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Expansion of certified forest in Vietnam is being driven by consumers


Article title

The tendency of expanding forest certification in Vietnam: Case analysis of certification holders in Quang Tri Province

Author (affiliation)

Seiji Iwanaga (a), Dang Thai Duong (b), Ho Thanh Ha (b), Nguyen Van Minh (b)

(a) Department of Forest Policy and Economics, FFPRI, Tsukuba Ibaraki, Japan.

(b) University of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University, Vietnam.

Publication Journal

Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly (JARQ), 53(1):69-80, January 2019 DOI:10.6090/jarq.53.69( External link )

Content introduction

To stop deforestation and forest degradation, it is necessary to create a mechanism that encourages their appropriate management by the governments, companies, and local people. One such approach includes the acquisition of forest certification following evaluation by a third party that sustainable forest management is being conducted.

Although the total area of certified forests has been expanding, most of these forests are located in European and North American countries. Therefore, it is important that forest certification system is disseminated in tropical areas wherein deforestation and forest degradation occur.

In Vietnam, the wood industry is developing, and the acquisition of forest certification has become popular. Therefore, here we investigated the factors that have driven this increase in certification by conducting interviews with companies and a farmers’ group who have obtained it.

We observed that the motivation for companies to obtain certification included government guidance, improved timber selling prices, and the need to sell in international markets. Also, the farmers’ group cited an increase in the number of companies seeking forest certified timber and a higher purchase price by those companies as reasons. As per these findings, we observed that there is a demand for certified timber by consumers, including processors and distributors in international markets and companies, which has resulted in the expanding certification acquisition.

This result demonstrates that the assertive consumption behavior for certified timber by consumers could help forest certification to become widely recognized. Thus, choosing certified timber will help to encourage sustainable and appropriate forest utilization, which, in turn, contributes to reducing deforestation and forest degradation.

Photo. Forest sustainably managed by a farmers’ group

Photo. Forest sustainably managed by a farmers’ group that obtained certification.


Figure. Changes in the area of certified forest in Vietnam
Figure. Changes in the area of certified forest in Vietnam. There has been a steady increase in both the area (bars) and number (line) of certified forests.