Conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity and ecosystem services

Project description

Title: Conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity and ecosystem services in Viet Nam
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)
Overall term: 2014 to 2021


Viet Nam is one of the world’s ten most significant biodiversity hotspots. Biodiversity and forests play a vital role in ensuring the livelihoods of rural populations, and approximately 25 million people live in the proximity of forests. These people generate around one fifth of their livelihoods from non-timber forest products; they would therefore be particularly hard hit by a loss of biodiversity. Biodiversity provides the basis for the agricultural, forestry, timber and fisheries industries, and thereby indirectly makes a major contribution to national economic development.

Viet Nam is committed to a number of international forest and biodiversity conservation initiatives, including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), and the certification of sustainable forest management. The standards and conservation measures stipulated by these initiatives promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services in all types of forests. Nevertheless, over the past years the condition of the forests has continuously deteriorated.

Viet Nam’s forestry policies are undergoing a paradigm shift from production-oriented to multifunctional forest management; including the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The establishment of better linkages between nature conservation and exploitation activities and the relevant institutions are required to enable Viet Nam to meet its commitments for sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation..


Important prerequisites for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services of forests in Viet Nam are created at the central level..


The programme works in threes main areas in order to contribute to establish the conditions necessary for the conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity and ecosystem services:

  1. Legal framework. The programme provides advisory support for the drafting of legal documents, including for conservation-oriented financing mechanisms (payment for environmental services, PFES), protected area management, and sustainable forest management. It also contributes the lessons learned from the projects in the provinces (incl. Phong Nha-Khe Bang project in Quang Binh Province) to the REDD+ process at the national level.
  2. Development of institutional capacity. The programme assists the partner ministry in implementing the National Capacity Development Plan for Protected Area Management. The Department of Nature Conservation is supported to introduce information management systems to improve forest ranger patrolling strategies in protected areas (“SMART” Tool). Experiences drawn from the certification of two forestry companies are being used to contribute to the development and implementation of a national sustainable forest management plan, and to strengthen the capacities of service providers to enable them to assist additional forestry companies with certification.
  3. Timber legality (VPA FLEGT and TLAS). The programme is advising the partner within the context of FLEGT negotiations, including the design of timber legality assurance systems. The project will also provide support to strengthen the capacities of the verification authorities.