Forest governance: how Indonesia and Vietnam are responding to illegal logging

Illegal logging and the associated trade is a major cause of deforestation and forest degradation globally. Indonesian and Vietnamese experts from the government, private and civil society sectors speak to Gitika Bhardwaj about the state of the trade in both southeast Asian countries.

A view of a forest land clearing in Indonesia by EU REDD Facility

Why is forest governance important to Indonesia and Vietnam?

Putera Parthama, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia: For Indonesia, forests, which cover two-thirds of the entire land area of Indonesia, are a very important natural resource. We need to manage it sustainably while having the forests serve multiple functions – social, economic and environmental – but only good governance will help us to realize that.

Nguyen Tuong Vân, Forestry Administration, Vietnam: Forest governance is very important for Vietnam because when you talk about forest governance you are also talking about the legislative system in general: you are talking about improving the institutional arrangements that allow everyone to participate in negotiations to implement laws and regulations.

Vũ Thi Bích Hop, Centre for Sustainable Rural Development, Vietnam: Forest governance is quite a new concept for Vietnam – it has only been talked of over the last five years. But it has brought with it some key principles of governance – transparency, accountability and participation – which are very important. In the past, the Vietnamese government’s decision-making was very centralized – top-down – but with the participatory approach the negotiation process instigated, it has changed now to a bottom-up system: people are now at the core of the process. 

Read the full interview