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The Viet Nam University of Forestry officially launched a pilot REDD+ elective course in its Master’s Programme on Forestry and Forest Management during an event organized on 21 October 2016. The launch of the pilot is a result of cooperation between the University and the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme.

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Following the launch, 23 students of the Forestry Master’s Programme entered the first REDD+ class at the University. Most of the students are already working in forestry, for example, as forest rangers at the local level, forestry officers at district level or for Forest Management Boards, research and training institutions, and government ministries.

While 21 of the students are Vietnamese, two come from Lao PDR and are working for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Laos. One of the Lao students commented, “I chose REDD+ as the last elective subject for my Master's Course because I am looking forward to strengthening my knowledge about REDD+. Thereby, I can get involved more in REDD+ process in my country as you know that Lao PDR is implementing REDD+ as Viet Nam.

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In addition to lectures at the University, the Master’s students participated in a field trip to a pilot province of the UN-REDD Programme, where they had the chance to learn more about the process of developing and implementing Provincial REDD+ Action Plans as well as Site-based REDD+ Implementation Plans.  These are processes supported by the UN-REDD Programme since 2014.

According to Dr. Bui The Doi, Vice Chancellor of the University, the pilot is the first step in their plan to make REDD+ an official elective subject. The University hosted a workshop on this objective on 11 November, in order to discuss and draw out lessons from the pilot as well as share their experiences with other concerned universities.

The training materials of the REDD+ elective subject have been developed based on the materials of the REDD+ Academy prepared by the UN-REDD Programme. The Programme offered technical assistance to the University in the process of making REDD+ an elective subject. This was based on a cooperation agreement signed early this year between the University and the UN-REDD Programme on integrating REDD+ knowledge into the training curriculum of the University. The UN-REDD Programme intends to replicate the cooperation with other universities in the coming time.

To learn more about the UN-REDD Programme’s work in Viet Nam, visit the country page here or national REDD+ website here.

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