Viet Nam’s legal framework recognises the importance of ensuring public participation, including in the context of environmental and biodiversity protection, forest development as well as in the elaboration of land-use plans, and more broadly in socio-economic development planning. The Constitution (2013) and relevant laws recognise the right of citizens to participate in the management of the State. The Ordinance on the Implementation of Democracy in Communes, Wards and Towns (2007) defines requirements for effective participation, including what people are required to be informed of, to discuss and vote on, to discuss and decide, to provide comments on prior to the decision by the competent authority, and to monitor.
Viet Nam’s policies laws and regulations set out detailed requirements about the types of information to be shared and the modes/mechanisms for participation of relevant stakeholders in policy and legislative development, planning and management in the forest sector, which are applicable to the development and implementation of the National REDD+ Programme and Provincial REDD+ Action Plans.
Agencies that formulate master plans and plans on land use are required to organise consultations. The Forest Development Strategy (2006-2020), the Forestry Master Plan (2011-2020) and the National Target Program on Sustainable Forest Development emphasise the role of local households and communities in managing, protecting and developing forests. Forest planning is required to be participatory and democratic, ensuring transparency and gender equality, and the participation of local people and ethnic minorities is required to be enabled in the management, protection and development of all forest categories (special-use, protection and production). Agencies that are responsible for environmental impact assessments are required to take into account public input prior to the final decision. During the formulation of legislative documents, drafting agencies must enable the public (other organisations and individuals), or directly impacted entities” to provide opinions their opinions on the project.
People have the right to know, to contribute opinions, to decide, to exercise and supervise democracy at the commune level, including the right to provide comments on:
- Draft plans on socio-economic development at the communal level; economic and production- restructuring options; schemes on sedentary farming, resettlement and new economic zones and production and business line development options of the communal level.
- Draft detailed land use planning and plans and adjustment schemes; the management and use of land areas of the communal level.
- Draft plans on implementation of programs and projects in communal-level localities; undertakings and schemes on ground clearance compensation and supports, infrastructure construction, resettlement; schemes on population quarter planning.
- Draft schemes on establishment, merger and division of administrative units and adjustment of administrative boundaries, directly related to communal-level localities.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, and provincial Departments of Natural Resources and the Environment within their respective localities, are responsible for developing land use, ensuring the participation of relevant stakeholders. They are also responsible for developing environmental protection plans, and for appraisal and approval of social and environmental impact assessments. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), and the provincial Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development are responsible within their respective localities, are responsible for developing forest protection and development plans, ensuring the participation of relevant stakeholders. Provincial People’s Committees are responsible for the appraisal and approval of provincial land use plans. Forest Management Boards are responsible for developing site-level plans, ensuring the participation of relevant stakeholders.
 The Constitution of Viet Nam (2013), Article 28. See also: The Forest Protection and Development Law (2004), Articles 13 & 20; the Forestry Law (2017, effective 1 January 2019), Article 12; the Law on Biological Diversity (2008), Article 22; the Land Law (2013), Article 43; the Law on Environmental Protection (2014), Articles 21 & 146.
 Ordinance No. 34/2007/PL-UBTVQH11 dated 20 April 2007 on the Implementation of Democracy in Communes, Wards and Towns.
 The Land Law (2013), Article 43; Government Decree No. 43/2014/ND-CP.
 The Forest Development Strategy (2006-2020
 Forestry Master Plan (2011-2020)
 National Target Program on Sustainable Forest Development
 The Forest Protection and Development Law (2004), Article 13; the Forestry Law (2017) Article 10; Government Decree No. 23/2006/ND-CP; MARD Circular No. 05/2007/TT-BNN; MARD Circular No. 38/2014/TT-BNN, Articles 6 & 8; MARD Circular No. 56/1999/BNN-KL and MARD Circular No. 70/2007/TT-BNN.
 The Law on Environmental Protection (2014), Article 11; Decree No. 18/2015/ND-CP, Article 12.
 The Law on Promulgation of Normative Legal Documents (2015), Articles 57, 86, 97, 101 & 113.
 National Assembly Ordinance No. 34/2007/PL-UBTVQH11 on the exercise of democracy in communes, wards and townships.