Get to grips with FLEGT (March 2016)

News Highlights

Timber export to EU: Monitoring the path of timber materials
( – One of the biggest concerns of the EU is the origin of materials of timber products imported from Vietnam. This is also a barrier to Vietnam’s timber products exports to key markets in the world, where raw materials are required to be from legal origin. According to Mr. Ngo Sy Hoai, Deputy Secretary of VIFORES, the VPA will help to boost exports and easier penetration into the EU market. It also helps to reassure consumers in this market when buying timber products from Vietnam.

 Sustainable planting, management and harvest of forests
(DNNet) – With 300,000 employees and the worth of nearly 7 billion USD (data of 2015), the timber industry of Vietnam has been developed strongly based on natural forests. However, the FSC certification model and lessons of sustainable planting, management and harvest of forests has changed perceptions, livelihood and the lives of people here; while reducing the pressure on natural resources of the country as well as minimising the import and trade of illegal timber from other countries in the region.

 SRD’s comments on the draft replacement circular for Circular 35/2011/TT-BNNPTNT
(TN&MT) – Currently, Vietnam Administration of Forestry – MARD is in the process of stakeholder consultation for the Circular 35/2011/TT-BNNPTNT about guidance on harvesting and the utilisation of timber and non-timber forest products. Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) – Board of Management of VNGO-FLEGT Network organised a workshop for related stakeholders to comment on the draft replacement circular.

 Timber export: Impressive growth
(Công Thương) – According to Ministry of Industry and Trade, the export of timber and timber products in the first 2 months of the year reached 1 billion USD, which is 3.4% higher than the same period last year, and higher than the growth rate of total export turnover of the whole country. However, “… Mr. Nguyen Ton Quyen, Vice Chairman and General Secretary of VIFORES – admitted, material origins is one of the three challenges of wood exports in 2016. The furniture importing markets all require legal timber, while Vietnam still does not have specific guidelines. ”

EU Timber Regulation starts to bite
Three years after the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) was imposed, in March 2016, government officials took the first public actions to enforce the rules on the import of potentially illegal tropical timber. Sweden and the Netherlands have formally notified two companies that imported wood products from Cameroon and Myanmar – allegedly without undertaking effective due diligence – that they may be subject to sanction.

    • Wood from Cameroon imported to the Netherlands: The Netherlands food and consumer product safety authority (NVWA) has filed a report with the public prosecutor against a Dutch company for breaching the EU timber regulation and failing to execute proper due diligence to prevent illegal logged timber from reaching the EU market. The timber comes from Cameroon’s intact rainforest. The move comes after Dutch authorities were sent a Greenpeace investigation into a Cameroonian timber trader, CCT – a supplier to the Dutch company. For more information on this case, visit
    • Myanmar wood imported into Sweden via Thailand: The Swedish authorities also tackled an import case, by a company called Retlog Ltd., involving teak flooring. The products had been processed in Thailand using logs from Myanmar, also known as Burma. The enforcement agency publicly referenced the high incidence of forest sector corruption in the source country as a key determinant of risk. Earlier in February 2016, another Swedish company was received a corporate fine under the EUTR for placing illegally harvested timber on the market. The timber was harvested in Sweden. The company had not done necessary actions to avoid the illegal actions to take place. They have chosen to pay the fine of 15 000 Swedish Krone instead of being taken to court.



2016: Training plan for 2016 of Handicraft and Wood Industry Association (HAWA). For more information, please visit



 24 Feb 2016: Tropical timber market report for Feb 2016. Please visit:

 03 Mar 2016: EUTR News from March 2015 to March 2016 from ClientEarth. Please visit:

 21 Mar 2016: A group of international NGOs has issued a briefing paper calling on the EU to strengthen the measures contained in the FLEGT Action Plan as a way of tackling illegal logging. The briefing is the NGOs’ contribution to the policy debate related to the evaluation of the FLEGT Action Plan, the review of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), and the EU’s commitment to halt deforestation and restore degraded forests by 2020. Please visit

March 2016: Launch of a new portal dedicated to sharing accurate information about EU FLEGT Action Plan. This is a one-stop site where users can access and share news, research, training materials and many other resources related to FLEFT. It also serves as networking hub for civil society, private sector and governmental organisations as well as individuals who are working on the Action Plan. Visit:



04 Mar 2016: The Forest Protection and Development Fund has held the Conference on Implementation of the 2016 plan of Forest Protection and Development Fund in association with Policy on payments for forest environmental services (PFES) in Lao Cai province. For more information:

 13 Mar 2016: Ms. Ann Weddle – Chief Advisor of FLEGT project (NEPCon/SFMI), had an interview with VTV4 about FLEGT/VPA with an introduction to the project’s toolkit. Watch the program on:

 17 Mar 2016: Opening ceremony for the project Promoting the Establishment and Building capacity for Vietnam Association of Forest Owners. To be implemented in two years (2016 – 2017), the project with support the establishment of Vietnam Association of Forest Owners with the structure and effective management strategies in order to support the growing number of small-scale forest owners, especially women and ethnic minorities. The project will also focus on capacity building for members to better protect their forests, ensure the right to use, and improve their livelihoods and income from the forest. For more information:

 22-23 Feb 2016: Project FLEGT – Central Region in collaboration with the Center for Rural Development (CRD) and the Center for Research and Consultation on Natural Resources Management (CORENARM) organised a workshop to summarise the activities of the Project in the 2nd year and plan for the activities in the 3rd year in Hue City. Over the two days, the Project received many ideas and suggestions to build the 3rd year plan (4/2016 – 4/2017). Many of the proposed activities are close to the need and expectations of stakeholders in managing and protecting the forest sustainably, and combating illegal timber harvest according to the EU FLEGT Action Plan. For more information: