In Viet Nam the implementation of the National Forest Development Strategy by 2020 has influence on all the activities within the forestry sector. Socialization of forest management is the main objective of the strategy through the involvement of people, organizations and economic entities in the management of forests and forestlands for conservation, poverty alleviation, and economic development. Due to the widespread participation and successful forest management, Viet Nam’s forest cover has greatly increased over the last two decades. However, efforts to protect the remaining natural forests face a number of challenges such as poverty in indigenous communities, and population pressure through urbanization and infrastructure development.
Another problem in the forest sector in Vietnam is the increasing demand for timber in the domestic and international markets. In Viet Nam the timber industry has not been developed and designed for long-term. It has been strongly influenced by regional and international markets, as well as the booming development of the domestic market without an adequate strategy from the government. To address these sustainability concerns, Viet Nam began the Volunteer Partnership Agreement (VPA) negotiation process in 2010 and developed a Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS) that would help the timber industry to comply with the legality requirements of the markets in the European Union. This ongoing process is time-consuming and requires much preparation and effort from the local government as well as the timber industry.
In this context, there is a need for sound knowledge and research-based information that will help decision-makers to formulate appropriate policies for sustainable forest management and improved livelihoods. TBI Viet Nam has supported a number of projects on the theme of forest land allocation (FLA); initial results have proved to be useful for decision-making processes.
In this operation phase (2012-2016), TBI Viet Nam will focus its research on productive landscapes and sustainable timber trade for domestic and international markets. TBI Viet Nam has been working on the following subjects:
At the national level, TBI Viet Nam works in partnership with the Viet Nam’s Academy of Forest Science (formerly FSIV), Forest Inventory & Planning Institute, and Hue University of Agriculture & Forestry. TBI Viet Nam also works closely with the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development for agenda setting. At the international level, TBI Viet Nam’s key partners include Utrecht University and Wageningen University & Research Center.
The North Central Eco-Agricultural Region (from Thanh Hoa to Thua Thien Hue province) serves as the main research area of the programme.