Vietnam

Vietnam

Nearly half of Vietnam’s land area is covered by forests. The country’s total forest area has increased over the past two decades. The majority of this growth is the result of the expansion of large-scale timber plantations, which account for a quarter of all forest cover (FAO, 2015).

The country has a key role in the timber processing sector in south-east Asia. Vietnam imports timber from many countries in the region, including Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand, and exports mainly to the EU, the US and Japan (EFI).

Vietnam entered into formal negotiations for a voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) with the EU in November 2010, and these are still underway. This process has prompted a review of relevant legislation and improved the government’s engagement with civil society. Vietnam has also been engaged in REDD+, and tackling illegal logging has been identified as part of the country’s REDD+ strategy (EFI). However, the available evidence indicates that illegal logging and the trade in illegal timber remains a serious problem (Chatham House, 2014).