Strengthening Vietnam's wood industry

December 26, 2022 | 11:49
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Vietnam is working to establish a legal supply chain to become a global leader in the processing and export of wood.

Nguyen Huu Thien, director of the Forest Protection Department under the Vietnam Administration of Forestry and deputy director of a key project (VPA-FLEGT) supporting voluntary forestry governance, said that after four years, the project had helped to enhance the policy framework and the capacity of agencies, organisations, and people.

Strengthening Vietnam's wood industry
The closing workshop of the project

According to Thien, the implementation of the projects provides commitments to environmental protection, and the fight against illegal timber trade has aided Vietnamese wood industry enterprises in improving the prestige of Vietnam's furniture manufacturing, processing, and exporting industry while simultaneously improving its position on the global market.

Thien remarked that the project was supported funds from the United Kingdom through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and implemented from January 2019 to the end of 2022.

The initiative has assisted Vietnamese businesses in enhancing the value chain of Vietnam's wood and forest product export sector to the tune of $14.7 billion by 2021. During the first eleven months of 2022, exports totalled around $15.57 billion.

Anja Barth, the consultant in charge of the project, said that capacity training for stakeholders was a crucial responsibility for strengthening the compliance verification system and associated enforcement processes. Over 400 forest rangers and customs officials from 47 provinces and cities received training on imported wood control. At the same time, over 200 trainees from firms and timber organisations throughout the nation participated in a course on accountability.

According to Barth, the project also aims to promote dialogue among business owners of exporting and importing countries towards a sustainable supply chain, thereby helping to open opportunities for participants in the timber value chain to exchange experiences on VPA-FLEGT implementation with the European Union and international countries.

The project named "Support for the Implementation of the VPA-FLEGT in Vietnam" has aided in the creation of training, mentoring, and communication materials on the VPA-FLEGT agreement, as well as the organisation of training courses, workshops, dissemination, and capacity building for state management agencies and the business community.

This will help Vietnam import and use timber, mobilise businesses and people not to use and trade illegal timber, and be conscious and responsible for preventing deforestation.

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By Angela Nguyen

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