Vietnam has approximately 15 million hectares of forested land, nearly half of Vietnam’s total land area. Since 1992, Vietnam's ambitious afforestation programmes have returned the country’s forest cover to the level that was present in 1943. Despite this increase, degradation continues in remaining natural forest areas. In the period 2005-2015, the rate of forest area increase was 0.90%.
Drivers of deforestation and degradation
The main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation are:
- Conversion to agricultural land
- Legal and illegal logging
- Hydropower and other infrastructure development
- Forest fires
Vietnam has identified six areas of work to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and prepare the country for results-based incentives for reducing emissions from forests and land-use change:
- Land use planning and zoning
- Forest use rights allocation
- Forest policy, legislative and administrative reform
- Enforcement of planning and environmental requirements
- Promotion of alternatives to forest conversion and forest degradation
- Establishment of a transparent and equitable benefit-sharing mechanism
REDD+ actors and activities
In 2010, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development established a multistakeholder National REDD+ Network and the network's REDD+ Technical Working Group. The purpose of these groups is to create awareness of REDD+ and build capacity at national and provincial levels to coordinate activities by ministries, other international agencies and organisations.
In 2011, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development set up the Vietnam REDD+ Office to implement a national REDD+ programme, which Vietnam adopted in 2012.
Vietnam also entered into a joint declaration with Norway at the end of 2012, which secured USD 30 million for a second phase of the UN-REDD Programme to enhance Vietnam’s ability to benefit from future results-based payments for REDD+ and make transformational changes in the forestry sector. This support aims to provide technical assistance and strengthen capacities for REDD+ while initiating activities to reduce emissions from forests and land use change in six pilot provinces.
The National REDD+ Action Plan developed under this second phase of UN-REDD support includes policies and measures aimed at contributing to the national target of reducing emissions from agriculture and forestry by 20% by 2020. These include:
- Promoting sustainable and deforestation free agriculture and aquaculture
- Improving governance and livelihoods for people living near and in forests
- Strengthening law enforcement
- Strengthening international and regional cooperation to promote REDD+ and mitigate the risk of displacement of emissions
Vietnam is a beneficiary of the World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and is a partner country of UN-REDD.
Status of FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA)
In 2010, Vietnam and the EU began negotiations towards a VPA to improve forest governance and ensure that only legal timber and timber products reach the EU market. In 2017, Vietnam and the EU agreed on the content of the VPA.
For more information, see the Vietnam page on the EU FLEGT Facility's website.