Huong Hoa District: Workshop on “Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade” (FLEGT)

Funded by The European Union (EU) and ICCO (The Netherlands), the FLEGT Project Management Unit (PMU) in Central Vietnam in cooperation  with Forest Protection Department (FPD) of Quang Tri Province and the People’s Committee of Huong Hoa District held a workshop on “Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Program” (FLEGT) on 5 August, 2014 in Huong Hoa District, Quang Tri Province. The workshop was within a series of workshop activities on FLEGT Program in 4 provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam.

h1 Picture 1. Opening speech for Workshop on FLEGT program by Mr. Khong Trung – Director of FPD of Quang Tri province

The main objective of the workshop was to deliver a general introduction about the project “Promoting the participation of the Central Vietnam VNGO-FLEGT Network in the FLEGT-VPA process”; to provide information of issues related to negotiations and implementation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements on FLEGT program and especially to collect comments from the participants for recommendations to the negotiation and implementation of VPA/FLEGT. The workshop has attracted the representatives from FPD of Quang Tri Province, Quang Tri Union of Science and Technology Associations, People’s Committee of Huong Hoa District, leaders of agencies, chambers at district level and of Huong Tan and  Huong Son Communes, Huong Hoa District, representatives of WWF Organization in Hue, representatives of households who planted and protected forest, wood processing enterprises and households who got forest stewardship certification (FSC) in Trung Son commune, Gio Linh district, Quang Tri province. Through the workshop, Mr. Truong Si Hoai Nhan – Director of FLEGT project together with the consultants from Consultative and Research Center on Natural Resource Management (CORENARM) provided the participants with the general information about FLEGT Project in Central Region, the negotiation process of VPA/FLEGT between the EU and the Vietnamese Government in implementing Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Program” (FLEGT); The European Timber Regulation (EUTR); Timber legality assurance systems (TLAS); The situation of  FLEGT Program in Quang Tri Province; and the opportunities and challenges for managers and forest dependent communities when being involved in VPA/FLEGT process.
At the workshop, the participants took part in discussions and information exchanging and sharing on issues related to the FLEGT program such as: How to contribute to the enforcement of VPA / FLEGT and what are the benefits when involving in the Agreement? A participant revealed: “FLEGT is a completely new program for social organizations, community organizations as well as officials working in the local forestry sector; thus they have yet to access and fully know thoroughly about FLEGT program as well as the criteria in Timber legality assurance systems (TLAS. Therefore, it was suggested by the participants that FLEGT project in Central Region develop appropriate and effective communication strategies and imlement activities aiming at capacity building for officials and local people, particularly the ethnic minority people in mountainous areas.” The participants also claimed that “FLEGT is a practically significant program that matches the trend of global integration in terms of forest resource management. The FLEGT certification will contribute to enhancing the value of timber and timber products, increasing incomes for local people and communities. The European Union (EU) market is a stable one in terms of prices and input materials, so that the risks in exports of timber and timber products will be reduced for forest dependent people and timber enterprises.”

Through the workshop, the FLEGT PMU has collected many opinions from the participants, which would be summarized and sent to Vietnam Administration of Forestry to contribute to the recommendations for the process of  VPA/FLEGT negotiation and signing between the European Union (EU) and the Government of Vietnam in late October, 2014.

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