Group Forest Certification for Smallholders in Vietnam: An Early Test and Future Prospects

Human Ecology, pp. 1-10, January 2012

12 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2012 Last revised: 4 Feb 2013

Date Written: January 6, 2012


Forests in Vietnam are heavily utilized resources. Some 25 million people who live in and near forests depend on timber and non-timber resources for subsistence and income. Vietnam’s timber processing industries, which are in a steep growth phase, demand raw material from the nation’s forests, but that demand greatly outstrips available, high quality supply. A national forest development strategy through 2020 calls for broad expansion of plantation forests coupled with third-party forest certification. One type of forest certification, involving certification of groups of smallholder farmers, is comparatively understudied. A recent effort to promote group forest certification in Vietnam yielded measurable benefits to stakeholders, including enhanced income streams to plantation smallholders. However, long-term challenges to group forest certification remain, including smallholders’ ability to cover recurring costs for certification – costs that are subsidized by a bilateral donor. Vietnam’s recent experience with group forest certification represents an early chapter in that nation’s ambitious plans to increase forest cover, make forests more productive through plantation forestry, and improve forest management and market access through forest certification.

Keywords: Vietnam, group forest certification, plantation forestry, Acacia

JEL Classification: N5, N55, O13, Q23

Suggested Citation

Auer, Matthew Robert, Group Forest Certification for Smallholders in Vietnam: An Early Test and Future Prospects (January 6, 2012). Human Ecology, pp. 1-10, January 2012. Available at SSRN:

Matthew Robert Auer (Contact Author)

University of Georgia ( email )

204 Candler Hall
Athens, GA 30602
United States

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