WWF launches forest and trade network in Vietnam | WWF

WWF launches forest and trade network in Vietnam



Posted on 03 October 2005
Fuelwood harvested from natural forests makes up over 60 per cent of rural energy needs in Vietnam. Firewood stall at a market near Danang, Vietnam.
© WWF / Soh Koon Chng
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – WWF, in partnership with Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, will launch the Vietnam Forest & Trade Network (VFTN), the first ever network to promote business links between producers of responsible forest products in Vietnam and concerned buyers around the world.

To promote the launch and educate the industry about its services, the VFTN will host an exhibition stand at the Ho Chi Minh City International Furniture and Handicraft Fair 2005, which takes place from 3 to 7 October 2005, at the International Exhibition & Convention Center in Ho Chi Minh City. 
 
VFTN is a chapter of the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN), WWF’s worldwide initiative to eliminate illegal logging and improve the management of valuable and threatened forests. By facilitating trade links between companies committed to achieving and supporting responsible forestry, the GFTN creates market conditions that help conserve forests, while providing economic and social benefits for the businesses and people who depend on them.

The Danish company Scancom, one of the largest suppliers of outdoor furniture in the world and an industry leader in responsible wood-sourcing, has already committed to joining the VFTN and is supporting its contract manufacturers in Vietnam to follow suit.

"We are very enthusiastic about participating in the VFTN,” said Chad Ovel, Managing Director of ScanCom Vietnam Ltd. “We hope that our participation in this forum will help motivate others in our industry to eliminate illegal wood from their supply chain and embrace FSC-certified wood as the raw material of choice.” 
 
Vietnamese exports of wood products have tripled since the mid-1990s, making the manufacture of wooden furniture for export one of the fastest growing industries in the country. The more than 1,200 companies involved in timber processing require approximately 2 million m³ of wood per year.

Increased timber imports are feeding the industry, and the resulting footprint that Vietnam leaves on the forests of other nations could be destructive. By helping processors to find legal and sustainable sources of wood, the VFTN will play a valuable role both in Vietnam and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. 
  
There is great potential to build sustainable forestry within Vietnam using certification as a key tool. The VFTN provides a supportive framework by which forest managers can work towards credible certification. In addition, it facilitates links with a global network of responsible buyers, helping to stimulate a vibrant Vietnamese forest industry.

The services and market links provided by the VFTN will support Vietnamese State Forest Enterprises to comply with current Vietnamese government reforms, which aim to modernize state owned enterprises and help bring them into the increasingly competitive global market. 

Notes:
• Vietnam is the 24th FTN to join this rapidly growing network, which is active in nearly 30 consumer and producer nations throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Over 400 companies have made commitments to responsible forest management and purchasing of forest products, including major retailers such as IKEA, Carrefour, and B&Q. 

• The VFTN invites all attendees of the Ho Chi Minh City International Furniture and Handicraft Fair to visit its booth (# B12) to learn more about the benefits of participation. 

For more information
Sander van den Ende 
Vietnam Forest & Trade Network 
WWF Indochina Vietnam Programme 
Tel: +84 4 736 6375, ext. 131 
Email: vftn@wwfvn.org.vn 
Fuelwood harvested from natural forests makes up over 60 per cent of rural energy needs in Vietnam. Firewood stall at a market near Danang, Vietnam.
© WWF / Soh Koon Chng Enlarge
The Vietnam Forest & Trade Network (VFTN) was launched at the Ho Chi Minh City International Furniture and Handicraft Fair 2005.
© WWF Vietnam Enlarge