On the afternoon of October 28, the General Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, organized a conference to hand over the Sustainable Forest Management Certification Office to the Vietnam Academy of Forestry Science.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the Director of the General Department of Forestry, Nguyen Quoc Tri, emphasized that granting sustainable forest certificates is an inevitable trend in the world. To Vietnam, this is a big step forward for Vietnam’s forestry industry, contributing to forest protection and sustainable development as well as improving the value of forestry production per area unit.
The productivity of Vietnam’s plantations is constantly increasing, and with certification, the value of each hectare of planted forests can increase by 30%. In addition, developed countries that import most of the value of Vietnam’s furniture also increasingly require certified and legally originated products.
Over the past time, the Management Forest Certification Office has established and completed the standards and documents of the National Forest Certification System and the International Forest Certification System (PEFC) for endorsement as the 50th member. The PEFC Forest Certification Council has recognized the National Forest Certification System (VFCS) as a system that satisfies the requirements for enforcing sound forest management. The National Forest Certification System has supported host and group forests to be granted over 55 forests with VFCS / PEFC forest certificates.
Over the years, sustainable forest management and forest certification have achieved positive results, raising awareness and capacity to implement sustainable forest management for forestry staff levels, forest owners, especially households, individuals, communities, and enterprises. So far, the whole country has had over 2 million hectares of forest owned by forest owners, who have built these forests and submitted these forests to competent authorities for approval. Over 3 million m3 of certified FSC and VFCS/PEFC plantation timber supply the supply chain for processing, export, and wood products. Nguyen Quoc Tri suggested that the Vietnam Academy of Forestry Science is expected to develop a detailed plan for the operation of the National Forest Certification System in the 2021-2025 period. Documents of the National Forest Certification System also need reviewing and updating to relevant standards and for early issuance and publication under the law.
VAFS proposed a plan to implement sustainable forest management and forest certification to achieve the Vietnam Forestry Development Strategy goals for the period of 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050. By 2025, there will be 0.5 million hectares of forest certified, and by 2030 there will be 1 million hectares of certified forest.
Simultaneously, applying science and technology, innovating the assessment and issuance of forest certification, reducing the cost of issuing forest certificates per unit of forest area, improving the position, trademark, and reputation of the Forest Certification System in Vietnam, expecting to have more markets, businesses and forest owners choose and trust the brand of forest certification VFCS/PEFC.
As the receiving unit, Mr. Vo Dai Hai, President of the Vietnam Academy of Forestry Sciences, informed that, since the policy of building the National Forest Certification System in 2015, the Vietnam Academy of Forest Science had worked closely with the General Department of Forestry and the international certification organization PEFC in developing projects on Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification, standards for sustainable forest management, standards for the chain of custody of forest products, and guidelines for implementing forest certification.
At the same time, right after the Sustainable Forest Management Certification Office was established and put into operation (in 2019), VAFS continued to support staff and made important contributions to the operation of the Vietnam Forest Certification Office.
There will be specific difficulties operating the Forest Certification Office in the coming time. However, with the General Department of Forestry, localities, associations, and businesses. The VFCO will continue to elevate the obtained results and complete the assigned tasks. Significantly, the VFCO will implement the goals of sustainable forest management and forest certification set out in the Forestry Development Strategy for the period 2021-2030 and a vision to 2050 and enhance the trademark of Vietnam’s forest certification in the market domestically and internationally, said Mr. Vo Dai Hai. Many models of sustainable forest management and highly effective forest certification have been replicated nationwide to organize forest production and business activities in chains, improving added value in forestry production associated with sustainable forest management and forest certification. Along with that, the National Forest Certification System has supported numerous companies of the Vietnam Rubber Group to build a model of sustainable forest management for over 300,000 hectares of rubber trees.