On 09 March 2023, the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) hosted the 6th National Workshop to review the implementation of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) for protected areas in Viet Nam. This was accompanied by a general review of the situation of Special-Use and Protection Forests in 2022.
The workshop was chaired by Mr. Tran Quang Bao, the Deputy Head of VNFOREST, and co-chaired by Mr. Doan Hoai Nam, Head of Department of Protected Area Management. More than 170 participants from both national and international organisations, such as WWF, FFI, SVW and GIZ, as well as protected areas across the country attended. This event marked the official introduction of the national SMART data model and the draft Operational Framework for the SMART Network, both supported jointly by VNFOREST and BMZ.
SMART is internationally recognised as an effective tool to support for informing decision-making and management of protected areas. On 07 July 2022, VNFOREST issued the Decision promulgating the Procedure for the standardized application of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) in protected forests in Vietnam. The associated guidelines were previously developed by the Department for Protected Area Management (DOPAM) in collaboration with GIZ within the framework of the completed project “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”.
So far, SMART has been adopted and utilised in 50 protected areas across the country for years. SMART shows significant effectiveness in supporting the protection and management of natural resources. On this occasion, protected areas could also share their experiences and discuss challenges in applying SMART. These insights will inform VNFOREST how to take actions to enhance the legal basis for SMART application, resources and capacities.
“In 2025, at least 55% of all Protected area implemented SMART as an objective of the National’s scheme on strengthening the management capacity and digital transformation; If SMART is widely deployed and put into application, it could be a groundbreaking achievement in the forestry sector on digital transformation. As some previous digital conversion applications are already there but not really into the action. With the fully implementation of SMART, we do hope this is a role model” – shared Mr. Tran Quang Bao.
The project has collaborated for many years on introducing SMART and strengthening the capacities of protected area managers, rangers, trainers and other professionals, as well as on standardising its data model to implement SMART in all protected areas consistently. The workshop was organised as a joint effort between VNFOREST, WWF and GIZ together with other organisations like SVW and FFI.
More information on SMART:
- VNFOREST’s Decision on Promulgation of the Procedure in the application of Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) at protected forests: https://vnforest.gov.vn/content/uploads/files/QĐ%20197.QĐ-TCLN-ĐDPH.pdf
- SMART procedures and documents (Tab “Utility” >> The Information System for Management of the Forestry Sector >> “Information about Vietnam special-use forests”): https://tongcuclamnghiep.gov.vn