Get to grips with FLEGT (July 2015)

New Legal Document

29 June 2015: Department of Plant Protection, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has sent a document to the Department for Monitoring, General Administration of Customs on the phytosanitary exemption of some items including exported woodchip. For more information, visit  

News Highlights

Forestry sector restructuring to lift wood product exports
(VOV) – After the sector’s restructuring process started two years ago, the linkage between plantation, harvesting, processing and exporting timber has gained some positive achievements. Accordingly, the implementation of the plan for expanding the market, promoting trade and developing forest development policies will help ensure abundant timber material. This will gradually build up a “brand” for the country as one of the world timber processing hubs sourcing legal materials. This is also the aspiration of Vietnamese timber exporting enterprises in the context when Vietnam and the EU are preparing for the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA/FLEGT), which is expected to be signed by the end of this year.

Vietnam Forest Owners Association to be established
(Bao Nong nghiep) – There are millions of forest owners in the country, yet there is no association to connect them all together. The establishment of Vietnam Forest Owners Association has become urgent in order to tackle the challenges encountered by forests owners, support the owners in general and contribute to the development of the sector. On 8 July 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development together with related stakeholders held a conference to begin the establishment of this association.

VRG to liquidate 30000 ha of rubber plantation in 2016
(Vinanet) – Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) is planning for the liquidation of 30 thousand hectares of rubber plantation which is now at the end of the latex harvested period. It is expected that 8-9 mil m3 of rubber wood will be harvested, triggering the abundance of rubber wood in the market.

Many enterprises still uncertain of VPA/FLEGT
(Bao Phap luat) – According to a survey conducted by Centre for Education and Development (CED), under 60% of enterprises being asked have heard about VPA/FLEGT and three quarters of these enterprises said that they do not know its main content. Among the enterprises that had head of VPA/FLEGT, 73% are exporting their products to the EU market and account for 51% of the sector’s exports.

Forest destruction cause for alarm in Central Highlands
(Tien Phong) – According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the forest area in Central Highlands is 2.5 mil ha, of which, 2.2 mil ha is natural forest. During the period from 2008 to 2012, 120000 ha of forest lost is due to conversion to rubber plantation and hydropower plant construction. Deforestation and forest land encroachment have destroyed more than 88000 ha. In 6 consecutive years, the average forest area lost is over 50000 ha each year.


July 2015: The EU-funded FLEGT Project implemented by NEPCon and SFMI is inviting small and medium enterprises working in the timber industry to join the training and toolkit piloting programme aiming at sourcing low risk timber. For more information, visit


May 2015: The book “Beyond certification” by Scott Poynton. For more information, visit 


15 July 2015: Training on “Forest co-management: An approach to ensure sustainable forest management and equal distribution of forest resources’ benefit” by People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) in Gia Lai Province. For more information, visit

17 July 2015: Policy dialogue “Cassava development and forest protection in Vietnam: Situation and policy implication” by PanNature and Forest Trends in Hanoi.

6-9 August 2015: Saigon Trade Fair on Timber Products & Interior (in Hanoi). More information, visit