Switzerland supports pioneer project on forest certification in Vietnam
The new project will promote the sustainable management of Vietnam's forests.
Hanoi, Vietnam - A three-year project has been launched to promote the sustainable management of forests in Vietnam. Led by the Swiss and the Vietnamese governments in partnership with WWF Indochina, the project aims to protect Vietnamese forests from over exploitation to ensure that future generations will still be able to take advantage of their country’s natural resources.
The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has allocated $US500,000 to support the project, which focuses both on conserving tropical forests and the wise use and trade in forest products. The main objective of the project, which will be coordinated by WWF Indochina, is to promote sustainable forest management. This will be achieved, in part, by developing and implementing forest certification in Gia Lai Province, a first for Vietnam and Switzerland. Certification will be based on the internationally acknowledged criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
European consumers in particular are more and more eager to know the origins of the products they buy. Many of them are willing to pay a higher price for a piece of furniture if they can be guaranteed that the timber came from a well-managed forest and was not illegally logged or traded.
In order to meet these requirements, the project will encourage the Vietnamese wood processing industry to use locally produced certified timber. Thus, it will benefit people living in remote and mainly poor areas who rely on forests for their livelihoods. An additional benefit is that FSC certification can yield a premium to those producers fulfilling the criteria validated by the FSC label.
Along with WWF Indochina, the project will involve various government and private sector partners at Vietnam’s central and provincial levels, including forestry related departments within the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the People’s Committee of Gia Lai and three other Central Highlands Provinces, state forest enterprises, communities managing forest land, the National Working Group on sustainable forest management, the forest products processing industry and exporters of processed products.
The project is expected to last until December 2005. H.E Mr Thomas Feller,
Ambassador of Switzerland to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, H.E Mr Nguyen Van Dang, Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam, and Mr Eric Coull, Representative of WWF Indochina Program, signed the final agreement on 5 May at the Melia Hotel Hanoi.
For further information:
Forest Programme Coordinator, WWF Indochina Programme
Tel: +84 4 733 8387