Đối tác chiến lược của

noi that hoa phat



The Centre for Sustainable development of mountains communities (SUDECOM)


(This report was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are sole responsibility of SUDECOM and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union)

 This policy brief is based on the results of the final report " Study on the rights of ethnic minorities and local communities (ELC) over forest and forest land the implementation of chapter 13.8 of EVFTA and VPA/FLEGT” within the framework of the project “Enhancing forest governance and legal timber trade through the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement” funded by the EU and coordinated by the Sustainable Rural Development Center (SRD).


The signing of the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA/FLEGT) between Vietnam and the European Union is considered as a great opportunity for Vietnam to develop trade and economic growth. In addition to trade commitments, these Agreements also provide binding commitments on environmental protection and social justice for sustainable development, including issues of ethnic minorities and local communities (ELC). The State has promulgated many policies and laws to implement these Agreements, however, their implementation is still limited and inadequate, ineffective that reduce the chances of ELC to benefit these Agreements.

The limitations and shortcomings include the lack of specific and practical guidelines for implementation of policies on forestry land and forest allocation to ELC such as financial guidance for expenses of forest protection, payment for forest environment services. Technical guidance is not suitable to conditions, circumstances, customs, livelihoods, cultural traditions of ELC. The actual situation of small and fragmented, low efficiency forestry land, no or very little income of forestry, lack of long-term and sustainable poverty reduction, lack of consultations and participation of ELC in policy and decision-making, in addition to strict principles and criteria of the EVFTA that makes ELC difficult and limits the chance to benefit the EVFTA if they participate to the supply chain.

From the findings on the achieved points of policies and laws, as well as limitations and shortcomings in the use of forests and forestry land of ELC, recommendations and proposals have been developed in accordance with laws for each group of actors with their roles and positions involving in the implementation of the Agreements, including competent state agencies from the central level to the local level, European Union, NGOs and communities’ organizations, businesses companies related to VPA/FLEGT and ELC themselves.


            1. Introduction

            The EVFTA was officially signed and took effect on August 1, 2020. This is considered a great opportunity for Vietnam's exports to reduce import and export taxes to create competitive advantages, assist to diversify markets and export products, especially agricultural, forestry and fishery products to European market. The Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement and Trade between Vietnam and the European Union, VPA/FLEGT was signed on October 19, 2018, and took effect on June 1. 2019, with principles, criteria and conditions on forest and forestry land use rights. However, the EVFTA and VPA/FLEGT also presents many challenges for the Vietnamese. In addition to the criteria have been satisfied, there asre still many inconsistencies, many shortcomings that need to be resolved to harmonize the interests of stakeholders.

            Therefore, the study to review and recommendation on laws and policies on forestry land and forest allocation to ELC is necessary. This study aims to review and assessment to have initial findings on the achievements, and limitations of the existing policy, legislation on the use of forest land and forests by ELCs in order to promote the advantages of the EVFTA VPA/FLEGT to improve their lives

            The study uses research methods of literature review, comparative law, interview survey, assessment, analysis, synthesis, experience of previous studies. It is updated and analysed the information and data from the first technical meeting on 23th July 2021 and the second one on 16 August 2021 and the 4th Forum on forest governance on 25th August 2021.

            The scope of the study includes: 1- the conformity of Vietnam’s legislation and policies with international laws, the provisions of the EVFTA (chapter 13.8) and the VPA/FLEGT on the rights of ELCs over forest and forest land use, in the production chain timber production and supply, 2- assessment of the actual implementation of those laws and policies and 3 – recommendations and solutions to enhance the implementation and propose further studies

2. The basic findings

            For assessment of the international laws related to EVFTA, VPA/FLEGT, the international law instruments which are the legal basis for chapter 13, EVFTA, VPA/FLEGT, such as United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007, Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. The rusult is that the legal and policy framework of Vietnam on ELCs and their rights over forest conforms with above mentioned international laws

Vietnam laws and policies documents have been reviewed, compared and assessed, include Decree 05/2011/ND-CP on ethnic affairs. General policies on ELC include: Resolution No. 30A dated December 27, 2008 of the Government on the Program to support rapid and sustainable poverty reduction for 61 poor provinces nationwide, Decision 135/1998/QD - TTg dated 31/7/1998 of the Prime Minister on the program on socio-economic development of extremely difficult communes in ethnic minority and mountainous areas (Program 135), Decision No. 2085/QD-TTg of the approval. approving specific policies to support socio-economic development in ethnic minority and mountainous areas in the period 2017-2020, Resolution No. 88/2019/QH14 on the master plan for socio-economic development in ethnic minority areas ethnic minorities and mountainous areas in the 2021-2030 period, Program 327 and Project 661: project of 5 million hectares of forest, Decision No. 132/2002/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister dated October 8, 2002 on settlement of production and residential land for local ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands, Vietnam's forestry development strategy for the period 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, Decree No. 75/2015/ND -CP on forest protection and development policy in association with sustainable poverty reduction and support for ethnic minorities, Decision No. 22/2018/QD-TTg on developing and implementing village conventions and customs, Circular No. 04/2020/TT-BVHTTDL. Decision No. 1288/QD-TTg dated October 1, 2018 on the project of sustainable forest management and forest certification.

Legal provisions on the rights of ELCs over forest include Constitution 2013, Land Law 2013, Forest Law 2017, Decree 102/2020/ND-CP dated September 1, 2020 stipulating the protection system ensuring legal timber in Vietnam, Decree No. 156/2018/ND-CP of the Government dated November 16, 2018 detailing the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Forestry, Circular No. 28/2018/TT-BNNPTNT dated November 16, 2018 on regulations on sustainable forest management, Circular No. 27/2018/TT-BNNPTNT dated November 16, 2018 on management and traceability of forest products, Decree 168/2016/ Decree-CP of the Government dated December 27, 2016 stipulating the contract of forest, and the other guiding legal documents.

The literature review shows that: The legal and policy framework on the rights of the ELCS to use and enjoy forest land and forests is relatively comprehensive and consistent generally with Article 13.8 of the EVFTA: recognizing the importance of forest conservation and sustainable management will benefit economic, environmental and social objectives; promote forest products trade from sustainably managed forests; promote consumption of timber and wood products from sustainably managed forests, promote forest conservation and fight against illegal logging and timber trade; to promote conservation and sustainable management of forests.

Comparing and evaluating 7 general principles, criteria for evaluating legal timber in Appendix 2 VPA/FLEGT, shows that:

Firstly, the criteria of proof of land use rights may cause difficult for ELCs. Because their use of land and forests bases mainly based customs and habits without care of official documents and papers issued by the current competent authorities, the allocation of land and forests still has limitations in terms of finance, techniques, equipment, surveying, cadastral.

Secondly, the principles do not refer to the recognition of customary forest use through regulation of community conventions.

Thirdly, the principles and criteria that require the declaration and administrative procedures are complicated, while level of knowledge and awareness of the ELCs is still limited. If there are no measures to assist them, they can’t follow and complete directly.

Forthly, the legal documents mentioned in Appendix II have largely expired, have been replaced by other documents, and need to be updated and supplemented.

Fifthly, references to FLEGT Licenses, voluntary certificates or national certification systems recognized by VNTLAS need to be updated.

Sixthly, Decree 102/2020/ND-CP has gaps and limitations for ILC to be able to enjoy interests of the VPA/FLEGT.

Findings on implementation of laws and policies of Vietnam include problems of forest land allocation and protection and production forest allocation to ELCs such as lack of detailed instructions, financial and technical support, certificate of land use rights, forest ownership, forest use efficiency; Problems of implementation of community conventions on forest protection; Access to information, participation and consultation to ELC while making forest related policies and decisions; No information or limit to access information of EVFTA, VPA/FLEGT

3. Recommendations

General recommendations to facilitate ELCs with their rights to forest and forestry lands to benefit EVFTA and VPA/FLEGT:

First, to strengthen the implementation of policies on land and forest allocation suitable to ELCs, to provide appropriate technical guidance and financial support, to build capacity of civil servants, to consider capability, custom, and traditional and cultural livelihoods of each ethnic group, to promote good traditions and customs, and limit bad habits on forest protection.

Second, to improve to access to information, knowledge transfer, build capacity for ELCs, to support access to markets, use digital technology in forest and timber management

Third, to promote best practices and models of sustainable forest management, sustainable timber governance, participating to value chain of forest products and timber trade, for example models of forestry cooperatives, community linkages, good governance communities, etc.

Recommendation for amendment and supplementation of VPA/FLEGT and proposal for next steps of researches.

First, it is necessary to review, assess and propose amendments and supplements to the VPA/FLEGT Annex to remove expired legal documents and promptly update current documents or an open solution for automatically updating, to issue guiding documents to overcome the limitations of Decree 102/2020 on VNTLAS

Second, a practical solution for proof of land use rights and forest use rights related to legal timber, for example, a written certificate of the Commune People's Committee, proofs on the stable use situation with the confirmation of the surrounding households and the village head...

Third, more research on community conventions for forests protection and sharing of common benefits from forests

Forth, increase access to information and communication to ELCs so that they understand their rights and obligations, as well as opportunities, interests from EVFTA and VPA.

Fifth, more in-depth research on ethnic minority issues with other sustainable development issues of chapter 13 of EVFTA such as REDD+ with VPA/FLEGT, biodiversity, climate change, labor...



- Constitution 2013

- Land Law 2013 and its guiding documents

- Forestry Law 2017 and its guiding documents

- Normative legal documents on ELC

- Texts of EVFTA and VPA FLEGT

- Text of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007

- Text of Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

- Text of The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals

- plan of implementation to EVFTA, VPA/FLEGT


Báo cáo tại Hội thảo về thực hiện chính sách pháp luật về giao đất, giao rừng cho cộng đồng dân cư và hộ gia đình vùng DTTS, miền núi, giai đoạn 2006-2016 được tổ chức ngày 27/9/2017, tại Đà Nẵng

Forest trend, Mâu thuẫn đất đai giữa công ty lâm nghiệp và người dân địa phương, 2013

VNGO-FLEGT, Báo cáo kết quả tham vấn cộng đồng về tính hợp pháp của gỗ và các sản phẩm gỗ tại huyện Đạ Tẻh, tỉnh Lâm Đồng

FERN, SRD, VN-FLEGT, Challenges and opportunities of the EU-Vietnam Voluntary Partnership Agreement for women and civil society, 2020













https://loggingoff.info/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/523f.pdf http://web.cema.gov.vn/modules.php?name=Content&op=details&mid=5197#ixzz70h4V8Ah4




Đối tác chiến lược ngành in

in bạt