European Union - Viet Nam to strengthen legal and sustainable wood supply chains

"The European Union is committed to promoting products and value chains that do not involve deforestation and forest degradation. To achieve this, we are working in close partnership with producing countries. Today is the kick-off of this dialogue."

That was the firm statement of Ms. Astrid Schomaker, Director of Green Diplomacy and Multilateralism, Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission, at the meeting “European Union – Viet Nam exchange on the EU’s proposal for a Regulation to prevent deforestation and forest degradation associated with commodities products placed on or exported from the EU market” held at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) yesterday, June 16th.

As part of a broader set of policies - Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests (2019), the proposed regulation aims to minimise the EU’s contribution to deforestation and forest degradation worldwide, thus reducing EU-driven Greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss. These goals are to be reached specifically by enhancing demand for and trade in legal and ‘deforestation-free’ commodities and products, both domestically produced and imported.

As Viet Nam is among the largest coffee and timber exporters to the EU, this regulation will also motivate Viet Nam to establish legal and deforestation-free supply chains, strengthen its sustainable forest governance and increase the value of forest protection.

Mr. Nguyen Do Anh Tuan – Director of International Cooperation Department, MARD, emphasised Viet Nam’s commitment to environmental safeguards in value chains, sustainable production and trade: “Many provisions are already in place to ensure this. We have signed the “Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use” to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 as well as the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forestry Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA-FLEGT). With 44% forest cover, forest conservation in Viet Nam is most prioritised. To fulfill the requirements of the future EU regulation on deforestation-free supply chains, we hope for the support of EU member states.”