Meetings and workshops held in Vietnam to support VPA progress
A recent series of meetings and workshops held in Vietnam demonstrates progress in the country's Voluntary Partnership Agreement process.
The Vietnamese NGO FLEGT Network informed participants at a meeting in Hanoi on 26 February about the state of the VPA process in Vietnam and the consideration of poverty and social issues during negotiations. Following the meeting, the international NGO Forest Trends held training sessions for members of the network on planning and implementing a livelihood impact assessment to further inform VPA negotiations.
Technical issues in Vietnam's draft legality definition and timber legality assurance system were the focus of a week-long joint working session between EFI, the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) and other government agencies, also held in late February. The session also created an opportunity to clarify issues for discussion between negotiators from the EU and Vietnam, including how Vietnam will ensure the legality of its timber imports.
Forest Trends and local industry associations held three workshops in handicraft villages in the north of Vietnam in February and March. The purpose of these workshops was to inform the local handicrafts industry about new market legality requirements and developments with the VPA process in Vietnam and to raise awareness about rules on the use of timber.
In addition, meetings were held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on 20 and 22 March, respectively, to inform VPA stakeholders (government, NGOs and industry associations) about the FAO FLEGT Programme's recent call for proposals for VPA countries, which aims to support initiatives that advance the VPA process and encourage active engagement of stakeholders.