PEFC sharpens its focus on Viet Nam
5 July 2016 News
With a committed government, engaged local stakeholders and a new PEFC support office, Viet Nam is well on the road to developing its own national forest certification system in line with PEFC international requirements.
“It is fantastic to be here and see the strong desire from the national government and local stakeholders alike to develop the Vietnam Forest Certification Scheme (VFCS),” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, during his visit to the country. “The progress they have made so far, and the sheer potential for uptake of forest certification, is impressive.”
The government’s commitment to establishing the Vietnam Forest Certification Council (VFCC), which will take on the role of running the national system, was once again reiterated by Mr. Ha Cong Tuan, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) as he met with Ben for a one-on-one meeting.
“Mr. Gunneberg and Mr. Ha Cong Tuan have made a strong commitment to develop and operate the Vietnam Forest Certification Scheme as soon as is possible,” said Dr. Vu Tan Phuong, Director of International Cooperation and Training.
“This will support the forestry industry in meeting market demands, while at the same time will strengthen the ecological functions of our forests, particularly in the context of climate change,” Dr. Phuong continued.
The PEFC Support Desk
Responding to the growing demand for PEFC Chain of Custody certification in the country, Ben’s trip to Viet Nam also included the opening of the new PEFC Support Desk at the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association (HAWA) office in Ho Chi Minh City.
This office will act as a center point for providing technical support to the furniture processing hotspot of Ho Chi Minh City, and other adjacent provinces.
“We are happy to welcome international NGOs such as PEFC as they support our members in obtaining PEFC Chain of Custody, and we look forward to using the VFCS to fulfill market requirements,” said Mr. Nguyen Chanh Phuong, Secretary General of HAWA at the opening ceremony.
“Growing PEFC Chain of Custody in Viet Nam is a vital component of expanding PEFC-certified products on the global market. Significant volumes of PEFC-certified wood are currently imported to Viet Nam for product manufacturing, and then re-exported to markets worldwide. Moreover, domestic PEFC-certified sources will also soon be available,” remarked Ben.
“We therefore look forward to collaborating with stakeholders to increase production of PEFC-certified product in Viet Nam.”