Reference information about SFMI's consulting procedure





After 10 years of establishment, one of the most important activities of SFMI is the supporting consultant for forest management units (FMUs) / forest owners of all economical components for sustainable forest management and forest certification in Vietnam. With both types of certificates: the Independent Certificate (already and will apply to SOEs, private enterprises and organizations); the Group certification (State-owned enterprises, private enterprises and organizations, household groups). So far, SFMI has advised 18 the forest management units on Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification. At the same time, some SFMI specialists have assisted to the International Forest Certification (CB) organizations in evaluating and maintaining of forest certification in Vietnam. In particular, with the support of FAO through the second phase of Vietnam UN-REDD programe, SFMI advised Binh Thuan Forest Company Ltd., Binh Thuan province, to develop a Sustainable Forest Management Plan according to International Standards, towards the FSC Forest Certification.


I. Survey on management capacity of FMUs

Survey (Feasibility pre – assessment) on management capacity of Forest Management Units (FMUs)

- Determining the management level of the unit at present, management gaps (Incorrect Bugs) compare to P & C & I of sustainable management standards;

- Determining of capacity and solutions for error correction;

- The survey results are the basis for the activities plan developing of the Sustainable Forest Management  SFM and FM / CoC certification.

The survey activity  can be made by the FMUs themselves if they meet the time, personnel and technical requirements. In case of necessity, may be hire qualified consultants to assess to current management capacity as well as errors that are inconsistent with P & C & I and to propose corrective measures.

Survey results will be aggregated in a detailed report.

II. The stage of raising awareness and capacity on SFM and Forest Certification (FC)

This phase is very important, based on the results of the survey, to develop a plan to raise awareness and capacity of the FMUs. Usually, the content of awareness and capacity include:

1. The contents related to SFM & FC

• An overview of forest management, sustainable forest management, forest certification; Concepts and definitions; Status of SFM and FC process in the world and VN (Update); Process analysis;

• Principles (P) and Criteria © & Indicators (I) of International and Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management STANDARDs;

• Introducing FSC, PEFC Standards and the other standards (SFM standards) of the region and the world. The 9c standard of Vietnam and the Cirticular No 38 / MARD; the Certification bodies (CBs) authorized by the FSC;

• Forest certification process;

·       Budget

2. To improve for technical capability

• Silviculture techniques: seedling production, site planning, planting and tending; thinning and maintenance;

• Reduced Impact Logging (RIL);

• Forest regeneration techniques towards SFM (for Natural forests);

• To develop of technical guidelines and internal approve.

• To establish the map system and Forest resource management using digital technology and GIS.

3. To improve for management capacity of FMU

• Establishing the SFM & FC group of FMU;

• Training on topics: the Forest resource inventory, the Biodiversity and HCVF assessment; EIA & SIA assessment; the forest resource management using GIS and Remote sensing technology; establishing the mapping of forest status, the functional zoning, the forest status classification; exclusion areas, stream corridor protection areas; biodiversity inventory and assessment, reserves zoning, water conservation areas…

• Documentation system;

• Labor safety and ILO conventions and government policies on workers;

• Environmental protection principles in plantation business;

4. Developing and approving on the Sustainable Forest Management plan of FMU

• Developing thematic reports: Results of forest resource inventory; EIA & SIA results; Results of biodiversity and HCVF surveys;

• Developing of a quality management and monitoring manual (about 21 Appendix);

• Establishing of commitments;

• Mapping system: the Forest status, sustainable forest management, biodiversity and HCVF.

• Stakeholders consultation on the Sustainable forest management  plan and the thematic reports;

• Completing and submit for evaluation, approval.

III. Preparation phase for the assessment

1.      Fix non-compliance errors

• Based on the survey results and current status of the FMU, establishinh the plan to fix non-compliance errors including: Time, people and funding. May be use consultant for support.

• Collecting and adding of missing evidence;

• Site preparation: Biodiversity corridors and stream, river protection corridors, signages, comments boxes, regulations, propaganda posters ...

2. Internal evaluation

• If you are not qualified, hire a support counselor. If the error continues to fix them;

• If step 2 satisfies the requirements go to step 3.

3. Select CB (should consult before choose)

• Select a suitable CB for the forest owner: Time, budget for evaluation ....

• Sign the contract and sign the evaluation period

IV. Certification Assessment period

1. Preliminary assessment (pre-assessment) - Support by Counsellor

2. Fix non-compliance errors if CB detected – Support by Counsellor

3. Official Evaluation – Support by Counsellor

4. Certificate


V. Certification Maintain and re-issue certificate (next 4 years) with periodic assessment and re-evaluation of certificate for next period.

VI. Consultant Fee: Depends on the management scale and current management capacity of the FMU