This project is completed

Vietnam is considered as one of the ten centres of high- or mega biodiversity in the world. Abundance of ecosystems has resulted in a rich diversity of ecosystems and species of fauna and flora throughout the country. However, tropical rainforest and other ecosystems have disappeared at a staggering rate during the last two decades, generating long-term losses to the environment, including the forest ecosystems themselves, the habitats for unique animal and plant species, livelihoods for forest-dwelling ethnic groups, and watershed and nutrients necessary for a larger ecological and human system. The main factors that threaten biodiversity are habitat destruction, over exploitation and unsustainable use of biodiversity resources.

The 'Forest Certification for Ecosystem Services' (ForCES) project aims to research, analyse, and field-test innovative ways of evaluating and rewarding the provision of critical ecosystem services ‒ including biodiversity conservation, watershed protection, and carbon storage and sequestration.The project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, focuses on establishing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification as a market tool for a wide range of ecosystem services which are currently not adequately covered for sustainable forest management. It thereby seeks to fill a gap in the market.

The project is being implemented in four countries, Chile, Nepal, Indonesia and Vietnam, which will demonstrate the applicability of the FSC system in practice and will enable the development of both national and international compliance indicators. Another explicit project objective is upscaling at a global level via the FSC international network as well as establishing the evidence-base for its potential delivery on Global Environmental Benefits.

SNV is the implementing partner for the two project sites in Vietnam, Quang Tri and Ha Tinh provinces, and provides the following services:

  • Review of the existing national standards for FSC;
  • Support at the national level (VNFOREST) for the re-establishment of the FSC National Standards Committee and development of new national FSC standards;
  • Market study assessing the potential for expanded FSC in Vietnam;
  • Spatial functioning maps of forest ecosystem services at both field sites;
  • Development of new standards and criteria for relevant ecosystems services;
  • Support to local stakeholders in the development of sound business plans;
  • Capacity building and training around FSC.

The activities in Vietnam have been carried out until March 2017. The key milestones achieved during the period from October 2011 to March 2017 in Vietnam include: 

  • Two pilot sites have a tailored monitoring protocol including social indicators (e.g. poverty alleviation and gender balance). The impact monitoring methodology is extensive in order to allow testing of a wide range of indicators and also scientifically significant data.
  • 19,000 ha of natural forest in Ha Tinh province are now FSC-FM/COC (Forest Management/Chain of Custody) certified; and FSC ecosystem services promotional claims verified.
  • 300 ha of Acacia plantation in Quang Tri province are now FSC-FM/COC certified.
  • Final draft of national FSC standards submitted to FSC for approval.

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