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DEVELOPING AND PILOTING AN INDICATOR FRAMEWORK FOR MONITORING THE IMPACT OF VPA/FLEGT ON SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED TIMBER ENTERPRISES IN VIETNAM KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
By: Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD)
Published: July 12, 2020
Countries: Vietnam
Document type: Academic research
Document ID: 8656
View count: 260
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DEVELOPING AND PILOTING AN INDICATOR FRAMEWORK FOR MONITORING THE IMPACT OF VPA/FLEGT ON SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED TIMBER ENTERPRISES IN VIETNAM KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and
Trade (VPA-FLEGT) between the Government of Vietnam and the European Union (EU)
came into effect in June 2019, marking a significant milestone in the negotiation process
between the two parties. As one of 15 countries worldwide and one of five countries in
ASEAN participating in negotiating and implementing a VPA, Vietnam and the EU
committed to the goal of sustainable management of all forest types by developing and
implementing a legal framework to ensure all timber products exported by Vietnam to the
EU market are legally produced and sourced.
In order to implement the Agreement, the two parties established a Joint
Implementation Committee (JIC) co-chaired by the leaders of the Ministry of Agriculture
and Rural Development (MARD) and the EU Delegation to Vietnam, whose functions are
to manage, monitor and assess the implementation of the Agreement. One of the JIC’s
important tasks is to promote dialogue and information exchange, to consider and resolve
any issue raised by either party, including from the Multi-Stakeholder Core Group on the
VPA (MSCG), which represents the stakeholders in Vietnam, including the representatives
of Vietnam Administration of Forestry, timber business associations, forestry social
organizations, non-governmental organizations, research institutions, and development
partners. A number of MSCG member organizations from the Vietnamese NonGovernmental Organization Network on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VNGO-FLEGT) have significant concerns about the monitoring and impact evaluation mechanism of the VPA implementation on groups believed to be severely affected by the
Agreement, such as plantation households, micro, small and medium-sized timber
enterprises.
The Agreement itself provides no specific guidance on impact monitoring, but the
Joint Implementation Framework (JIF) indicates that the JIC is responsible for complying
with Article 15 so that “Vietnam will have a mechanism for monitoring the implementation
of the Agreement” and ensuring that “the monitoring will be conducted transparently with
the participation of stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, forestry
associations, trade unions, local communities.” According to Annex IX, the economic,
social and environmental impacts of the implementation of the Agreement will have to be
monitored and evaluated (M&E), and, based on that, propose appropriate measures to
minimize any possible negative impacts on ethnic minorities and related local
communities, households and timber industry as per the commitment in Article 16 of the
Agreement.
This context has led the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD), which
coordinates the VNGO-FLEGT Network, to decide to develop and pilot a VPA impactmonitoring framework for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the
Vietnamese timber industry. Undertaken within the Forest Governance, Market, and Climate
(FGMC) project funded by the DFID (2018-2021), this initiative aims to build participatory
capacity and regulations for civil society organizations and timber associations on VPA-FLEGT
impact monitoring and assessment in Vietnam.