Vietnam, US step up implementing deal on illegal logging, timber trade

Vietnam and the US held a meeting of the Timber Working Group, set up to carry out the two Governments’ Agreement on Illegal Logging and Timber Trade, in Washington DC on August 22 - 23.
A timber processing factory in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

A timber processing factory in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

The event was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Quoc Tri and Assistant US Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources Kelly Milton.

The Vietnamese delegation also included representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Trade Office and the economic division of the Vietnamese Embassy in the US.

At the meeting, the Vietnamese delegation updated the US side about the steps taken by Vietnam to implement the agreement, including reviewing and eliminating financial incentives for the timber processing sector, enhancing the customs control and examination of imported timber, boosting cooperation with material timber exporting countries to control origins, amend legal documents to revise the enterprise classification system, supplement criteria for specifying positive geographical areas exporting timber to Vietnam, and control the seized timber so that it doesn’t enter supply chains.

The delegation emphasized that Vietnam has always made the strongest possible efforts to realise the agreement and pledges to develop a transparent, sustainable, and responsible forestry sector.

During its reforms and integration into the global economy, Vietnam stays persistent in complying with the principle of sustainable development. It has made strong commitments and joined international efforts to protect the environment and the green planet.

At the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the Vietnamese Government committed to reducing methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030 compared to the level recorded in 2020 and working towards net zero emissions by 2050. The forestry sector has an important role to play in the realization of these commitments, according to the delegation.

The US side highly valued Vietnam’s serious implementation of the commitments in the agreement.

It affirmed that technical assistance will continue to help Vietnam strengthen the capacity of competent agencies in order to protect forests, conserve biodiversity, and contain illegal logging and timber trade.

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