Two Vietnamese companies are the first in the country to be awarded the full certificate on forest management and chain of custody from the Forest Stewardship Council International (FSC) yesterday.
They are Dakto Plantation Single Member Limited Liability Company (Daktoplanco) in the Central Highland province of Kon Tum and Truong Son Forest Management Enterprise in the central province of Quang Binh.
Since 2007, these two state-owned enterprises have been selected as pilot sites for demonstration of the sustainable natural forest management and auditing for FSC certification under the German-Viet Nam technical corporation programme for the promotion of sustainable forest management, processing, trading and marketing of important forest products, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH under the commission of the Federal Ministry for Economic Corporation and Development (BMZ).
According to FSC, sustainable forest management means a balance among economic development, environmental protection and social benefit. FSC certificate is considered a tool to accredit sustainable forest management based on international standards. It is a marketing tool for the forestry, timber processing and trading industry to penetrate the international markets and sell their products at high prices.
The programme supports the National Forestry Development Strategy (2006-2020), which targets that 30 percent of the production forest area will be FSC certified by 2020.
It is a challenge for the production forests to attain FSC certification. The implementation of sustainable forest management and preparation for the audit of FSC certification for the natural forests is a long and complex process, which is finished when a set of stringent standards consisting of 10 principles are fully met. Each principle contains a number of criteria and monitoring indicators.
The implementation procedure comprises a series of steps, including forest inventory, forest function zoning, biodiversity assessment and environmental and social impact assessments. In addition, there is also policy and stakeholder consultation, which involves local communities, until the final implementation under the supervision and evaluation of a FSC commissioned company. Throughout that process, capacity building for stakeholders, experience exchange and technical consultation from international and domestic experts are integrated.
Deputy chief of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Forest Management Department Cao Chi Cong said sustainable forest management was both the government’s target and a request.
In Viet Nam until December 2012, natural forests covered an area of 10.4 million hectares.