Local capacity building in FSC certification helps promote sustainable forest management in Viet Nam

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Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is widely recognized as an effective tool to promote sustainable forest management (SFM). FSC forest management certification confirms that the forest is being managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers, while ensuring it sustains economic viability (FSC). In Viet Nam, FSC certification is being promoted as part of the government’s efforts to improve forest management and reduce poverty towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). FSC certification has presented new opportunities to farmers, helping to increase selling prices and expand trade networks. One of the main challenges of achieving an FSC group certificate is a lack of technical knowledge and skills in plantations to comply with strict FSC requirements.

Aiming to enhance capacity and develop knowledge and skills on forest plantation under FSC standards among farmer groups, two training courses on enhancing community capacity in forest plantation under FSC standards were organized in Quang Minh commune, Bac Quang district, Ha Giang province, Viet Nam, in 28-29 October and 3-4 November 2021.

The training courses were financially supported by AFoCO under the framework of AFoCO RETC’s Community Development Training in 2021. The Sustainable Rural Development Centre under the College of Land Management and Rural Development, Viet Nam National University of Forestry, actively led the training as the implementing agency.

Each training course was attended by 20 farmers (10 men and 10 women) from Quang Minh commune who have been involved in forest plantation management. In total, the two training courses were participated by 40 farmers. The training activities were designed to encourage the active participation of female farmers in group discussions, experience- sharing, decision-making, and in taking up leadership roles in the groups. Participants were provided with knowledge and skills on forest plantation management through training courses on FSC standards. At the end of the training, the participants are expected to be able to apply forest plantation techniques under FSC standards to their forest planting and management activities. The training was further introduced in a local news broadcast of Ha Giang province that emphasized the contribution of the training sessions to sustainable forest management in Bac Quang district, Ha Giang.

Contributed by Dr. Do Thi Huong, Director, Sustainable Rural Development Center, College of Land Management and Rural Development, Viet Nam National University of Forestry

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