Paper3 Prioritization Experience E

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					     GOVERNMENT OF THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM


     MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT




                    FSSP Workshop



         Setting Research Priorities for the



   Five Million Hectares Reforestation Program


                        (5MHRP)
Vietnam’s Five Million Hectare Reforestation Program:
 opportunities for external linkages of shared research
   areas and experiences in prioritisation of research




                     Dalat, Vietnam


                  November 20-22, 2001
FOREST SECTOR SUPPORT PROGRAM AND PARTNERSHIP
Workshop Setting Research Priorities for the 5MHRP


Summary

This paper reviews experience in prioritisation of forestry research in the Asia-Pacific that is
relevant to Vietnam and the Five Million Hectare Reforestation Programme (5MHRP). This
paper also identifies opportunities for external linkages and networking in areas of shared
concern in research, and outlines key tran-sboundary issues of interest to Vietnam. Eight
research needs are identified for 5MHRP: i) Participatory forest classification, land-use
planning and land allocation methods; ii) Incentives for forest establishment, protection and
maintenance; iii) Sources of finance for reforestation activities; iv) Development and
extension of forest management systems; v) Impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation
methods; vi) Conversion and marketing of products; vii) Reform of laws and policies; and
viii) Reform of forestry sector institutions. Opportunities for external linkages and networking
exist in each of these eight areas; the greatest activity is in development of forest management
systems, whereas institutional and legal reforms see much less activity. Three models of
research prioritisation are presented and discussed: the Indian weighted-criteria method; the
Australian priorities framework and the Malaysian informal, interaction-based method. Any
of these methodologies would be suitable for Vietnam to prioritise its research needs under
5MHRP, but further evaluation and adaptation should be carried out before a final choice is
made.


1. Introduction

    1.1 Background to paper

This paper identifies the opportunities for external linkages and networking in areas of shared
research concern in regards to Vietnam’s Five Million Hectares Reforestation Programme
(5MHRP). The paper also outlines key trans-boundary issues of interest to Vietnam (such as
those concerning the Mekong Basin). Finally, the paper reviews experience in prioritisation of
forestry research in the Asia-Pacific region that is relevant to Vietnam. The paper is one of
three that will support discussion at a workshop on research priorities for Vietnam’s 5MHRP,
to be held at Da Lat in November 2001.


    1.2 Structure of paper

This paper is organised as follows:

       Section 2 provides an overview of the history, objectives and structure of 5MHRP.
    This section identifies some of the research needs and constraints that will shape the
    research agenda for 5MHRP. It is on the basis of these needs that opportunities for
    external linkages and networking are subsequently identified.
       Section 3 surveys regional research activities relevant to the needs of 5MHRP. These
    activities are organised and presented according to the needs identified in the previous
    section.
       Section 4 reviews experience in research prioritisation in the Asia-Pacific region. This
    section introduces and discusses three methods for setting forestry research priorities.
       Section 5 concludes the report with some recommendations for research prioritisation
    and networking under the umbrella of 5MHRP.


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      Appendix A provides contact details for the institutions, networks and other activities
    mentioned in the paper.


    1.3 Note on source materials

This paper draws on information available within FORSPA and FAORAP, supplemented
where possible with material from the Internet. Inevitably, there will be some gaps in the
coverage of regional research activities. The aim of this paper, however, is not to provide a
comprehensive treatment of these activities but to provide enough information to inform and
guide discussions at the forthcoming workshop.


2. Overview of 5MHRP

    2.1 Background, objectives and structure

The 5MHRP continues and extends the activities of Vietnam’s Programme 556, a national
watershed protection initiative that began in 1995. Programme 556, in turn, replaced a much
broader forest restoration initiative known as Programme 327. Over 13 years (1998-2010),
5MHRP aims to:

       Establish five million hectares of forest by natural and artificial regeneration, thereby
    increasing national forest cover to 43%. Two-fifths of this area will be in special-use and
    protection forests. The remainder will be in production forests (both timber and non-
    timber). Forests established under Programmes 327 and 556 will be incorporated into the
    targets of 5MHRP.
       Create a source of raw materials for the development of a domestic forest products
    processing industry. This industry will serve both domestic and foreign markets. Vietnam
    will formulate new laws and policies to encourage investment in plantations and the trade
    in plantation products.
       Create jobs for local people, in particular upland dwellers, thereby contributing to
    national programmes of hunger eradication and poverty reduction. 5MHRP is expected to
    create more than one million new jobs in forestry and related sectors.

The guiding principles of 5MHRP establish the primacy of local people as executors and
beneficiaries of the programme. Experience to date, however, indicates that households have
little influence on project design or planning, even though they carry out most of the work and
assume most of the risks of forest establishment. The incentives for local people to invest in
forestry are further diminished by a lack of investment capital, insecure land tenure and
limited access to technology and markets.


    2.2 Potential research needs

The ambitious scale and scope of 5MHRP place heavy demands on Vietnam’s forestry
research and extension services. The principal research institution in Vietnam is the Forest
Science Institute of Vietnam (FSIV), which lies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development (MARD). Nearly 90% of all forestry-related research is carried out by FSIV.
Some research is also carried out by the Forestry Inventory and Planning Institute, the
Forestry College and their regional or thematic subsidiaries. Forestry research in Vietnam,

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however, suffers from many of the problems that constrain research throughout the Asia-
Pacific region (see Section 4.1 below). These include scarce human and financial resources,
limited client participation in research planning and weak coordination and collaboration
among researchers.

Preparatory studies for 5MHRP have identified a number of topics that require research and
development. For the purposes of this paper, these topics can be grouped under the following
headings:

       Participatory forest classification, land-use planning and land allocation
    methods. Participatory methods are needed to ensure the efficiency and equitability of
    land-use planning and forestland allocation for 5MHRP. At present, land allocation
    procedures tend to favour institutions, workers and well-off households at the expense of
    poorer households. Land-use planning and land allocation, in turn, will depend on a robust
    and accurate system of forest classification.

       Incentives for forest establishment, protection and maintenance. Forestland
    allocation will be ineffective without an appropriate balance of incentives for reforestation
    or forest protection. The present system of protection contracts gives users few rights over
    the forest under protection, restricts traditional rights and fails to offer long-term
    incentives for investment.

       Sources of finance for reforestation activities. High interest rates, restrictive bank
    lending policies and bottlenecks in land allocation procedures combine to limit the supply
    of investment capital for reforestation activities. Alternative sources of credit or other
    material support are required for households. New financial instruments are needed to
    attract private domestic and foreign direct investment to 5MHRP.

       Development and extension of management systems for protection, special-use
    and production plantations. Although technical aspects of plantations such as tree and
    tree seed improvement are important, the greater challenge for Vietnam is to develop
    systems that link the protection and regeneration of natural forests and plantation
    development with measures for increasing the income and stabilising the livelihoods of
    forest-dependent households.

       Impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation methods. These are required both to
    assess the potential impact of reforestation activities (for example, through stakeholder
    analysis and environmental impact assessment), and to monitor, evaluate and report on
    their progress (for e.g., through codes of practice, criteria and indicators, and performance
    standards).

       Conversion and marketing of products. Product and market development strategies
    are required for both timber and non-timber products. Non-timber products are a particular
    priority – although their use in Vietnam is widespread, yields are decreasing and intensive
    or specialised production has failed to gain a foothold.

       Reform of laws and policies. Vietnam’s laws and policies on forestry, land tenure,
    investment, taxation and marketing must be overhauled to accommodate the demands of
    5MHRP. Such reforms require analysis of both sectoral and extra-sectoral influences on
    forest condition and the livelihoods of forest-dependent people.



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       Reform of forestry sector institutions. Institutional reform is closely tied to legal
    reform. Vietnam’s forestry administration is in a state of flux: the main forestry-related
    departments are to be reorganised and consolidated, and some of their powers devolved to
    the local level. The State Forest Enterprises (SFEs) are also to be restructured, but their
    future social and economic roles have yet to be defined clearly.


    2.3 Research constraints and their implications for 5MHRP

Improvements in the organisation, planning and extension of research might enable Vietnam’s
forestry research system to better serve the demands of 5MHRP. Such changes, however, may
come too late in the lifetime of the programme to have an appreciable impact on its outcome.
For the foreseeable future, therefore, Vietnam should concentrate on synthesising and
evaluating available technologies in 5MHRP target areas. Such adaptive research would be
greatly strengthened if Vietnam takes advantage of the ongoing research and development in
the Asia-Pacific region, by tapping the available opportunities for communication and
networking within the region. The following section identifies and discusses some of these
opportunities.


3. Regional activities relevant to 5MHRP research needs

    3.1 Selection and breakdown of activities

Regional activities of relevance to 5MHRP have been selected and categorised according to
the research needs identified in Section 2.2 above. To reiterate, these include participatory
forest land classification, planning and allocation, reforestation incentives, sources of finance,
management systems, monitoring and assessment, conversion and marketing, reform of laws
and policies, and reform of forestry institutions. The reason for categorising activities by
research needs, rather than by type of activity or any other aspect, is that it allows gaps in
coverage to be quickly identified. Any gaps, therefore, will indicate areas where Vietnam will
be less able to draw on and apply external research findings, and must undertake
proportionately more basic and strategic research of its own.
     3.2 Listing of activities

       3.2.1 Participatory forest classification, land-use planning and land allocation

Participatory land-use planning and land allocations are being addressed by the MRC/BMZ
Sustainable Management of Resources in the Lower Mekong Basin Project (SMRP). The aim
of this project is to support the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and its member states to
develop, promote and implement strategies for participatory natural resource management. In
addition to land allocation, the project is tackling issues such as sustainable watershed
management and participatory natural resources management. Vietnam is closely involved in
this project, but activities in the other three riparian countries should be monitored closely for
any lessons relevant to 5MHRP.

Forest classification systems and the related technologies of remote sensing and GIS
(geographical information systems) are being addressed by many countries individually, and
as part of several major regional or international initiatives. Most of these initiatives concern
the construction and analysis of data sets. However, the use of these data sets in participatory
classification efforts has yet to become widespread. Within the Lower Mekong Basin, efforts

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are underway by the University of Giessen in Germany to compile data and create a GIS
database that can be used in land conflict management. Remote sensing data for such efforts
are available from several projects operating under the umbrella of the Global Observation of
Forest Cover (GOFC) programme, including the Global Forest Mapping Programme (GFMP),
the Topical Ecosystem Environment Observation by Satellite project (TREES), and the Land
Use and Land Cover Change (LUCC) Project.


           3.2.2 Incentives for forest establishment, protection and maintenance

A number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region have initiated reforestation programmes and
have offered incentives for participation. Under the Philippines’ Industrial Forest Plantation
Program, for example, incentives to plantation developers have included exemption from
forest charges, relaxation of restrictions on the export of plantation products, income tax relief
and duty-free imports of capital equipment. Programmes in other countries will offer similar
examples to Vietnam and 5MHRP.

At the regional level, one of the main activities involving incentives for reforestation is the
Centre for International Forestry Research’s (CIFOR) Plantation Forestry on Degraded or
Low Potential Sites programme. This programme is aimed primarily at smallholder producers,
but large-scale state and private plantation enterprises are also targeted. Research activities
have included a review of Indonesian and Philippines experiences in out-grower schemes in
plantation forestry, and a current project on China’s plantation sector and the policies and
incentives that are driving its expansion.

           3.2.3 Sources of finance for reforestation activities

Financing of sustainable forest management has received a great deal of attention in recent
years. The international community has recognised that private capital must be brought into
forestry to compensate for declining aid transfers and reduced government spending. Finance,
therefore, has become one of the main foci of the United Nations IPF/IFF/UNFF process.

Two potential sources of finance that have been addressed by the United Nations process are
certification and environmental services. Certification (see section 3.2.6 below) may be able
to attract ethical investment to forestry (and also non-specific investment if it can reduce the
perceived market risk associated with a commodity such as timber). The possibility of a
global trading scheme for greenhouse gas emissions offsets has generated interest in the role
of forests as carbon sinks. Under the proposed Clean Development Mechanism (CDM),
industrialised countries would be able to invest in carbon offsets in developing countries to
offset their emissions.

At present a number of institutions and networks in the Asia-Pacific region are investigating
the role of forestry in climate change and the potential of forests as carbon sinks. These
include the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN), the Southeast Asian
Science Policy Advisory Network (SEA-SPAN) and the BIOTROP-GCTE Impacts Centre for
Southeast Asia (IC-SEA)1. Work on carbon offsets has also been supported by the
International Centre for Agroforestry Research (ICRAF), through its Alternatives to Slash and
Burn Programme (ASB), and by CIFOR in Indonesia.


1
    IC-SEA has now completed its work, but its data and information services are still available.

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               3.2.4 Development and extension of forest management systems

     This topic accounts for most regional research activity. Some of the key activities relevant to
     Vietnam and 5MHRP are detailed in Table 1 below. In addition to the regional activities
     detailed in the table, the following institutions support or undertake research relevant to the
     needs of 5MHRP:

            Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR);
            Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management
          (CRC-TREM), Australia;
            Forestry and Forest Products Division, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
          Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia;
            Queensland Forestry Research Institute, Australia;
            University of Queensland, Australia;
            Eucalyptus Research and Development Centre, China;
            Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, China;
            Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan;
            CIRAD-Forêt, France
            IUFRO (Various working groups);
            Tropenbos International; and
            Winrock International.




     Table 1. Regional research activities in the development and extension of forest management systems
              ACTIVITY                              COORDINATOR(S)                         RESEARCH FOCUS
Tree and Tree Seed Improvement
ASEAN Forest Tree Seed Centre                Government of Thailand                    Genetic analysis and conservation
Australian Tree Seed Centre                  CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products        Genetic analysis and conservation
International Coconut Genetic Resources      International Plant Genetic Resources     Genetic analysis and conservation,
Network (COGENT)                             Institute (IPGRI)                         cultivation technologies
Consultative Group for Research and          APAFRI/Univ. Putra Malaysia/Kasetsart     Genetic analysis and conservation,
Development of Acacias (COGREDA)             University                                cultivation technologies
Indochina Tree Seed Programme (ITSP)         Various (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia)         Institutional capacity
Plant Biotechnology Laboratory               CIRAD-Forêt/Innoprise Corporation         Genetic analysis and conservation, micro-
                                                                                       propagation and regeneration techniques
International Neem Network                   FAO                                       Genetic analysis and conservation,
                                                                                       cultivation technologies, technology transfer
Regional Cooperation in Southeast Asia for   IPGRI                                     Exchange of information, training and
Plant Genetic Resources (RECSEA-PGR)                                                   technology transfer, public awareness
Asia Pacific Network on Research and         Ministry of Forestry, Myanmar             Cultivation technologies, exchange of
Development of Teak (TEAKNET)                                                          information, technology transfer
Forest Tree Improvement Programme            FAO/UNDP                                  [Project Completed]
(FORTIP)
Seed Technology Section                      Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) Genetic analysis and conservation
Plantation Systems
Plantation Forestry on Degraded or Low       CIFOR                                     Management systems, policy, criteria and
Potential Sites Programme                                                              indicators
Asia Pacific Forest Rehabilitation Network   FORSPA/FRIM                               Demonstration sites, training and transfer of
(APFReN)                                                                               technology
South East Asian Fire Experiment             University of Monash, Australia           Ecological impacts of fire, pyrogenic
(SEAFIRE)                                                                              emissions
Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU)     University of Chiang Mai, Thailand        Propagation techniques, cultivation
                                                                                       technologies
Agroforestry Systems


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Alternatives to Slash and Burn Programme      ICRAF                                     Management systems, exchange of
(ASB)                                                                                   information, capacity building
Landcare Programme                            ICRAF                                     Farmer-led exchange of information
Asia Pacific Agroforestry Network (APAN)      FAO                                       Exchange of information, training
Asia Pacific Mountain Network (APMN)          International Centre for Integrated       Exchange of information, institutional
                                              Mountain Development (ICIMOD)             strengthening, governance/advocacy
Asia and Pacific Regional Network             International Network for the Improvement Germplasm collection, conservation and
(ASPNET)                                      of Banana and Plantain (INIBAP)           evaluation
Management of Sloping Lands for               International Board for Soil Research and Conservation farming technologies,
Sustainable Agriculture in Asia Network       Management (IBSRAM)                       appropriate technology transfer approaches
(ASL MSL)
The Uplands Programme                         University of Hohenheim                   Agricultural economics, watershed
                                                                                        management, participatory surveys
Farm-Centred Agriculture Resource             FAO/UNDP                                  [Now completed]
Management Programme (FARM)
Non-timber Forest Products
International Network for Bamboo and Rattan   Government of China                       Technology transfer, exchange of
(INBAR)                                                                                 information
Rattan Information Centre (RIC)               FRIM                                      An INBAR Information Centre
South and East Asian Countries NTFP           Centre of Minor Forest Products, Dehra    Exchange of information
Network (SEANN)                               Dun
Community Forest Management
Asia Forest Network                           Centre for Southeast Asia Studies,    Community-level forest management
                                              University of California at Berkeley  planning
Local People, Devolution and Adaptive Co-     CIFOR                                 Adaptive management, devolution,
Management Programme                                                                institutional analysis
Forest, Farm and Community Tree Network Winrock International                       Defunct, but publications and website still
(FACT Net)                                                                          available from Winrock
Forest, Trees and People Programme (FTPP) Regional Community Forestry Training      Exchange of information, training, policy
Asia Network                              Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC) and institutional analysis
Community-Based Natural Resource          International Development Research Centre Development and transfer of management
Management Programme (CBNRM)              (IDRC)                                    systems, exchange of information



               3.2.5 Impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation

     Two separate, though interconnected, processes address the assessment of forest management
     activities. The first, development of criteria and indicators, aims to provide countries with the
     means to monitor their progress towards national forest development goals, and to report on
     their progress in international fora. The second, development of certification standards, aims
     to meet demands (predominantly from the market) for greater transparency and accountability
     in forest management. Both processes address similar issues and their development has seen
     much cross-fertilisation.

     In the area of criteria and indicators, the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO)
     has developed sets for both natural forest management and plantations. CIFOR has developed
     a process for developing and testing criteria and indicators, and this process has been applied
     to plantation forestry in India and Indonesia, among other countries.

     In the area of certification standards, two countries in the region – Malaysia and Indonesia –
     have developed national certification programmes. Both of these programmes are independent
     of any international umbrella scheme (for example, that of the Forest Stewardship Council, or
     FSC), although Indonesia has established links to FSC. The principles and criteria of FSC,
     and the management standards of its accredited certifiers, offer a template to other countries
     in the region wishing to develop certification programmes.

     Information on certification is available from a number of sources in the Asia-Pacific region.
     One of the best sources is ITTO, which has commissioned a number of well-regarded studies


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of certification and related issues. Until recently ITTO has observed, rather than participated
in, certification processes, although the organisation now has plans to build capacity for
voluntary certification in its member states. Vietnam is not a member of ITTO, but the
experience of other member states with capacity building for certification may be instructive.
Likewise, FAO, GTZ and several other international and donor agencies have initiated
numerous programs to advance both the knowledge and application systems for certification.


       3.2.6 Conversion and marketing of products

Research activities in the conversion and marketing of plantation products are widespread in
the Asia-Pacific region, reflecting the high priority most countries place on plantation
development. Much of this research is directed towards technologies for product conversion –
proportionately less effort is expended on analysing market trends and assessing future supply
and demand in core markets.

Market development for community and smallholder plantations will be crucial to the success
of 5MHRP. A number of projects both in Vietnam and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region
are addressing this issue. One product of this work is the Market Analysis and Development
(MA&D) methodology, developed by FAO and the Regional Community Forestry Training
Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC). This methodology provides a practical and
adaptable framework for small-scale rural enterprise development in the non-timber products
sector. RECOFTC runs training courses in the use of this methodology.

In the wood energy sector, the Regional Wood Energy Development Programme in Asia
(RWEDP) is helping countries in South and Southeast Asia to establish and strengthen their
capabilities to assess wood energy situations, plan wood energy development strategies and
implement wood energy supply and utilisation programmes. RWEDP promotes the
integration of wood energy in the planning and implementation of national energy and
forestry programmes. It is implemented by FAO and funded by the Government of the
Netherlands.


       3.2.7 Reform of laws and policies

Compared to activities in the technical aspects of reforestation, activities in its wider social,
political and economic aspects are less widespread. Two regional programmes supporting
policy analysis and reform in the region are the Economy and Environment Programme for
Southeast Asia (EEPSEA) and the Resources Policy Support Initiative (REPSI). A third
programme, FAO’s Support to the Reorientation of Forestry Policies and Institutions of
Countries in Asia in Transition to a Market Economy Project, is discussed in the following
section.

EEPSEA is a programme of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The
programme was established in 1993 to support training and research in environmental and
resource economics. Its goal is to strengthen local capacity for the economic analysis of
environmental problems so that researchers can provide sound advice to policy makers. The
programme uses a networking approach to provide not only financial support but also
meetings, resource persons, access to literature, publication outlets and opportunities for
comparative research across its ten member countries (which include Vietnam).



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REPSI is a programme of the World Resources Institute (WRI). The programme aims to
improve the management of natural resources in the uplands of mainland Southeast Asia. It
does so through policy analysis and by strengthening the capacity of research institutions.
REPSI has activities in Vietnam (these focus on field research and analysis, as well as policy
analysis), but for the benefit of 5MHRP its activities elsewhere in the region should also be
monitored and their outputs assessed.


       3.2.8 Reform of forestry sector institutions

Reform of forestry sector institutions in line with domestic market reforms is taking place in
China, Mongolia, Myanmar and Vietnam. In these four countries, the process of reform is
being assisted by FAO as part of the Japanese-financed project Support to the Reorientation
of Forestry Policies and Institutions of Countries in Asia in Transition to a Market Economy.
This project, which is nearing completion, helps partner countries to adapt and strengthen the
capacity of their forestry institutions in line with the demands of a market economy. Emphasis
has been placed on training government officials in forestry policy formulation, evaluation
and implementation. The project has given Vietnamese officials the opportunity to learn from
similar reform experiences taking place in China, Mongolia and Myanmar. Once the project
ends, the process of learning and dissemination of experiences should be maintained in the
interests of 5MHRP.

Market reform and the role of private business in China’s forestry sector are also being
addressed by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), as part of a
global study of private-sector forestry. IIED’s work in China is focusing on issues such as
forest tenure and contracting, forestry taxation, company-community partnerships, markets
for environmental services and certification. All of these issues are relevant to 5MHRP and
IIED’s work should be monitored closely.


    3.3 Trans-boundary issues of interest

The foregoing review of regional activities highlights a number of trans-boundary issues that
concern Vietnam and 5MHRP. One of the main issues is emission of greenhouse gases,
specifically carbon dioxide. The contribution of forestry to carbon dioxide emissions, and the
potential of forests to offset a part of these emissions, are potentially important concerns for
5MHRP. So too is water and watershed management, which form the focus of numerous
research activities in the region. Again, watershed management systems are potentially a key
concern for 5MHRP.

Trans-boundary issues that are less apparent in the review of regional activities, though no
less important, include wildlife and trade. The latter topic covers a number of specific
economic issues affecting Vietnam and its neighbours, including the mobility of capital and
labour between Southeast Asian countries, the terms of trade for Vietnam’s imports and
exports, and, inevitably, the widespread trade in illicitly logged timber.


4. Regional experience in research prioritisation

    4.1 Some issues of forestry research management in the Asia-Pacific region



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This section draws on the findings of a recent review by FORSPA of forestry research
priorities in the Asian region (FORSPA 2001). Since 1991, FORSPA has been instrumental in
helping countries in Asia and the Pacific to develop their research systems through planning
support, training, increased access to information and twinning arrangements designed to
improve technology transfer and adaptation. In 1998, FORSPA sponsored a workshop and
consultancy to formulate a strategy for forestry research in Vietnam (FORSPA 1998a-c).

Forestry research management in the Asia-Pacific region continues to face constraints in
research prioritisation, organisation of research, funding and availability of information. In
general, countries have failed to keep pace with the rapid changes in the environment in
which forestry research must operate. Most forestry institutions are still organised along
disciplinary lines and consequently research tends to be narrowly focused and fragmented.
Research reviews commonly fail to adopt structured criteria and processes for prioritisation,
and there is no objective approach to allocating limited resources. For the most part, regional
research priorities tend to emphasise the narrower technical aspects of forest management
rather than its wider social, political or economic aspects.

Two of the most pressing needs of forestry research in the region are greater client
participation in research planning and improved mechanisms for inter-agency co-ordination
and collaboration. Most countries lack reliable mechanisms for assessing the needs of clients
or for evaluating the impact of research on specific client groups. These shortcomings
particularly affect rural communities, small farmers, households and other clients who are less
able to exert pressure on research systems. Research effort must also be distributed according
to the core competencies of the institutions involved and the nature of research outputs. Since
research, technology development and extension form part of a continuum, it is essential that
mechanisms for inter-agency co-ordination and collaboration are clearly defined. Both of
these research needs would be better served by the organisation of research institutions along
programme lines with multi-disciplinary research groups.


    4.2 Research prioritisation methodologies

For reasons already discussed, formal methodologies for prioritising forestry research are rare
among Asia-Pacific countries. Only India and Australia (together with New Zealand) have
developed formal methodologies (see below). A number of other countries operate a more
fluid and informal system for determining priorities, based on interaction between researchers
and their clients at various levels in the national research system. Research prioritisation in
Malaysia exemplifies a formalised procedure that of such a process (see below).


       4.2.1 India: weighted-criteria method

Since 1986, forestry research and education in India have been overseen by the Indian
Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) at Dehra Dun. The Council is an
autonomous society, headed by the Minister of Environment and Forests. A Board of
Governors oversees planning, administration and financing of the Council and its constituent
research institutes and centres.

India’s forestry research priorities have been established by the National Forestry Research
Plan prepared by ICFRE in 2000. The methodology used to set these priorities was divided
into three interlinked and complementary steps. In step one, at the level of the state, research


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problems were prioritised by field officers. In step two, the themes arising from these
problems were prioritised and translated into specific projects by researchers at ICFRE’s
institutes. Finally, in step three, the research projects formulated by the institutes were
prioritised and selected by the national Research Policy Committee (RPC)2. In this way, state-
level priorities, institute-level priorities and national-level priorities were decided in order,
following a natural progression from broad grassroots problems to researchable themes and
finally to specific research projects.

The actual process of prioritisation was based on the Weighted Criteria Model (WCM), which
was originally developed for agriculture. This model requires the development of a multiple
criteria matrix onto which weighted priorities can be superimposed. Its strengths over other
models of prioritisation (for example, cost-benefit analysis) are that it can incorporate both
quantitative and qualitative data (and so can be used even if data quality is variable), and can
force decision-makers to identify trade-offs between multiple goals.

In the form developed by ICFRE, the model used ten criteria, each given a weight of between
one and ten. Each criterion was scored, and the sum of weighted scores used to calculate an
index score for the project under consideration. These index scores were then used to select
and prioritise projects. The information needed to draw up the list of criteria and assign
weightings was collected from a series of three questionnaires issued at state-level workshops.
The first of these questionnaires solicited responses on suitable criteria and their weightings;
the second and third solicited responses on, respectively, priority research problems and
priority research themes.


          4.2.2 Australia: CSIRO priorities framework

Australia’s priority-setting framework was developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and
Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), from initial work by the Industrial Research
Institute of the United States in the early 1980s. It has been applied at the national level by the
government of New Zealand, and at both agency and institute levels by CSIRO.

The CSIRO approach relies on a structured group process, run over several days, designed to
elicit a consensus of expert opinion. Participation is not limited to research managers alone,
but includes research staff, clients and other stakeholders. All participants have access to the
same data and equal weight is given to every participant’s opinion.

The essence of the CSIRO approach is an evaluation of research purposes (which correspond
to major headings in the system of research classification used by the Australian Bureau of
Statistics) according to four main criteria:

i.       Potential benefits: The maximum returns (economic, environmental and so on)
     possible from technological improvements resulting from research for the purpose in
     question;
ii.      Ability to capture the benefits at a national level: The capacity of organisations,
     public or private, to convert technical progress into commercial or other returns;
iii.     R&D (Research and development) potential: The scientific or technological
     potential of relevant research areas; and

2
     The RPC provides direction to ICFRE on research policy and approves the research programmes of the
     Council and its institutes.

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iv.       R&D capacity: National ability to conduct research and development and realise its
      potential in a timely way.

Analysts from the research organisation assemble information on each research purpose on
two pages, to aid initial assessments by stakeholders. The first page, or data sheet, has items
such as the purpose of the research, a definition of the research area and an analysis of the
relevant industry. The second page, or evaluation sheet, has an evaluation of the research
purpose using the four criteria above. Research purposes are then scored and ranked by a
selected group of stakeholders initially working independently and then collectively. The
scores given to each of the four criteria are used to determine two aspects of each research
purpose:

i.     Attractiveness: The sum of scores for ‘potential benefits’ and ‘ability to capture
    benefits’, and
ii.    Feasibility: the sum of scores for ‘R&D potential’ and ‘R&D capacity’.

This process is illustrated diagrammatically in Figure 1 below.


                  Potential
                  Benefits
                                           Attractiveness
                  Ability to
               Capture Benefits
                                                                       Return to the
                                                                          nation
                   R&D
                  Potential
                                             Feasibility
                   R&D
                  Capacity



Figure 1. The CSIRO priorities framework. Stakeholders use a simple scoring method to evaluate the four
criteria for a specific research purpose. Their average scores provide the basis for determining attractiveness and
feasibility, and hence overall return to the nation.

At the institute level, this basic assessment of priorities may be augmented by a number of
additional steps to arrive at revised goals. These include:

         An analysis of alternative scenarios for the future of the economic sector served by the
      institute;
         Definition of the potential role of the institute in relation to each research purpose;
         Analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of the
      institute;
         A stakeholder analysis;
         Identification and analysis of the major issues that emerge from the priority-setting
      exercise and any subsequent exercises; and
         A final analysis of the current distribution of research effort and the steps that must be
      taken to redistribute this effort according to the priorities identified.




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       4.2.3 Malaysia: interaction between researchers and clients

The Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) is the statutory body responsible for
conducting forestry research and co-ordinating forestry research activities in Malaysia. FRIM
operates under the oversight of the Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board
(MFRDB), which in turn answers to the Minister responsible for forestry. The Board
establishes, among other committees, a Research Advisory Committee (RAC) to provide
guidance on the planning, execution and extension of research by FRIM. The terms of
reference for the RAC include:

       To advise MFRDB on the research programmes and projects of FRIM, and in
    particular to identify research priorities and future directions;
       Where practical, to examine in detail the research proposals of FRIM and advise on
    their appropriateness;
       To advise MFRDB on the outputs of research carried out by FRIM; and
       To advise MFRDB on any other matters of research and development that the Board
    may refer to them.

In addition to the RAC, FRIM engages advisors to sit on review committees at project and
programme levels. These committees, known as Technical Advisory Committees and
Programme Advisory Committees, help FRIM to define its present direction and assess its
future needs. Beyond this, all researchers engage their clients in regular formal and informal
discussions. FRIM holds regular seminars, workshops, study tours and other meetings to
gauge client needs and determine potential research responses. FRIM also occasionally
engages its senior scientists to review research and develop priorities and strategies. On top of
this, the Institute’s managers meet with project leaders at regular intervals to discuss research
issues and define any future programmes that may be needed. Through this process of review
and discussion, research priorities are identified and a research agenda is elaborated.


5. Conclusions

This paper has covered a wide range of issues and activities. In the area of forestry research
management and research prioritisation, it is clear that capacity-building efforts must continue
in many countries before research institutions are structured along multi-disciplinary,
programme lines, and before prioritisation exercises are based on structured criteria and
procedures. FORSPA has played a key role in this capacity building and will continue to do
so for the foreseeable future.

This paper has outlined three different prioritisation methodologies in use within the Asia-
Pacific region. Two of these methodologies (those of India and Australia/New Zealand) use
criteria to determine the optimal allocation of research effort. The third methodology (that of
Malaysia) is more fluid and informal, and is based on interaction between researchers and
their clients. This last methodology, by default, is the most common means of prioritising
research in the Asia-Pacific region. It is recommended that Vietnam, in the interests of
5MHRP, evaluates these three methodologies more closely and then selects or adapts the one
that corresponds most closely to the disposition and capabilities of its national research
system.


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Opportunities for external linkages and networking exist in all of the main research needs
identified for 5MHRP. External activity is greatest in the area of forest management systems,
including tree and tree seed improvement, plantation systems, agroforestry, non-timber
products and community forest management. Less activity exists in the area of reform,
specifically the reform of forestry laws, policies and institutions. It is in this area, therefore,
that Vietnam and its partners in 5MHRP may initially have to concentrate their research
efforts.




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Bibliography

5MHRP Partnership (2000) Report of the Synthesis Team. Draft 1 – January 22, 2000.
5MHRP Partnership Secretariat, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hanoi.

Blyth, M. J. & Brown, A. G. (1997). Report on National Workshop on Research Strategy
Formulation and Planning, November 3-7, 1997, Guangzhou, China. CSIRO Forestry and
Forest Products, Canberra.

Brown, A. G. (1994) Setting and Implementing Research Priorities. In FORSPA, Forestry
Research Management: Proceedings of the International Seminar held at Dehra Dun, India,
March 2-6, 1993. FORSPA Publication 9, Forestry Research Support Programme for Asia
and the Pacific, Bangkok.

Burley, J. (1994) Evaluation of Forestry Research and Incentives for Excellence. In FORSPA,
Forestry Research Management: Proceedings of the International Seminar held at Dehra
Dun, India, March 2-6, 1993. FORSPA Publication 9, Forestry Research Support Programme
for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok.

Cossalter, C. (2000) Vietnam’s 5 Million-Hectare Afforestation Project: Report on the
Exploratory Mission of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Centre for
International Forestry Research, Bogor.

FORSPA (1998a) Forest Research Strategy for Vietnam: A Preliminary Mission Report,
FORSPA, FAO, Bangkok.

FORSPA (1998b) Consultancy on Forestry Research Planning and Strategy Formulation in
Vietnam: Final Consultancy Report, FORSPA, FAO, Bangkok.

FORSPA (1998c) Formulation of Strategy for Forestry Research in Vietnam. Report of the
National Workshop. April 23rd-28th, 1998, Hanoi. FORSPA, FAO, Bangkok.

FORSPA (2001) Review of Forestry Research Priorities in the Asian Region. Forestry
Research Support Programme for Asia and the Pacific, FAO, Bangkok.

Government of Vietnam (1998) Summary. Plan for Implementation the 5 Million Ha
Afforestation National Programme 1998 – 2010. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development, Hanoi.

ICFRE (2000) National Forestry Research Plan, Volume 1: Status of Forestry Research.
Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehra Dun.

Jones, N., Hill, I., Guhathakurta, P. & Pritchard, A. (1994) A Possible Approach to Allocating
Research Priorities. In FORSPA, Forestry Research Management: Proceedings of the
International Seminar held at Dehra Dun, India, March 2-6, 1993. FORSPA Publication 9,
Forestry Research Support Programme for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok.

MacDicken, K. G. & Awang, K. (1994) Cooperation in Forestry Research in Asia. In
FORSPA, Forestry Research Management: Proceedings of the International Seminar held at
Dehra Dun, India, March 2-6, 1993. FORSPA Publication 9, Forestry Research Support
Programme for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok.


Paper 3: Prioritization experiences     - 16 -
FOREST SECTOR SUPPORT PROGRAM AND PARTNERSHIP
Workshop Setting Research Priorities for the 5MHRP


Morrison, E. & Dubois, O. (1998). Sustainable livelihoods in upland Vietnam: Land
allocation and beyond. Forestry and Land Use Series No. 14, International Institute for
Environment and Development, London.

Razak, M. A. A. (2000) Forestry Research in Malaysia – A Vision 2010. In Tan, B. H. &
Awang, K. (eds.), Asia Pacific Forestry Research – Vision 2010: The Seminar Proceedings.
APAFRI Publication Series No. 7, Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions,
Kuala Lumpur.




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Appendix A. Contact details for institutions, networks etc. mentioned in paper

ACIAR
Website: http://www.aciar.gov.au
Email: aciar@aciar.gov.au

APAN
Website: http://www.icraf.cgiar.org/res_dev/prog_5/str_agro/director/indone1.htm
Email: fao-apan@cgiar.org

APFReN
Website: http://forspa.hypermart.net/regional.htm
Email: Simmathiri.Appanah@fao.org

APMN
Website: http://www.mtnforum.org/apmn/index.html
Email: apmn@mtnforum.org

APN
Website: http://www.apn.gr.jp
Email: info@apn.gr.jp

ASEAN Forest Tree Seed Centre
Website: None
Email: aftsc@cgnet.com

Asia Forest Network
Website: http://www.mekonginfo.org/mrc_en/Home.nsf/System/Partners/
Email: AsiaForNet@aol.com

ASL MSL
Website:
http://www.ibsram.org/aboutibsram/activities/ongoingprojects/project/np1-1.htm
Email: adisak@ibsram.org

ASPNET
Website: http://www.inibap.org/network/aspaspnet_eng.htm
Email: inibap-aspnet@cgiar.org

Australian Tree Seed Centre
Website: http://www.ffp.csiro.au/tigr/atscmain/
Email: ATSC@ffp.csiro.au

CBNRM
Website: http://www.idrc.ca/cbnrm/
Email: cbnrm@idrc.ca

CIFOR
Website: http://www.cifor.org
Email: cifor@cgiar.org



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CIRAD-Forêt
Website: http://www.cirad.fr/presentation/en/depart-eng/cirad-foret.shtml
Email: forets.communication@cirad.fr

COGENT
Website: http://www.ipgri.cgiar.org/networks/cogent/
Email: ipgri-apo@cgiar.org

COGREDA
Website: Not known
Email: Not known

CRC-TREM
Website: http://www.rainforest-crc.jcu.edu.au
Email: rainforestcrc@jcu.edu.au

CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
Website: http://www.ffp.csiro.au
Email: enquiries@ffp.csiro.au

EEPSEA
Website: http://www.eepsea.org
Email: dglover@idrc.org.sg

Eucalyptus Research and Development Centre, China
Website: See http://www.caf.ac.cn/newcaf/english/main.htm
Email: Not known

FACT Net
Website: http://www.winrock.org/forestry/factnet.htm
Email: forestry@msmail.winrock.org

FAO
Website: http://www.fao.or.th/default.htm
Email: FAO-RAP@fao.org

FARM
Website: Not known
Email: Not known

Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan
Website: http://ss.ffpri.affrc.go.jp/index-j.html
Email: kouho@ffpri.affrc.go.jp

FORRU
Website: None
Email: scopplrn@chiangmai.ac.th


FORSPA
Website: http://forspa.hypermart.net/regional.htm

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Email: Simmathiri.Appanah@fao.org

FORTIP
Website: Not known
Email: Not known

FRIM
Website: http://www.frim.gov.my
Email: razak@frim.gov.my

FSC
Website: http://www.fscoax.org/principal.htm
Email: fscoax@fscoax.org

FTPP
Website: http://www.recoftc.org/activity_policy1.html
Email: ftcsss@ku.ac.th

GFMP
Website: http://www.eorc.nasda.go.jp/Sciences/Forest/index.html
Email: victor@eorc.nasda.go.jp

GOFC
Website: http://www.gofc.org
Email: info@gofc.org

ICFRE
Website: http://envfor.nic.in/icfre/icfre.html
Email: icfre@envfor.delhi.nic.in

ICRAF
Website: http://www.icraf.cgiar.org/sea/
Email: icraf-indonesia@cgiar.org

IC-SEA
Website: http://www.icsea.or.id
Email: info@icsea.org

IIED
Website: http://www.iied.org/forestry/index.html
Email: info@iied.org

INBAR
Website: http://www.inbar.int
Email: info@inbar.int

Indonesian National Certification Programme
Website: http://www.lei.or.id
Email: Not known



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International Neem Network
Website: http://www.fao.org
Email: pierre.sigaud@fao.org

ITSP
Website: See http://www.mekonginfo.org
Email: itsp@fpt.vn

ITTO
Website: http://www.itto.or.jp/Index.html
Email: itto@itto.or.jp

IUFRO
Website: http://iufro.boku.ac.at
Email: iufro@forvie.ac.at

LUCC
Website: http://www.geo.ucl.ac.be/LUCC/lucc.html
Email: lucc.ipo@geog.ucl.ac.be

Malaysian National Certification Programme
Website: http://www.mtcc.com.my
Email: mtcc@tm.net.my

MRC
Website: http://www.mrcmekong.org
Email: mrcs@mrcmekong.org

Queensland Forestry Research Institute
Website: http://www.forests.qld.gov.au/resadv/qfri/index.htm
Email: singlea@qfri.se2.dpi.qld.gov.au

Plant Biotechnology Laboratory
Website: None
Email: Not known

RECOFTC
Website: http://www.recoftc.org
Email: ftcsss@ku.ac.th

RECSEA-PGR
Website: http://www.ipgri.cgiar.org/regions/apo/apoweb/recsea-pgr.htm
Email: ipgri-apo@cgiar.org


REPSI
Website: http://www.wri.org/repsi/
Email: mairid@wri.org

Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, China
Website: http://www.forestry.ac.cn/rls/rlsy/rlsy.html

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Email: ritf@caf.forestry.ac.cn

RWEDP
Website: http://www.rwedp.org
Email: rwedp@fao.org

SEAFIRE
Website: http://tooms.arts.monash.edu.au/~seafire/
Email: jggold@ruf.uni-freiburg.de

SEANN
Website: http://education.vsnl.com/mfp/
Email: shivamfp@giasdl01.vsnl.net.in

SEA-SPAN
Website: http://www.icsea.or.id/sea-span/index.cfm
Email: llebel@loxinfo.co.th

SMRP
Website: http://www.mekonginfo.org/mrc_en/home.nsf/System/SMRP/
Email: MRCGTZ@bigpond.com.kh

TEAKNET
Website: http://forspa.hypermart.net/regional.htm
Email: Simmathiri.Appanah@fao.org

The Uplands Programme
Website: See http://www.mekonginfo.org
Email: neef@uni-hohenheim.de

TREES
Website: http://www.gvm.sai.jrc.it/Forest/defaultForest.htm
Email: frederic.achard@jrc.it

Tropenbos International
Website: http://www.tropenbos.nl
Email: tropenbos@tropenbos.agro.nl

UNFF
Website: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/forests.htm
Email: maini@un.org

University of Queensland
Website: http://www.botany.uq.edu.au/home.htm
Email: info@botany.uq.edu.au

Winrock International
Website: http://www.winrock.org
Email: forestry@msmail.winrock.org



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Appendix B. Acronyms and abbreviations

5MHRP              Five Million Hectares Reforestation Programme
ACIAR              Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
APAN               Asia Pacific Agroforestry Network
APFReN             Asia Pacific Forest Rehabilitation Network
APMN               Asia Pacific Mountain Network
APN                Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research
ASB                Alternatives to Slash and Burn
ASEAN              Association of Southeast Asian Nations
ASL MSL            Management of Sloping Lands for Sustainable Agriculture in
            Asia Network
ASPNET             Asia and Pacific Regional Network (of INIBAP)
BIOTROP            Regional Centre for Tropical Biology
BMZ                Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit
            (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development,
      Germany)
CBNRM              Community-Based Natural Resource Management Programme
CDM                Clean Development Mechanism
CIFOR              Centre for International Forestry Research
CIRAD              Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour
                   le Développement (International Centre for Cooperation in Agricultural
                   Research for Development, France)
COGENT             International Coconut Genetic Resources Network
COGREDA            Consultative Group for Research and Development of Acacias
CRC-TREM           Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and
                   Management
CSIRO              Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
                   (Australia)
EEPSEA             Economy and Environment Programme for Southeast Asia
FACT Net           Forest, Farm and Community Tree Network
FAO                Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
FAORAP             FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
FARM               Farm-Centred Agriculture Resource Management Programme
FORRU              Forest Restoration Research Unit
FORSPA             Forestry Research Support Programme for Asia and the Pacific
FORTIP             Forest Tree Improvement Programme
FRIM               Forest Research Institute Malaysia
FSC                Forest Stewardship Council
FSIV               Forest Science Institute of Vietnam
FTPP               Forest, Trees and People Programme
GCTE               Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems
GFMP               Global Forest Mapping Programme
GIS                Geographical information systems
GOFC               Global Observation of Forest Cover
IC-SEA             Impacts Centre for Southeast Asia
ICFRE              Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education
ICIMOD             International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
ICRAF              International Centre for Research in Agroforestry
IDRC               International Development Research Centre
IFF                Intergovernmental Forum on Forests

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IIED              International Institute for Environment and Development
INBAR             International Network for Bamboo and Rattan
INIBAP            International Network for the Improvement of Banana and
          Plantain
IPF               Intergovernmental Panel on Forests
IPGRI             International Plant Genetic Resources Institute
ITSP              Indochina Tree Seed Programme
ITTO              International Tropical Timber Organisation
IUFRO             International Union of Forest Research Organisations
LUCC              Land Use and Land Cover Change
MA&D              Market Analysis and Development
MARD              Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Vietnam)
MFRDB             Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board
MRC               Mekong River Commission
NGO               Non-governmental organisation
NTFP              Non-timber forest product
R&D               Research and development
RAC               Research Advisory Committee (Malaysia)
RECOFTC           Regional Community Forestry Training Centre for Asia and the
          Pacific
RECSEA-PGR        Regional Cooperation in Southeast Asia for Plant Genetic
          Resources
REPSI             Resources Policy Support Initiative
RIC               Rattan Information Centre
RPC               Research Policy Committee (India)
RWEDP             Regional Wood Energy Development Programme
SEA-SPAN          Southeast Asian Science Policy Advisory Network in Global
          Change
SEAFIRE           South East Asian Fire Experiment
SEANN             South and East Asian Countries NTFP Network
SFE               State Forest Enterprise (Vietnam)
SMRP              Sustainable Management of Resources in the Lower Mekong
          Basin Project
SWOT              Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
TEAKNET           Asia Pacific Network on Research and Development of Teak
TREES             Topical Ecosystem Environment Observation by Satellite
UNDP              United Nations Development Programme
UNFF              United Nations Forum on Forests
WCM               Weighted Criteria Model
WRI               World Resources Institute




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