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Communities Forests

Central Plans and Global Exports

Tracking Vietnam's Forestry Commodity Chains and Export Links to China

By Keith Barney - York University, Forest Trends, CIFOR, YCAR, DFID, Asia Pro Eco Programme
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After suffering forest cover declines of 185,000 ha per year from 1976 until 1990, Vietnam is attempting to stabilize deforestation trends, restructure the forest industry and the land tenure system, and move aggressively into fast-growing plantations. Reforestation of degraded forest land, natural regeneration of logged forest areas and more effective forest protection are key components of the Five Million Hectare Reforestation Plan (5MHRP), or Program 661, initiated in 1998. The Forestry Sector Development Strategy (FSDS) and the 5MHRP represent the cornerstones of current Vietnamese forest policy. Rather than representing static policies, however, the FSDS and the 5MHRP are best viewed as policies in progress, likely to be modified and altered as the forest sector and bureaucracy in Vietnam itself undergo institutional reform and become increasingly oriented away from central bureaucratic planning, towards market-based approaches.