The Network of Vietnamese Non-Government Organizations on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VNGO-FLEGT)

Posted at: 09:08:49 23/08/2016 - View: 1402
FLEGT stands for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade.

 FLEGT is initiated by the European Union in 2003 and European Commission has initiated the FLEGT Action Plan. The EU FLEGT Action Plan sets out a programme of actions that forms the European Union’s response to the problem of illegal logging and the trade in associated timber products.
The cornerstone of the EU FLEGT Action Plan is the negotiation of binding bilateral trade agreements with timber producing countries known as Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs). The aim of the VPAs is to ensure that timber sold in the EU is legal. The VPA sets out the commitments and responsibilities of both parties. In 2010, Vietnamese government participated officially in VPA negotiation process with the EU.

The VNGO-FLEGT Network was founded in Jan 2012 with the expectation to positively contribute to the negotiation and implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) and FLEGT Program in Viet Nam, with the ultimate goal to contribute to the implementation of the Forest Management, Protection and Development Plan 2011 – 2020, and to promote the establishment of mechanisms / policies supporting equitable and sustainable benefits for local forest-dependent communities.

As of December 2014, the VNGO-FLEGT network consists of 46 member organizations nationwide.

The roles of VNGO-FLEGT overall include:

  • Providing information accurately and timely to the VPA negotiation process and commenting on VPA/FLEGT-related policies and regulations.
  • Building capacity for relevant stakeholders to better implement the VPA.
  • Performing a social supervision role in future VPA implementation.

The roles of VNGO-FLEGT during VPA negotiation include:

  • Enhancing the capacity for VNGOs and raising community awareness on VPA/FLEGT-related issues.
  • Consulting communities on community-related contents in the VPA.
  • Researching potential impacts of VPAs negotiation on vulnerable groups.
  • Providing advice on the VPA’s contents based on working experience at community level and the results of research.

The roles of VNGO-FLEGT during implementation of a VPA should include:

  • Continuously increase the capacity for VNGOs and raise community awareness on VPA/FLELGT-related issues.
  • Support the Vietnamese Government and EU to convey VPA/FLEGT-related information accurately to VNGOs and communities.
  • Convey feedback and aspirations of communities on VPA implementation to relevant authorities.
  • Be considered the formal Independent Monitor, together with ‘self mandated’ monitoring by communities or CSOs in close contact to network members, to contribute to the integrity of VPA implementation.
  • Coordinate with relevant stakeholders to minimise risks that may occur during VPA implementation.

Activities implemented by the network:

  • Community consultation on timber legality definition in 33 villages / 14 communes / 6 districts, in Yen Bai, Bac Kan, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien Hue, Lam Dong, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau
  • Assessment of the livelihood impacts of the VPA/FLEGT on 3 vulnerable groups: i) forest-dependent households without forest land; ii) households planting forest without legal ownership of their land plots; iii) households in woodcraft villages
  • Research on articles of the Law of Forest Protection and Development, related to households and communities
  • Provision of comments to VNForest regarding the content of the VPA, based on actual research findings
  • Organization of trainings and workshops to share and discuss VPA/FLEGT related issues
  • Organization of communication campaigns to raise awareness about the FLEGT/VPA for people in 2 districts in Vietnam
  • Assessment of potential VPA impacts on the livelihood of vulnerable forest-dependent groups” (LIA) in Phu Luong (Thai Nguyen), Yen Binh (Yen Bai).
  • Assessment of potential VPA impacts on the livelihood of vulnerable forest-dependent groups in Red River Delta (LIA) in Dong Ky (Bac Ninh), Huu Bang (Ha Noi)
  • Research into the ability of household engaged in timber harvesting, trade, transportation and processing to meet requirements of VPA on Legality of Timber in Yen Bai, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien Hue, Quy Nhon, Bà Ria Vung Tau.
    Next course of activities:
  • Continue to comment on the content of the VPA
  • Expand the network, encourage the extensive participation of CSOs at the central and local level
  • Increase awareness raising, sharing of information and concerns of NGOs and local communities on current VPA/FLEGT issues
  • Implement 3 projects on VPA/FLEGT

Donors and Partners