29 October 2021 - Source: Vietnam Investment Review - The Association of Forest Smallholder Forest Certification Groups of Quang Tri province received the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, proving that they can supply sustainably harvested acacia wood logs and non-timber forest products of bamboo species in accordance with the FSC FM/CoC code. 

This FSC audit applies for 2021-2025. It covers a total forest area of 4,385 hectares managed by 539 organisational members of the Association of Forest Smallholder Forest Certification Groups of Quang Tri Province (SFCG Association), including 2,832ha of acacia forests and 1,560ha of natural community forests.

This is the first time that the FSC certification is issued to a smallholder group in Vietnam. The certification was presented to two communities in Ho village of Huong Son commune and Chenh Venh village of Huong Phung commune, Huong Hoa district.

Nguyen Dinh Dai, chief of office of Medical Committee Netherlands-Vietnam' (MCNV) Central Vietnam office – the unit supporting the association in implementing the project on growing forests – said: "This success opens up an opportunity for community forests to access potential markets to help forest owners harmonise financial benefits with environmental and social benefits. In addition, it also positions this sustainable forestry development strategy as a model for replication in Quang Tri and other provinces."

In the context of Vietnam's stopping the exploitation of natural forests and the "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation" (REDD+) initiative, the FSC certification for non-timber forest products (NTFPs)is a new approach to help communities with natural forests have a better opportunity to benefit from NTFPs by accessing high-value markets of FSC-certified NTFPs.

In 2022, the SFCG Association of Quang Tri will continue supporting Ho and Chenh Venh villages to participate in the certification for rattan and ecosystem services, with priority given to carbon sequestration services and ecotourism.

The association's vision is to link the FSC-certified rattan and bamboo material areas to businesses in need and find clients and donors for ecosystem services.

Once again, Quang Tri province pioneers sustainable forest management in Vietnam. This newest achievement is partly thanks to the financial and technical support from the project "Promoting a sustainable partnership between civil society organisations and enterprises for sustainable forest management in the context of climate change" (PROSPER project) co-funded by the European Union and MCNV in Quang Tri province in 2020-2023.