The Forest Doesn’t Care How Many Hectares You Own – Certification and Sustainability for All in Vietnam

For too long, small and independent foresters around the world have considered sustainable forest management certification out of reach. Something only for large corporations, or industrial-scale landowners.

But by working together, small-scale certified Vietnamese foresters are protecting Vietnamese forests and breaking into international markets at the same time.

PEFC and the Vietnam Forest Certification System (VFCS), our member for Vietnam, are ready to assist with this change. PEFC was founded by a group of small-scale forest owners, and commitment to independent foresters is deeply embedded in our values. VFCS is the internationally recognised national forest certification system of Vietnam, and they drive the uptake of sustainable forest management.

The majority of Vietnam’s forests are owned by smallholders, with individual plots as small as 0.5 hectares. But the forest doesn’t care how many hectares a forester owns, or what kind of supply chain they have. The forest’s only investment is in its own survival.

That’s why PEFC and VFCS believe in finding pragmatic ways to share the burdens of the certification process. While certification is and should be rigorous, the ultimate objective of protecting forests cannot be achieved if certification is out of reach for most forest owners.

That’s why we have pioneered group certification for small scale forest owners, sharing the burdens and expanding market access to those who need it most while giving them the tools to protect the forests that they live in, and while improving their livelihoods.
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