LIA Workshop 3: Impact Assessment of Viet Nam’s VPA/FLEGT on the Livelihoods of Vulnerable Groups

In the morning of 18 November 2013, the third workshop "Impact Assessment of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA / FLEGT) on the livelihoods of vulnerable groups[i]" officially opened in Vinh Yen city. The workshop is being organized by the Center for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) with the support of the Forest Trend, FERN and the Agency for International Development UK (DFID). This is one activity in the process of Livelihoods Impact Assessment (LIA), carried out by Network of VNGO-FLEGT. This workshop aims to analyze the causes and consequences of the implementation of VPA to vulnerable groups, then planning to mitigate risk and adapt to the impact of this agreement.

Impact Assessment of Viet Nams VPAFLEGT on the Livelihoods 1

The workshop was taken place in 3 days November 18th-20th and attracted leading forestry experts, members of Network of VNGO-FLEGT and experts from other organizations such as FAO, Forest Trend, FERN. The workshop also welcomed Mr. Tim Dawson - FLEGT Coordinator under European Forest Institute, which is a member of the European Union delegation directly involved in the VPA process in Vietnam. The workshop was also attended bysome leaders in the forestry sector, representative of government agencies like Mr. Nguyen Phu Hung  (Director of the Department of Science, Technology and International Cooperation, Viet Nam Administration of Forest (VNFOREST)) and Mr. Nguyen Huu Dung (Director General of forest Protection).

At the workshop, delegates have been updated on the forestry sector developement strategy, the VPA negotiation process in Vietnam, as well as information about identifying Legal timber Definition (LD) and Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS). In addition, through speeches and exchanges, workshops helped participants better understand why Vietnam participated in VPA negotiation.. Mr. Nguyen Phu Hung said in his speech: "VPA is a barrier and but also anincentive for the forestry sector. Participating in VPA is not way to respond requirements; our target is developing the forestry sector with standards, criterions, and being sustainable in economic social and environment. We gradually are implementing to reach VPA’s requirements ". After sharing information with sector of government agencies, research groups discussed together on the potential impact of the VPA to vulnerable groups based on analyzing the theory of change, flow diagram and chain results. From the results of the discussion above, groups carried out the risk analysis, identified measures of mitigation risks for stakeholders and developed a monitoring plan while also building efficiency goals.

Impact Assessment of Viet Nams VPAFLEGT on the Livelihoods 3

The workshop is not only an opportunity for the members of VNGO-FLEGT network to update information about VPA negotiation process, enhance understanding of the potential impacts of VPA on livelihoods of the people, but also to help them have more comprehensive view on VPA, thereby developing action plans appropriately to the conditions of each locality. This is also an opportunity for network to sharing community voices, activities, and achieved results of network to the relevant government agencies. The workshop is certainly an important step to enhance understanding, strategic cooperation relationship between the two sides- an important premise for networks to continue to contribute actively to the FLEGT/VPA negotiation process in particular and contribute to reduce illegal forest products trade, promote sustainable forest management in general.

Impact Assessment of Viet Nams VPAFLEGT on the Livelihoods 2

-SRD-

[1]  The target vulnerable groups include households involved in forestry production, supplying timber to forest industries, but who do not have Red Book certificates for their land; ethnic minority households and communities whose livelihoods are based on the utilization of forest land and forest products; woodcraft village household production units, using high quality imported timber and domestic timber .
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