Smallholders get help in growing native plant species within FSC certified acacia forest | WWF
© WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (Singapore) Limited

Smallholders get help in growing native plant species within FSC certified acacia forest

Labelling and packaging leader Avery Dennison Corporation is committed to reducing its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by at least 3 percent every year between now and 2025. At the same time, through its 2025 goals, it also aims to develop a paper supply with origins that are 100 percent certified as sustainable, with at least 70 percent bearing certification by the Forest Stewardship Council or FSC®.

In a meaningful partnership with WWF, Avery Dennison supported a successful year-long programme in January 2018 (see Overview Results below). This partnership kick-started native species plantation and high quality acacia seedling production benefitting small holders in a FSC® certified acacia forest in Thua Thien Hue province, Vietnam, which includes Hue, a World Heritage site, a region within WWF’s priority landscape.

"I’m very proud to be part of this truly unique collaboration with WWF and the Forest Owners Sustainable Development Association of Thua Thien Hue Province in Vietnam. I believe such positive actions not only raise awareness of the importance of sustainable paper sourcing within our industry but also help influence the broader value chain to make more sustainable choices which can directly help the environment and livelihoods of local communities"

Marcel Cote, Director for Strategic Marketing and Regional Sustainability Lead, Label and Graphic Materials, South Asia Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa, Avery Dennison

While some multinationals, like Avery Dennison, strive to create more sustainable supply chains, our forests’ future may really be in the hands of the millions of smallholders around the world. The road to sustainability requires effective collaboration across the multi-layer production chain.

 

Connecting forests, people and wildlife

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Founded in 2016 by the Provincial Forest Protection Department and the growers of acacia, The Forest Owners Sustainable Development Association of Thua Thien Hue province (TTH- FOSDA), has a membership of 241 households, organized under 14 sub - associations at village level. Most of TTH-FOSDA members’ forest plantation is of poor natural regenerated forest and on barren land. An estimated 3.495 million hectares already sanction by the government as a forest plantation for production purposes which 1.545 million hectares of the area belong to smallholders.

This however, does not come without challenges, which includes:

  1. Scattered and Small Area – The area is usually small and scattered due to Vietnam’s unique land planning and usage. Buffer zones with native species are therefore essential in connecting forest habitats together. When the acacia is harvested, the native trees in these buffer zones are retained to protect habitat for the animals.

  2. Poor Quality and Low Volume Timber - Before joining the FSC forest certification programme, individual households purchased seedlings from a variety of unqualified sources.  The existing variety resulted in poor quality acacia trees and low volume timber, most of which can only be used for woodchips. Improving the quality of acacia seedling is the leading requirement for optimising forest plantation - saw wood for furniture. Quality seedlings will yield higher productivity per unit area (higher survival and growth rates, less poor and deformed trees) and better quality timber, resulting in increased incomes for farmers. Furthermore, quality seedlings will shorten the tree development maturation period, thus the crop cycle. This increases the likelihood of crops being harvested before the occurrence of disasters such as hurricanes and forest fires.

As required by FSC® Standard and Principles, native species will be promoted within the acacia plantation forest to enrich buffer zones, especially along the rivers, streams and lakes. This is known as a ‘green belt’ in accordance with sustainable forest management plan of TTH-FOSDA. This will prevent soil erosion, improve soil fertility, as well as water quality. Additionally, after the acacia is harvested, this green belt will be maintained and reserved to protect and connect the small remnants of native vegetation that provide critical habitats for wildlife in the area such as squirrels, rabbits and skunks, to name a few. Under the FSC® certification, timber trading, seedling quality and supply source of acacia plays an important role in the production process.

Building a community seedling production model of high quality acacia timber will ensure that local farmers can easily and with lower costs, source reliable and qualified seedlings. Furthermore, in the long run, the nursery model implemented by local people in this project can be used as a prototype for household-level production business, create jobs and sustainably increase incomes for local communities.

In addition, the 'native species plantation and high quality acacia seeding production' model will help acacia smallholders, as well as local authorities, improve the awareness and practices on sustainable forest management and forestry production business, by achieving positive impacts on all three fronts - economy, environment and society.

 

Year 1 (2018) Results at a Glance

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Planting native species in FSC® certified acacia forest within 3,862.53 hectares FSC® certified acacia forest:

  1. About 24,000 trees of native species planted in the streamside/lake shores and marginal habitats of FSC® acacia plantation forest (equivalent to about 39 hectares) of 115 selected smallholders along following the requirements of FSC® Standard.

  2. About 7,800 trees of native species planted in 19 forest plots (equivalent to 12 hectares) belonging to 16 committed smallholders 

Improving the smallholder' nursery for producing high quality acacia seeding by environmentally friendly method with biodegradable non-plastic bag

  1. 5 smallholder' nurseries were involved in the technique and scope improvement, producing quality seedling appropriating the environmentally friendly method (biodegradable non-plastic bag). The 5 nurseries are Hoa Phuc, Do Cao Tri, Nguyen Van Quyen, Phu Son and Tan My. Two other nurseries Hoa Phuc and Do Cao Tri are producing acacia saplings at this stage. The final 3 nurseries are at its final establishment stage and will be producing seedling in the coming year.

  2. The research and testing of acacia seedlings produced by environmentally friendly (biodegradable non-plastic-bag) technique on the field sites were conducted by TTH-FOSDA in the cooperation with Hue University of Agricultural and Forestry (HUAF). The key product of this research is the ‘technical process of environmentally friendly acacia seedling production’ that had been consulted from relevant stakeholders and endorsed by local governmental department (the Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (DARD).

Capacity building (technical trainings, experience sharing and workshops, etc.,)

Technical trainings and workshops were carried out which included:

  1. 2 trainings on ‘native species planting and tending technique and reduce impact logging (RIL) technique’;

  2. 2 trainings on ‘techniques on the environmentally friendly seedling production and nursery and safety working’;

  3. A training on ‘identification of marginal habitats and classification of forest land types for setting up suitable native species model under FSC acacia forest’;

  4. A consultation and experience sharing workshop on ‘acacia plantation from environmentally friendly seedling production by biodegradable seedling bag’;

  5. A project year-end summation workshop was also organised for summarising the experiences and lessons learnt as well as for planning the activities for year 2019

View the conservation trip video here, where 19 delegates from Avery Dennison visited the Thua Thien Hue province.

In January 2019, Avery Dennison extended the partnership to another year, replicating the same model covering two new provinces; Quang Tri and Quang Name with the same objectives. This expansion will contribute to achieving native species plantations and high quality acacia seeding production, within 6,844 ha of FSC® certified acacia areas of the smallholders:

  1. 1,922 ha in Quang Tri,

  2. 3,863 ha in Thua Thien Hue

  3. 1,059 ha in Quang Nam)

 

If you're interested in exploring a similar partnership with WWF, contact:

Mayj C. Tolentino 
Senior Manager, Corporate Partnerships  
E-mail: mtolentino@wwf.sg