Get to grips with FLEGT (April 2016)

News Highlights

Vietnam and EU finished the sixth round of negotiation on the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT)
(VNFOREST) – The 6th round of negotiation finished on 13th Apr 2016 and both sides reached agreement on the following issues: (i) Vietnam’s Timber Legality Assurance System (VNTLAS), will be applied to wood and wood products exported to the EU, other countries, as well as the domestic market; (ii) the FLEGT licensing mechanism for timber exported to the EU; (iii) Risk-based verification and monitoring of imported timber, in the context that both sides acknowledged the complexity of timber’s tracebility in harvesting countries and importer’s responsibility in accountability for the origin of the timber. The next round of negotiation (TWG7) will take place in Brussels early July 2016.

Sustainable forest management at Tân Hối Village
(Tin Môi Trường) – Pilot model for community-based sustainable forest management at Tân Hối Village, Hồng Bắc Commune, A Lưới District, Thừa Thiên Huế Province, implemented by FLEGT project in Central Vietnam, has achieved positive results in forest management in combination with household’s livelihood improvement. The activities to support the model focused on three main areas: Supporting the community to manage and protect the forest effectively; Developing activities to improve livelihoods and incomes; Training to build capacity, communications activities for forest-dependant communities to have more information and knowledge about FLEGT VPA process between Vietnam and EU.

Efforts to adapt to new “playground”
(Công Thương) – When the FLEGT VPA is signed, all timber exported to the EU market will need to be of legal origin. Vietnam’s enterprises are currently trying to increase timber imports from countries with low risk in timber legality and with sustainable forest governance in order to fulfil the need for timber processing and export.

FSC and the way to go for the timber industry
 (Nhịp Cầu Đầu Tư) –  In order to meet the stringent requirements on the origin of timber materials in major importing markets such as the US and EU, FSC certification, an independent third party scheme with strict rules for timber haversting and production process, is the answer to the problem. Although the investment in terms of time and effort for FSC certification is high, it is still the “way to go” for timber enterprises, because once they are certified, their timber products can have the “visa” to the world’s most difficult but lucrative markets. Forest Products Export JSC of Quang Nam (Forexco) are given as an example.

The origin of imported timber materials shall be known
At the seminar “Vietnam imports timber materials: Opportunities and Risk in the context of integration” took place on 4th Apr 2016, Dr. Tô Xuân Phúc, expert from Forest Trends, said that in recent years, the imported timber has been increasing in both volume and diversity (species, countries of origin). The volume of imported round wood and sawn wood is expected to increase over 10% per year. Besides, there is a shift in the types of imported timber, from high value and valuable wood, which originates from natural forests, to more popular wood species which have lower values and originate from plantations. In the integration process, for a sustainable development of timber industry in Vietnam, we must meet the legitimate requirements from importing markets on legality, and origin of materials. So in order to control the risks of timber origin, it is crucial that we have access to transparent information on imported timber materials.

Indonesia meets final requirement for FLEGT licensing
On 21 April 2016, The Presidents of Indonesia, the European Commission and the European Council confirmed that Indonesia has met the final major requirement of its Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU and is on course to become the world’s first country to issue FLEGT licences. This milestone in the FLEGT VPA programme is the strongest sign yet that, by harnessing the power of the EU market, it is possible to improve forest governance and assure buyers that timber products comply fully with laws in their countries of origin.



May 2016: FSC International is inviting all interested stakeholders to provide their feedback on new risk assessments – for Bulgaria, Denmark, Myanmar, Slovakia and Viet Nam – between 1 and 31 May 2016. For more information, please find at



Feb 2016: CITES announces the listing of the West African rosewood species Pterocarpus erinaceus on Appendix III, which will be effective from 9th May 2016. Appendix III is a list of wildlife and plant species identified by particular CITES member countries as being in need of international trade controls. For more information

30 Mar 2016: Magazine Gỗ Việt – issue no. 76 – Mar 2016. Please see

30 Mar 2016: Factsheet VPAs for SDGs: How Voluntary Partnership Agreements contribute to global development goals? For more information

Apr 2016: A new resource on FLEGT VPA for journalists or communications professionals reporting on the EU initiative to address illegal logging. This site was developed by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network in association with the EU FLEGT Facility. Access at



31 Mar 2016: Workshop for consultation on the draft Decision of the Prime Minister about Regulations on the Management of Production Forests. At the workshop, there were presentations from many consultants on the status of production forest management in Vietnam and the implementation of Decision no. 186/2006/QĐ-TTg and Decision no. 34/2013/QĐ-TTg related to production forest, their shortcomings and limitations.

06 Apr 2016: Workshop “Roles of CSOs in VPA-FLEGT process and implementation” in Hanoi. At the workshop, VNFOREST highly appreciated the roles and contributions of CSOs and community-based organisations in creating consensus in the society, predicting negative impacts, proposing mitigation measures, influencing to ensure transparency of the process and conveying the comments and concerns of timber processing enterprises and communities whose livelihoods depend on the forests to decision makers in FLEGT VPA process.—hoc-bong/do-ng-go-p-cu-a-ca-c-to–chu-c-xa–ho-i-trong-tie-n-tri-nh-da-m-pha-n-va–thu-c-hie-n-vpa–flegt_79_47848_1.html