Independent Consultant on Community Forest Management (CFM)

Vacancy Announcement

Position: Independent consultant on community forest management (CFM) in Thanh Hoa province for USAID “Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management” Project, RECOFTC Viet Nam

Sub-Activity Code: Conduct consultation with relevant partners to reach agreement of improved effectiveness of forest management and protection under community forest protection contract with forest management boards

Duration: 24 days in the period from January to April 2022

Application deadline: 14 January 2022

At RECOFTC, we believe in a future where people live equitably and sustainably in and beside healthy, resilient forests. We take a long-term, landscape-based and inclusive approach to supporting local communities to secure their land and resource rights, stop deforestation, find alternative livelihoods and foster gender equity. We are the only non-profit organization of our kind in Asia and the Pacific. We have more than 30 years of experience working with people and forests and have built trusting relationships with partners at all levels. Our influence and partnerships extend from multilateral institutions to governments, private sector and local communities. Our innovations, knowledge and initiatives enable countries to foster good forest governance, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

The USAID Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Project supports the Government of Vietnam to reduce carbon emissions associated with deforestation, degradation of natural forests and poor plantation management. The project implements a “Green Prosperity” approach that strengthens local communities’ ability to protect their natural resource base and reduce emissions while building a strong foundation for sustainable livelihoods and equitable economic growth.

The project works in seven provinces: Lao Cai, Son La, Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Quang Tri, Quang Nam. It focuses on five main objectives:

  1. Strengthening community forest management
  2. Promoting conservation-friendly enterprises
  3. Improving law enforcement to tackle environmental crimes
  4. Enhancing the management of production forests
  5. Mobilizing domestic resources.

RECOFTC is implementing Objective 1 by improving and expanding community forest management in the seven target provinces, in close coordination with other partners and Viet Nam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.


Forest dependent communities’ participation is increasingly recognized as an important factor in effectively maintaining forests. Communities have been engaged into forest management and protection in various forms. Four main types of these engagements include: traditional community forests; introduced community forests;groups of households managing forestlands; and individual households, who all individually own forestland, collaborating in forest management.

Under the SFM Project, the concept of community covers two forms of local people's participation in forest management. The first modality is community forest management (CFM) in which residential communities/villages manage communities’ allocated forests. This also covers the modality where communities manage household’s allocated forests as a community group (community-based forest household groups). The second modality is community-based forest management (CBFM) in which village communities manage contracted forests with protection forest management boards. In Fiscal Year 2021, the Project conducted the CFM baseline assessments which reflects the status of community forests and proposed potential sites to improve and expand community forestry management.

A residential community is recognized by Forestry Law, as one of seven forest owners which is an important milestone in promoting community forestry in Viet Nam, towards sustainable management of natural forests. Indeed, many successful models of community forest management prove communities’ capacities in effective management of forests, through which they enjoy considerable benefits from forests. Nevertheless, by the end of 2020, communities in seven provinces managed only 373,731 hectares of forests or 9,7 percent of total forestlands in the Project sites. CFM modality has been facing various key challenges such as limited access to their entitled tenure over forests and forest land, community forests are mostly degraded or poor which fail to provide adequate benefits and maintain communities’ commitments on forest protection and management.

Apart from CFM modalities, communities actively participate into forests under forest protection contracts with protection forest management boards (CBFM). This is one of the most common CBFM models in Viet Nam. In this modality, local communities are contracted to protect forest resources (mainly protection and/or special use forest) by state forest management boards. The local people are paid based on the forest protection contract, mainly from payment for forest protection and government promoted PFES scheme. Because of being treated as “hired” labors, local communities often face potential problems of getting “appropriate” contracting procedure with well-defined rights of participation and fair benefit sharing in line with updated regulations. To promote this model, it is necessary to improve communities’ capacities and cooperation of between local communities and management boards on basis of fair participation and benefit sharing for local communities.

Objectives of the consultancy

The overall objective of this assignment is to propose detailed technical interventions and designs to promote community-based forest household groups in Thanh Hoa province.

Tasks and duties

Under over technical guidance from CFM Director and close supervision of program technical officers, the independent consultant is required to conduct the tasks, including but not limited as follows:

  1. Review SFM Project’s relevant reports, especially CFM baseline assessment report with the focus on the already identified CFM communes.
  2. Develop field verification plans including intervention proposals with the minimum schedule of forest areas for community-based forest household groups (CFHG) at the already identified target communes in Thanh Hoa province.
  3. Analyze and undertake field verifications on the following aspects: i) forest resources; ii) forest and forest land tenure and rights arrangements; iii) CFM organizational structure and indigenous knowledge related to forest management (including adaptive and learning); iv) community’s needs (including financial management and technical capacities, and institutional support); v) potential marketable related products (e.g., NTFPs) and marketing linkage.
  4. Develop detailed technical interventions and designs covering the abovementioned five aspects of the community-based forest household groups.
  5. Facilitate technical discussions and consultation processes with relevant Project stakeholders including CPCs and communities, technical divisions at district level to reach consensus on proposed designs of the CFHGs at the target sites of the Project.

Anticipated level of effort (LOE), timeline and deliverables

The estimated LOE for the consultant is 24 person-days, starting as soon as possible but no later than 20 January 2022 and the last deliverable to be submitted by 15 April 2022, including field travel to project sites. The required deliverables are listed in the table below. All draft final deliverables shall be submitted in Vietnamese, and finalized for final approval in English. The specific deliverables and timeframe are listed below.





Not to exceed LOE


One desk review report including field verification plans

Consolidated report on initial findings from desk review, including table of contents for key deliverables of the assignments and field verification schedules (covering Tasks #1 & #2)



Field assessment and verification reports

One draft report covering the Tasks #3 and #4 for Thanh Hoa province


Final field assessment and verification report consolidated for the selected sites in the province



Technical report, including summaries of consultation feedback.

Draft technical report on interventions and designs covering the five aspects in Task #3 for community-based forest household groups


Final technical report consolidated for the selected sites attached with minutes of consultation meetings from Task #5.


Total LOE




Required qualifications

  • Vietnamese national
  • Master’s degree, preferably a PhD in forestry, natural resources management or other related fields
  • At least 8 years of experience in the fields of forestry policy and practices in fields, including but not limited to community forestry, forest allocation/forest land allocation, payment for forest ecosystem services, agroforestry particularly those related to communities
  • Knowledge and experience in leading consulting fields in projects/programs related to community forest management, REDD+ at provincial and national levels.
  • Knowledge of forestry policies and legal framework and forestry sector at central and local levels
  • Experience of participatory methods for implementation of forestry-related activities at grassroots level
  • Good Vietnamese and English spoken and writing skills

RECOFTC’s core values

At RECOFTC, our core values are the foundation of our culture and guide all our work. In addition to job specific skills and experience, the applicant should possess the following characteristics, attitudes and skills:

  • Embrace innovation
  • Adapt to, and learn from, challenges
  • Collaborate with partners and stakeholders
  • Nurture commitment, responsibility and ownership
  • Prioritize sustainability
  • Cultivate participation, social inclusion and gender equity

How to apply

Interested individuals are requested to submit a CV and a cover letter indicating why they are suitable for this position along with salary requirements and current contact details of three referees, including recent supervisors to [email protected]. Please quote the consultancy title in the subject line of the email. Only short-listed individuals will be notified.

Deadline to apply is 5.00 p.m. Hanoi local time, 14 January 2022.

To learn more about RECOFTC, please visit our website


Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Application Deadline: 
Fri, 2022-01-14