Building sustainable agricultural value chains to reduce deforestation

Vietnam is promoting sustainable agricultural trade and production to reduce deforestation, heard an event under the umbrella of the fourth Global Conference of the Planet Network’s Sustainable Food Systems Programme held in Hanoi on April 25 by UNDP and the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Tran Quang Bao, Deputy Director of VNFOREST, said agricultural farming is considered as one of the major land-using industries. The current expansion of land for agricultural development in the world is the main cause of deforestation and shrinking of forest land.

Therefore, agricultural production and trade should be directed towards sustainable development of value chains, which increase the quality and value of products and community’s livelihood without the need to expand production areas, he said.

Rui Ludovino, First Counselor in charge of Climate Action, Environment, Employment and Social Policy at the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam updated participants on the latest regulations of the EU that ban the import of products related to deforestation. He said the new rules will take effect at the beginning of 2025 with a six-month delay for small and medium-sized enterprises, stressing that exporters and importers must be aware of the deadline to meet the EU market’s requirements.

Ludovino said that Vietnam is implementing the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA/FLEGT), which includes legal regulations on sustainable development of the wood industry. This is an advantage for Vietnam, and other sectors like rubber or coffee can learn from it.

He added that Vietnam does not face a high risk of deforestation thanks to its government’s forest protection policies. However, the country should to strengthen supply chains to help its agricultural products to penetrate deeper into the EU market.

Patrick Haverman, Deputy Chief Resident Representative of UNDP Vietnam, said that the organisation has been supporting Vietnam in sustainable forest and landscape management through many programmes and projects over the past 20 years.

He affirmed that UNDP is ready to work with partner governments and private sector partners to create a favourable environment for the supply chain of agricultural products that does not cause deforestation for the benefit of the environment and people, especially smallholder farmers and vulnerable communities.

For sustainable development without causing deforestation, the EU through UNDP has coordinated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Dak Nong and Lam Dong provinces to implement a project on comprehensive sustainable landscape management through the approach of sustainable development without causing deforestation in the two provinces (iLandscape)./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency