population, increased urbanization and rapid economic development are placing increasing pressure on Viet Nam's environment.

To contribute to addressing these challenges the focus of PEI in Viet Nam was on harmonizing poverty reduction and environmental goals in policy and planning for sustainable development. It aimed at strengthening government capacities to integrate environment and poverty reduction goals into policy frameworks for sustainable development. The project was launched by UNDP Viet Nam prior to the launch of the UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative and its scale-up was coordinated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Achievements: 

Site visits to the UK and Tanzania have contributed to gain knowledge and experience of lessons learned on poverty-environment mainstreaming in other countries.
    
PEI Viet Nam has conducted ten participatory case studies to improve knowledge and awareness of how natural resource and environmental management may contribute to poverty reduction. The results of these studies are now being used to develop and pilot, using participatory methods, poverty-environment policy investment models in two communes in Ha Tay and Ha Tinh Provinces. These reports are available on the project website and under ‘’Key documents for PEI’’.
    
Additional country specific evidence was developed: a research on “Poverty and Climate Change in South-Central Viet Nam” was conducted for the Ha Tinh and Ninh Thuan provinces; a case study on payment for ecosystem services was developed and a study on the Natural Resource and Environment 5-year plan and poverty-environment issues was carried out.  All these will further support poverty-environment mainstreaming,
    
Particular progress has been made in the mainstreaming of poverty issues into environmental legal frameworks and regulations, notably the new biodiversity law which was approved by National Assembly in November 2008.  A decree on compensation for damages caused by environmental pollution and degradation was also finalized and the development of a roadmap for environmental policy and legislation reform was initiated.
    
Pilot activities in Hà Tây and Hà Tĩnh provinces were developed with a view to involve poor communities in developing and implementing environmental policies, legislation and regulation and accessing funds for Natural Resource Management and bio-conservation.
    
Monitoring of poverty-environment indicators has improved through a review of existing indicators, developing a comprehensive list of indicators, and development of a Monitoring and Evaluation Manual. The set of indicators on poverty-environment was completed and will be used for mainstreaming poverty-environment concerns into national and provincial plans.
    
Capacities to integrate poverty-environment concerns into national and provincial planning, including developing pro-poor economic instruments and building partnerships, have improved. Policy makers were trained at the national and provincial levels (Ha Nam, Ha Tinh, Ninh Thuan and Ha Noi) and a report on partnerships for environmental protection was completed. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in particular has strengthened its capacity to coordinate donor support within a programmatic framework, to understand poverty issues, and to influence the development authorities to attend to environment issues.  PEI has also supported the Institute of Strategy and Policy on natural Resources and Environment to formulate a development strategy.
    
Communication has been strengthened through the development of the poverty-environment network, a communication network of over 100 members including Government officials from various Ministries, to provide better support to the development of partnerships between Government donors and civil society in addressing poverty-environment issues. The project also raised public awareness through the website which features documents and reports, essay writing, photo and poster contests on poverty-environment, and dissemination of messages on poverty-environment linkages using nine public billboards in Hanoi.

Key Documents

Law & Legislation

Raising awareness, communications and building partnerships

Mainstreaming Resources: 
Institute of Strategy, Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE)

1116, Hoang Quoc Viet Road, Ha Noi/Vietnam

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment/ International Support Group Natural Resources and Environment

ISGE serves as a catalyst to facilitate development supports and policy dialogue. ISGE proposes dialogue topics, support and coordinate government and donor activities in relation to natural resources and environment management; provides supports to get consensus on natural resource and environment policies, strategies and legislations, capacity building, institutional improvements and development programs among key stakeholders including ministries, ministerial agencies, businesses, social mass organizations and donor community.