Overview of Forest Sector

Forestry in Viet Nam is a specific economic-technical sector, playing a crucial role in the national socio-economic development, ensuring the sustainable and stable development of agriculture and rural areas, protection of the environment, stabilization of the national security and defense. In the past 75 years, the forestry sector has always received attention from the Party and the State, in addition to substantial support from international development partners, the private sector, and the people. This has resulted in significant contributions to the overall growth of the agriculture and rural development sector, as well as the national economic growth and improvement of livelihoods of rural residents, especially those who depend on forests.

With geographical location and natural characteristics, forests in Viet Nam are rich in resources and biodiversity and are home to many endemic species. As of 2020, forest land occupies 45.1% of the total land area of Viet Nam[1] while the area with forest cover is 14,677,215 ha, equivalent to 42.01% of the total land area[2]. According to figures announced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, 70% of the forested area is classified as natural forests of different types (10,279,185 ha) and 30% is planted forest (4,398,030 ha)[3].

In terms of forest use purposes, Viet Nam’s forests are classified into 3 categories — special-use forest, protection forest and production forest. As of 2020, 53.3% of the forested area is production forest (7,818,480 ha), 31.9% is protection forest (4,685,504 ha), and 14.8% is special-use forest which includes national parks and other protected areas (2,173,231 ha)[4].

With regard to forest land allocation and usage rights, around 21.7% of the total forest area is allocated to individuals and households; 7.9% is allocated to village communities; 11.8% is allocated to economic organizations; 20% is under the management of the commune authorities; and 35.5% is under State management boards for special use and protection forests[5]. Nationwide, there are over 1.5 million rural households using forestry land and over 115,000 forestry households which devote most of their labor and obtain the major share of their incomes from forestry[6].

According to the Viet Nam Forestry Development Strategy for the 2021-2030 and vision to 2050, the forest cover will be stable at 42-43%; the forestry sector will effectively contribute to achieving the greenhouse gas reductions as committed in the Nationally Determined Contribution for a green country of Viet Nam[7].

Moreover, based on the updated Nationally Determined Contribution of Viet Nam, by 2030, Viet Nam will have reduced its GHG emissions by 9% with domestic resources and this contribution can be raised up to 27% with international support through bilateral as well as multilateral cooperation and the implementation of new mechanisms under the Paris Agreement[8]. Of which, the forestry sector will have reduced 9.3 million tons of CO2eq with domestic resources and this contribution of the forestry sector can be increased up to 21.2 million tons of CO2eq with international support received through bilateral and multilateral cooperation as well as through the implementation of new mechanisms under the Paris Agreement. To this end, Viet Nam will make use of domestic resources, along with cooperation and support of the international community, especially from the developed countries, in terms of finance and technology, through mechanisms under the Paris Agreement in order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050[9]. In the forestry sector, sustainable forest management, protection, development, and utilization will be continuously concentrated and invested in order to increase carbon sequestration of forests and forest certification, significantly contributing to this commitment.

[1] General Statistics Office (2021) Statistical Yearbook of Viet Nam 2020.
[2] Decision No.1558/QD-BNN-TCLN dated 13 April 2021) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Announcement of the National Forest Status in 2020. 
[3] Decision No.1558/QD-BNN-TCLN dated 13 April 2021) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Announcement of the National Forest Status in 2020.
[4] Decision No.1558/QD-BNN-TCLN dated 13 April 2021) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Announcement of the National Forest Status in 2020.
[5] Decision No.1558/QD-BNN-TCLN (13/04/2021). 
[6] General Statistics Office (2016) Rural, Agriculture and Fisheries Census 2015.
[7] Decision No. 523/QĐ-TTg dated 1 April 2021 by the Prime Minister on approving the Viet Nam Forestry Development Strategy for the 2021-2030 period and vision to 2050. 
[8] Viet Nam’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution, July 2020.
[9] Remarks of Vietnamese Prime Minister at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) held on 1 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Forest Policy Archive

DATETYPETITLEENGLISHNATIONAL LANGUAGE
2021Strategy/PlanViet Nam Forestry Development Strategy for the 2021-2030 period and vision to 2050Link
2020Strategy/PlanViet Nam's Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the UNFCCCLinkLink
2017LawForestry LawLinkLink
2015Strategy/PlanViet Nam's National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP)Link
2013LawLand LawLinkLink
2013Strategy/PlanForest Restructuring ProposalLink
2010PolicyPayment for forest environmental servicesLinkLink
2008LawLaw on BiodiversityLinkLink
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