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Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade

(FLEGT)

 


In 2016 Vietnam’s wood and wood product exports to the EU equaled nearly USD 736 million. Forests are important ecosystems that contribute to Vietnam’s economy, and provide jobs and livelihoods: FLEGT will help to ensure that this resource will be used in an environmentally sustainable manner.

 

Vietnam is not only a timber producing country but also a significant country in the processing of timber products. Although there are numerous laws, regulations, and policies regulating the timber supply chain, there have still been numerous challenges with enforcement. As a result, Vietnam has participated in the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) process.

The Voluntary Partnership Agreement on FLEGT marked the start of the commitment between Vietnam and the European Union to work together on addressing illegal logging and trade. This is conducted through the establishment and operation of the Vietnamese Legality Timber Assurance System (VNTLAS).

 

As the Chair of VNGO-FLEGT Network (since 2012) and a representative of CSOs in the UN-REDD Program Steering Committee in Vietnam, SRD has coordinated and implemented many activities to improve the capacity of CSOs to be able to actively participate in VPA/ FLEGT negotiation and implementation processes. Many activities have been implemented, such as; consultation with forest dependent communities; developing an impact monitoring framework affecting forest planting households, timber processing enterprises; forest governance monitoring forums; commenting on legal documents and programs on forestry (Forestry Law, VNTLAS Decree, Circular on traceability of forest products, National Program on REDD+, etc).

 

SRD, along with the VNGO - FLEGT network, has assured the continued support for small and micro sized timber processing enterprises to comply with VNTLAS regulations as well as to minimize the possibly negative effects of this agreement. We understand that forests are important ecosystems that are essential for maintaining biodiversity and mitigating climate change in Vietnam, whilst also providing for people's livelihoods and the economy. We also believe that local knowledge and participation is essential for sustainable solutions. Our participation in the FLEGT process will bring the voices of communities to the attention of policy makers, and our projects further strive to ensure positive impacts of the VPA, and mitigate any potential negative impacts.

 

 

1. Promoting good governance in the forest sector

Overall goal: To improve forest management by strengthening community tenure rights and improving forest governance - specifically within the framework of the EU FLEGT process - through legal, institutional, and policy reform.

Activities:

o Community consultation on legality definitions

o Awareness raising on VPA/FLEGT

o Conduct livelihood impact assessment (LIA) to assess the potential impact of VPA on the livelihoods of vulnerable groups

 

2. Promoting FLEGT in Southeast Asia through proactive CSO engagement

Overall goal: Voluntary Partnership Agreement will lead to improved livelihood, forest governance and respect for tenure rights of forest dependent communities by providing space for CSO in the negotiation and implementation processes.

Activities:

o Capacity building for VNGO-FLEGT network member

o Conduct action research on the compliance of households to the timber legality requirements

o Write policy brief to inform VPA negotiators

o Develop case studies on the linkage between FLEGT and REDD+

 

3. CSO monitoring the impact of VPA in the context of FLEGT and REDD+

Overall goal: Consolidate CSO approach for monitoring the impacts of reinforced forest law enforcement and agreed VPA mechanisms, on forest governance and livelihoods of smallholders, forest dependent communities & small enterprises.

Activities:

o Develop methodologies and tools to monitor the likely impact of VPA to households and micro, small enterprises

o Baseline assessment

o Coordinate the VNGO-FLEGT network to provide comment/ consultation to the REDD+ and FLEGT related program and regulations

o Organise forest governance monitoring forum

 

We focus on addressing environmental issues, while always including the participation of the communities we work with:

o Networking for collective voices

o Evidence based advocacy through action research

o Independent monitoring

 

 

 

Below are stats to show the impact of our work with FLEGT:

 

o 40 staff from various CSOs trained on REDD+

 

o 30 representatives of households who plant forests, exploit or process timber assessed the impacts of the VPA on timber production

 

o 12 representatives of CSOs trained on Terra-i technology and joined a trail project on monitoring forest developments in real time

 

o 10 technical workshops received SRD comments and input regarding forest protection and development law

 

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