The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-governmental organization established in 1993 in Canada, an internationally recognized FSC, non-profit, FSC established to prevent Exploitation of forests is indiscriminate, encouraging exploitation along with sustainable development around the world. The FSC Forest Management Board has developed a FSC certification with a set of ten principles and 56 criteria to serve as a basis for assessing the forest management and use of forest products by forest owners and producers. Forest products. FSC certification is valid for 5 years and is accepted on a global scale. FSC will conduct annual reassessment of the commitment to exploit and manage the forest resources of FSC certified entities. The benefits of FSC certification are enormous, particularly: on the environment, ensuring the harvest of timber and non-timber products while maintaining and developing biodiversity and productivity; In terms of society, local people and the whole society enjoy long-term benefits from forests, strongly encouraging local people to follow long-term forest management plans and maintain forest resources; In terms of economic value, minimize wastage of forest resources. Increase the economic value of products by 20 – 30% compared to conventional products; In terms of brand value, achieving FSC brand certification of forest products will be enhanced.

According to statistics of forest and forest land status in Thanh Hoa province in 2016, the total area of ​​forest and forest land under the plan of 3 forest types in the whole province is 647,410.07 ha, including 594,300 forest land, 54 ha (natural forest: 383,110.26 ha, plantation forest: 211,190.28 ha). Thanh Hoa province also has the largest area of ​​bamboo in the country, with 71,053 hectares, accounting for 55.1% of the total forest area. In the past years, despite the fact that the area of ​​natural forest, forest area and planted forest has increased, the area of ​​forest has not decreased, but due to many reasons of forest quality and biodiversity. Potential for negative impacts will be negatively impacted on the environment, limiting the availability of forest products to the economy and the daily needs of people dependent on forests. Wood products from luong bamboo are not of high economic value and have no sustainable brand in the market as the strengths and potential of the province. Evaluation experts in Vietnam in general and in Thanh Hoa in particular, in addition to the forest protection measures being implemented such as the Law on Forest Protection and Development (Replaced by the Forest Law coming into force in January / 2019), Sustainable Forest Program, Payment for Forest Environmental Services, etc., need to approach and implement forest management and protection with sustainable forest management and sustainable forest certification. (FSC).

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, some major markets importing wood products of Vietnam such as the United States, Europe and Australia are increasingly demanding the use of raw materials of legal origin. At the conference “Orientations and solutions for fast and sustainable development of wood processing and export forest products” held in Ho Chi Minh City on 08/8/2018, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan “In the next 10 years, Vietnam’s wood processing and forestry products industry must become a key industry in Vietnam’s production and exports; To strive for Vietnam to become one of the leading countries in the world of producing, processing and exporting wood and forest products with a prestigious trademark on the international market. ” In this context, with great potential from the forests of Thanh Hoa province, timber products must be harvested from forests that have been FSC certified (including plantation and natural forest), ie Forests that have been managed sustainably according to FCS requirements are indispensable for forest owners in general and state forest owners in the province to apply in the future.

Identify the importance of FSC certification in forest management and protection and at the same time to contribute to the completion of the Sustainable Forestry Program in Thanh Hoa Province in general and to allow access of timber products in the province. In the past, Thanh Hoa Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has directed the concerned units and state forest owners to study and plan the implementation of forest certification. Forest areas in the province. However, due to the financial resources of the forest owners, there is a lack of technical staff capable of applying the FSC process. The area of ​​natural forest of large forest owners is not allowed to be exploited. The combination of small-scale forest owners together with the FSC was difficult because many forest owners did not see the economic benefits so they did not cooperate. Therefore, there is no area or forest owner with sustainable forest management certificate in accordance with FSC standards.

In order to contribute to the improvement of the situation, from February 20, 2008, the Support for Preparedness for REDD + implementation in Vietnam – phase 2 (FCP2 project) is supporting Lang Protection Forest Management Board The Chief Executive Officer of the FSC issued the FSC certificate for 3,735 ha of plantation forest and 6,501 ha of protection forest. This is the first state forest owner in Vietnam to develop a FSC certificate. Accordingly, the FCPF2 project has sent experts from FSC to coordinate with the Lang Chanh PPMU to assess the current status of forest management, FSC needs assessment, capacity assessment and Training course on the process of developing the FSC records for staff of the Lang Chanh Protection Forest Management Board and related units such as the Forest Protection Department, the Agriculture and Rural Development Division, the Natural Resources and Environment Division of the Lang Chanh Commune People’s Committee and the People’s Committees of the communes. in the relevant district of Lang Chanh. It is expected that in October 2018 the sustainable forest management plan under the FSC will be submitted to Thanh Hoa Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for approval, in December 2018 will organize the assessment, January to February 2019 will formally assess the basis FSC certification for Lang Chanh Forest Protection Board in 2019. In addition, FCPF2 will also organize a study tour for staff of relevant units and Forest managers are directly under Thanh Hoa Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in units that have been granted FSC certificates in the central provinces and held provincial workshops to share experience in implementing and developing plans for implementing FSC for forest owners. the whole province.

With the potential and urgency of the FSC certification in Thanh Hoa province, especially the Lang Chanh Forest Protection Department, which is expected to receive FSC certification in 2019, will be the driving force for forest owners in general and owners. State Forests in particular, in the province, pay attention to timely and timely investment in FSC certification. However, in order to solve difficulties for forest owners, it is necessary to have preferential mechanisms and policies of the branch and authorities in the implementation of FSC certification. FSC certification is an extremely important element contributing to the sustainable management of forest resources, contributing to improving the economic efficiency of the forest for local communities and the whole society, as well as an opportunity to confirm the value. Trademark of forest products of Thanh Hoa province nationwide and in the international market.

Hoang Van Tuan – CORENACCA Consultant

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