Vietnam—Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2020-2025

Region: Asia and the Pacific

Country: Vietnam

Solutions: Environment Governance

In Vietnam and worldwide, widespread forest degradation from illicit timber harvesting, forest land conversion, and poor forest management practices is leading to increased carbon emissions, which threaten the environment, communities, and livelihoods. Despite national increases in overall tree coverage, Vietnam’s natural forests are reducing in area and worsening in quality.   

Vietnam has 14.79 million hectares of forests that store carbon and provide ecosystems and economic services at local, national, and global scales. The country has a rapidly developing economy with a robust and growing wood processing industry. This growth has also come at a price of increased greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. Despite national increases in overall tree cover, there is a reduction in total area of natural forests and forest quality in the country.

DAI SFM banner photo .jpgPhoto: Cintapo Tran.

The Sustainable Forest Management project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is linking communities, local authorities, the national government, and the private sector to jointly address the drivers of forest conversion and degradation in targeted areas. The project aims to avoid carbon emissions from natural forest conversion and degradation; increase carbon sequestration through better management of plantation forests; and improve the quality, diversity, and productivity of natural production forests.   

Activities are centered around engagement with the private sector and improved co-management by communities, local authorities, and the national government.

The project is achieving this goal through five inter-linked objectives: 1) improve and expand community forest management; 2) increase conservation-friendly enterprises in forest-dependent communities; 3) increase the functionality of law enforcement systems to address forest crimes; 4) improve production forest management practices; and 5) mobilize domestic resources for forest management and protection.

Sample Activities

  • Develop inclusive forest co-management models with community forest management groups and our subnational partner agencies to improve forest governance and provide technical assistance to co-management plan implementation in areas, such as technical silviculture, forest protection through community forestry, rights to resource access, financial management tools, or sustainable forestry techniques and technologies.
  • Pilot and roll out the national carbon payment for forest environmental services program—an innovative initiative to generate revenue for forest management through industrial carbon emitters.
  • Provide technical assistance and tools to communities to help them participate as effective government counterparts in improved natural production forest management.
  • Strengthen conservation enterprises in key value chains and develop value chain action plans.
  • Support law enforcement to maintain forest integrity through analysis and action planning, while updating forest policy for reaching green growth and respond to climate change.
  • Implement interventions that strengthen grower groups, increase production of high-quality timber products, and create replicable, scalable models.

Select Results

  • Trained 34,767 people on topics, such as cultivation and harvesting of non-timber forest products, development of sustainable forest products, and training on improved law enforcement practices, such as patrolling, investigation, evidence collection, and other skills.
  • Mobilized $33.6 million in investments to develop conservation-friendly enterprises of forest-dependent communities.
  • Placed 141,401 hectares of forest land under improved management, contributing to 5.4 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions being reduced, sequestered, or avoided.
  • Developed 61 policies or plans that strengthened the Government of Vietnam’s ability to manage and protect forest resources, thereby avoiding nearly 15 million tons of carbon dioxide through the adoption of these policies.
  • Developed and launched the innovative Forest Violation Data Management System, strengthening the Government of Vietnam’s ability to track, monitor, and prosecute forest violations nationally.
  • Helped 61,356 people to receive livelihood co-benefits.


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