Vietnamese Government Reinvigorates Efforts to Advance Forest Certification

Viet Nam has taken a big step towards the development of a national forest certification system in line with PEFC requirements, following the approval of Decision 83 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), which establishes a Vietnam Forest Certification Scheme (VFCS) Program.

The government-approved VFCS Program aims to implement sustainable forest management and forest certification in the country over the period 2016-2020, and appoints key organizations with the required authority and resources to lead implementation.

The cornerstone of the program will be the establishment of a Vietnamese forest certification system, to be developed in accordance with PEFC requirements. With this decision Viet Nam is taking national ownership of certification.

“To ensure the sustainability of our US $7 billion wood industry, we have an ambitious target to reach half a million hectares under sustainable forest management by 2020, this includes a significant proportion of natural forests and smallholders,” said Mr. Le Van Bach from the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNForest) of MARD.

“We hope that this new Program will provide a pathway for the international community to support our efforts towards the sustainable production and trade of forests products,” Mr. Le Van Bach concluded.

“With the approval the VFCS Program to implement sustainable forest management and forest certification to 2020, the government can be assured that the whole PEFC alliance is ready to give its support,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

“We look forward to leading this new approach. Our country has already spent 15 years on forest certification, but progress has been slow, especially when it comes to smallholders,” said Dr. Phuong from the Vietnam Academy of the Forest Science (VAFS), the organization appointed to be a key partner of the Program.
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