Pilot Activities Ha Tinh

As part of the project ‘Strategic Mainstreaming of Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Vietnam’, the GIZ EbA project team, in cooperation with its partners ISPONRE and the provincial department of the ministry, identified a pilot site as well as suitable EbA measures for gaining practical experience with ecosystem-based adaption in Ha Tinh province.

The identification processes functioned in a highly participatory manner and were partly adopted from an approach to fast track implementation of adaptation measures suggested by USAID.

They included i) conducting a rapid, stakeholder-driven screening assessment; ii) focusing on highly vulnerable resources, sub-populations and assets for the vulnerability assessment; iii) browsing a list of fast track adaptation opportunities; iv) conducting a feasibility study of the most promising EbA options and v) applying design criteria to select the most promising adaptation solution.

Key approach criteria at the design stage are

  1. low initial and ongoing cost
  2. effectiveness in reducing climate vulnerability
  3. fast and easy implementation
  4. co-benefits and limited disadvantages
  5. flexibility and reversibility
  6. optimization of local resources (i.e. labour force, ecosystem services and traditional knowledge)
  7. upscaling possibilities
  8. sustainability in terms of economic, social and environmental aspects
To download the fact sheet on pilot activities in Ha Tinh province, please click here
To download the full synthesis report on the pilot activities in Ha Tinh, please click here

The Method

In Ha Tinh province, a six step methodology was applied to guide the assessment study to desired results. After initial reports were drafted based on the participatory identification, a review study was carried out by the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (World Agroforestry Centre, ICRAF) to ensure the embeddedness of the results in a scientific and EbA framework, and to provide important feedback for their refinement and finalization. Based on the merged recommendations from the participatory identification and the review report, pilot activities are now implemented on the ground.

Facts about the identification process

  • five communes of Ha Tinh were chosen for further analysis
  • Village 1, Son Tho commune, Vu Quang district, was finally selected for pilot implementation
  • a list of potential EbA options was prepared and the most suitable measure selected based on a scoring matrix
  • forest enrichment as a buffer during extreme droughts was identified as the most potential adaptation measure

The proposed pilot site in Ha Tinh Province: Village 1, Son Tho commune, Vu Quang district

Visualizations are sometimes urgently needed

Communication in the field is just as central...

...as thorough notetaking

A lot of work needs to be done on relatively steep slopes

Thorough assessments during the first site check

Many people are involved in the household selection process

The work in the field requires a lot of manpower and energy

Explanations are provided on site

The planting has started

Facts about the pilot site

Son Tho is a mountainous commune of Vu Quang district, about 70 km from the provincial center. Its natural area is approximately 4.591 ha, in which agricultural land takes up about 668 ha (14.5%), forestry land is about 3.465 ha (75.5%), and non-agricultural land constitutes 290 ha (6.3%). Roughly 2.715 residents live in 756 households, distributed over 10 villages.

Ecosystems in the commune are abundant, including native forests, acacia monoculture plantation; paddy rice; mixed farming – cassava – sugar cane – maize, perennial tree crops – orange; and home gardens.

The main income source comes from agricultural production – acacia plantation, orange and livestock – and only a very small amount is generated through the service sector.

The commune experiences different weather conditions over the year. Extreme droughts, hot spells and dry winds occur from April to September, with temperatures up to 41°C. Heavy rains often reach the area in October and November, causing floods, flash floods, landslides, and storms. Cold and rainy periods dominate during December and January.

Village 1 is located in the northernmost part of the commune, along the Ho Chi Minh trail. It has 413 ha of natural area, with native secondary forest and acacia mono plantation accounting for the highest proportion, namely 180 ha and 160 ha respectively.

There are 114 households in the village, out of which 10 households are ranked as poor.

Village 1 experiences similar climate conditions as the rest of the commune, yet people here witness more severe impacts caused by droughts, as the natural water resources are more limited than in other villages. In agricultural production, while a small part of low and flat land is utilized for paddy rice and annual crops, orange – the crop bringing highest income – is located in hilly slopes, which causes a variety of difficulties for growers.

The Pilot Activities

A group of 27 households which have forest allocations nearby join the pilot activities. The intervention slope is divided into four slope sections, with each section being worked with according to identified needs.

The following pilot activities, related to the overall intervention ‘forest enrichment as a buffer during extreme droughts‘, are now conducted in Village 1, Son Tho commune, Vu Quang district, Ha Tinh province:

Upper slope section

  • native timber species (including Manglietia glauca, Erythrophloem fordii, Cinnamomum iner) were planted to enrich the upper part of the slope where a range of native species still exists, but the quality and composition of these are poor
  • training on planting techniques and monitoring and evaluation were provided
  • a plan for the utilization of already existing undervegetation could be developed in the future

Upper middle slope section

  • in the upper middle part of the slope, some monocultural acacia were planted
  • the potential of planting medicinal plants could be considered in the future

Lower middle slope section

  • in the lower middle slope section, fruit trees, particularly orange trees, are being planted
  • ground cover like grass as well as pineapples and annual crops are planted
  • training on planting techniques and monitoring and evaluation are provided, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms established
  • training on rainwater harvesting for fruit trees during droughts is offered
  • as part of a capacity development program, Good Agriculture Practice models of orange plantation with drip irrigation systems are visited for demonstration purposes


  • annual crops (peanut, sugar cane, cassava, grass) are planted
  • bee hives are being set up and training on how to hold bees as well as monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are being established
  • training on the production and usage of compost is provided
  • some small ponds for raising fish using water from the forests are set up

Upscaling and sustainability of the pilot intervention

  • as part of a capacity development program, a training needs assessment is conducted
  • study trips and field visits to good practice examples in Ha Tinh province to learn from other initiatives are planned (such as water harvesting methods, tree management technologies)
  • communication and awareness raising activities in the form of sharing of experiences and lessons learned at district level are planned

Picture gallery

New livelihood activities: bee hives

The orange seedlings have been planted

Native timber species are growing

Contour planting: Pineapples

The pilot activities are expected to provide the following benefits:


Further readings and useful links

Climate-smart villages:


https://youtu.be/cQxBfutM7W8  https://youtu.be/eHzmN-dwhZw

The CCAFS Climate-smart villages are demonstration sites for testing and bringing climate-smart agriculture up to scale. They are being implemented since 2014 in My Loi village, Ky Anh district, Ha Tinh province

ICRAF Vietnam: https://www.worldagroforestry.org/country/vietnam

USAID. (2015). Fast-track implementation of climate adaptation (Working paper) (pp. 1-73). Washington, D.C.: United States Agency for International Development. Retrieved from https://www.climatelinks.org/resources/fast-track-implementation-climate-adaptation