Sustainable forests project launched hinh anh 1Forest rangers put up a sign warning of forest fires in Van Canh district of the central province of Binh Dinh (Photo: VNA)

Quang Tri (VNA) - A project on sustainable forests, jointly implemented by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), has officially launched.

The project, entitled ’Promotion of Sustainable Management of Production Forests by Forest Companies in Vietnam, will be carried out in the period between 2017 and 2019, with a total funding of 692,185 EUR (772,000 USD) and a counterpart fund of 55,000 EUR (61,000 USD).

The project was assigned to the Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences (VAFS), as the project owner, and DFS and HessenForest (Germany), as consultants to provide technical support.

The three main objectives of the project are strengthening sustainable forest management in the selected State forest companies; establishing a training centre for sustainable forest management and forest certification; and replication of capacity building for forest companies and related agencies through training courses.

Currently, sustainable forest management and forest certification is one of the top priorities in the forestry sector in Vietnam, according to forestry experts.

The Forestry Development Strategy 2006-20 has set a target of having at least 3 percent of production forest areas certified as managed in a sustainable fashion by 2020, they said.

However, the implementation of sustainable forest management and forest certification in Vietnam was far behind the expected targets.

To promote sustainable forest management and forest certification in Vietnam, one of the current priorities was to build the capacity of forest owners and stakeholders for sustainable forest management.

With the support of the project, the training centre for sustainable forest management and forest certification will be established to deliver the training courses to forest owners across the country from 2018.

This is a first model of training centre in Vietnam on sustainable forest management and certification that will be built on a joint cooperation between forestry research institute and forest companies (for demonstration activities).

It is expected to make significant contribution to capacity building for the stakeholders in the field of sustainable forest management in Vietnam, contributing to the implementation of forest sector restructuring project.

As of 2016, about 205,000ha of forest were certified for sustainable forest management.

On June 15, the project launch workshop was held in Dong Ha city of Quang Tri province with the participation of representatives from Vietnam Administration of Forestry, International Cooperation Department, and Agriculture and Rural Development departments of Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces and project partners.-VNA