Vietnam is negotiating a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU and working towards a timber licensing system under the EU Forest Legality Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme.
The project aims to strengthen the capacity of Vietnamese Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to fulfil the EU FLEGT requirements. By providing tools and training for the SMEs through key organisations, the project will support legal timber trade in and out of Vietnam.
Vietnam has a thriving timber processing and exporting industry, mainly consisting of SMEs.
The country epitomises many challenges for the industry in producer countries in fulfilling the FLEGT criteria.
To boot, the products exported from in Vietnam in large part consist in assembled and manufactured products, adding to the complexity of tasks such as verifying timber species contained in a product and their origin.
The project will provide a due diligence toolkit with guidance for SMEs on how to tackle FLEGT criteria for legality assurance. This is combined with targeted training for the SMEs.
The project involves so-called “Intermediary Organisations”, such as timber trade associations, NGOs, and others which are in frequent contact with timber processing SMEs. These key organisations are trained to provide training for SMEs.
The project will also conduct legality risk evaluations for countries that often provide timber for the Vietnamese processing industry, including recommendations for measures to mitigate the specific risk that exists within each country. These assessments will provide fundamental and essential help for Vietnamese processing industries in determining which actions they need to take.
The project’s outreach programme also includes an awareness raising campaign amongst the Vietnamese industry at large.
The overall outcome expected from this project is that the Vietnamese timber industry in general and the SMEs in particular will be in a better position to meet the EU FLEGT requirements and fulfil demands for timber legality assurance from overseas buyers, based on the tools developed by the project.
The following concrete results are expected:
- Capacity building provided for 15 intermediary organisations (50-75 people) to train SMEs on implementing FLEGT requirements using the toolkit developed by the project
- Risk mitigation toolkit for Vietnamese SMEs – pilot tested on 20-25 SMEs
- Awareness campaign on how to effectively implement FLEGT requirements directly reaches 300-500 SMEs, and thousands more indirectly
- Timber legality risk assessments conducted for five key import countries
- Evaluation of relevant legality verification and certification systems
- Supply chain mapping tool
- Mapping of the timber supply chain within Vietnam
- Wide dissemination of project outputs and results.