In Beijing, Delegates Share Viet Nam’s Efforts to Facilitate Legal and Sustainable Wood Product Trade

03 July 2008 | News story

IUCN Viet Nam continues to be a leader in raising awareness and facilitating the institution of improved forest governance through supporting the establishment of a FLEGT Action Plan. 

On June 18 and 19 representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and IUCN Viet Nam participated in a roundtable meeting, “China and the Global Forest Products Trade: Trade of Legal and Sustainable Wood in China,” held in Beijing. 

The representatives shared issues that stakeholders in Viet Nam face to address the changing global market demands for legal and sustainable wood products. The ability of the Vietnamese forest sector to respond will partly rely on the successful implementation of a Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.  The opportunities and challenges of instituting a FLEGT Action Plan in Viet Nam were shared to identify common constraints between Viet Nam and China, devise innovative solutions and determine best practices for promoting forest governance.

The Chinese forest processing sector and civil society groups shared their strategies to address the changes in market demand providing new insight for MARD and IUCN Viet Nam. Government representatives from the United States and the European Union provided further insight by outlining policy tools used by importing countries to encourage trade in legal and sustainable wood products. 

IUCN Viet Nam is playing a leading role in supporting the Government of Viet Nam establish a road map for a voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) to tackle illegal logging under the European Union’s FLEGT Action Plan.  In March, IUCN Viet Nam coordinated a briefing session for high-ranking government officials to raise awareness about the FLEGT Action Plan.

With technical assistance form IUCN, MARD hosted the “Meeting on Market Demands for Legal and Sustainable Wood Products,” in April.  This roundtable coordinated a dialogue between stakeholders to learn about changing timber market trends, their implications and to explore strategies to meet demands for legal and sustainable timber products. 

The FLEGT Action Plan is a policy tool that provides guidance to governments to adapt to changing market demands.  It aims to combat illegal logging through governance reform, improved transparency, information exchange and capacity building to foster sustainable forest management using trade mechanisms. 

The “China and the Global Forest Products Trade:  Trade of Legal and Sustainable Wood in China,” meeting was organized by IUCN China Liaison Office, Forest Trends and Chatham House.