Shortcomings in sustainable forest certification

15:33 | 09/01/2016 Economy- Society

(VEN) - Vietnam’s sustainable forest management and certification processes are viewed as slow, small-scale and dependent on the support of related projects.

Shortcomings in sustainable forest certification

Sustainable forest management and certification should be precipitated

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), forest promotion and management staff have failed to provide forest management guidance for forest owners as well as to pay due attention to forest management and certification activities. The majority of forest owners are focusing on the exploitation of their forests, while proving less interested in sustainable forest management. For example, the burning of vegetation and branches after harvesting has degraded soil and increased forest pests.

To date, just 170,000ha of forests for production, accounting for more than two percent of the country’s total, have been certified for sustainable forest management, which is far below the 30 percent target set for 2020. In addition, Vietnam’s sustainable forest management and certification is progressing far more slowly compared to the countries, which will act as a barrier to wood processing and exporting enterprises.

At a workshop on sustainable forest management and certification held on December 3, 2015, Chairman of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association Nguyen Ton Quyen said, “All Vietnamese wood exporters to the European market must achieve a sustainable forest certificate in advance. So, time consuming sustainable forest certification will affect wood export activities and narrow wood export markets.”

According to experts, certified forest products will be 20-30 percent higher in value compared with the uncertified. Vietnam is conducting Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification and Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), which are considered costly for forest owners as well as wood processing and exporting enterprises. Vietnam will hardly achieve its 30 percent certified sustainable forest target set for 2020 unless developing its own sustainable forest management and certification system.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan, the sustainable forest management and certification is an inevitable trend in terms of international integration and forest development. Vietnam has a complete system of forestry regulations and actively involved in many international conventions related to forestry. Sustainable forest management and certification is required by import markets, with a view to strengthening forest management during the 2014-2020 period as scheduled in the forest sectoral restructuring project while improving the lives and interests of forest owners and workers.

“In the immediate future, Vietnam should rapidly set up criteria for sustainable forest management and certification as prescribed by the law, while continuing to partner with FSC and PEFC in sustainable forest management and certification in order to hit the 30 percent certified sustainable forest target set for 2020,” Ha Cong Tuan said.

 

Nguyen Hanh

Theo ven.vn