Training workshop in Independent Forest Monitoring
In December 2014, REM participated to a a training workshop on Independent Forest Monitoring organised in Vietnam by the network of Vietnamese Non-governmental organisations in Forest Law, Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VNGO-FLEGT).
Forest exploitation in Vietnam
According to a 2005 report conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Vietnam has the second highest rate of deforestation of primary forests in the world.
However, regarding total forest cover, Vietnam has undergone a forest transition: its forest cover has increased since the early 1990s, after decades of deforestation.[*]
As of 2005, 12,931,000 hectares (the equivalent of 39.7% of Vietnam's land cover) was forested, although only 85,000 hectares (0.7% of the land cover) was primary forest, the most biodiverse form of forest.
Introducing mandated and non mandated Independent Forest Monitoring
Ms. Vu Thi Bich Hop, Chairwoman of the Board of Management delivered the opening remark
From December 09 to December 12, 2014, with financial support from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), FERN and technical support from Resource Extraction Monitoring (REM), the VNGO-FLEGT Network had organized a training workshop on Independent Forest Monitoring (IFM) in Yen Nhi Hotel, Tam Coc – Bich Dong, Ninh Binh city. The workshop attracted more than 40 participants, who represented VNGO-FLEGT member organizations, local forestry experts and cadres.
IFM is a process required by the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), currently being negotiated between the Vietnamese government and the European Union. As it is still a new concept for most Vietnamese NGOs and CSOs, the tasks of building independent monitoring capacity and designing feasible IFM strategies are therefore essential to the success of VNGO-FLEGT. In this training workshop, the participants listened to the presentations given by Ms. Valerie Vauthier, Director of REM and IM-FLEG expert. Her presentations explored the concepts of formal and informal IFM and drew on REM’s experiences of providing technical support to NGOs/CSOs and implementing IFM in VPA countries in Africa.
Additionally, the trainees also had the chance to learn from the experiences of Vietnamese experts, who gave comprehensive presentations about the methods and knowledge applicable for the implementation of IFM in Vietnam. Based on the knowledge gained from these presentations, the trainees were asked to participate in brainstorms and group discussion to draft initial plans for assessing the possibility of and carrying out informal IFM’s pilot project in Vietnam’s provinces.
After two days of intensive training and many constructive discussions, the training workshop resulted in a better understanding about IFM among member organizations of VNGO-FLEGT Network. In the next step, VNGO-FLEGT plans to complete the IFM implementation plans in six provinces which were drafted at the end of the workshop and conduct field missions to study the prospect of IFM in Vietnam’s provinces.