Small foresters opt for a sustainable approach
In Quang Tri province, MCNV is starting a new project in which we link the living conditions of small foresters to sustainable forest management. The project is called Prosper and is aimed at guiding a group of foresters in a sustainable way of working, allowing them to sell certified acacia wood at a better price in a few years. We help a second group with the production and processing of seeds from the tung tree into certified tung oil, a type of furniture oil. The oil gets a quality mark and the farmers a fair price. We also help farmers find companies that want to buy the wood and the oil.
Many small foresters and farmers in the wooded province planted their small plantations with fast-growing trees for the sale of wood chips for the pulp industry. However, this is yielding less and less and they live in poverty with their families. This project aims at more than just a better income, the farmers can also participate in the decision-making about the preservation of their living environment.
Patience is a virtue
The farmers who participate must have patience; it takes 8-10 years before they can sell the certified acacia wood. In the meantime, they can thin the plantation twice and shred the pruning waste. Certified wood chips provide farmers with 30% more income than non-certified wood.
It seems to be a big step for MCNV to start forest management, but what it is really all about – improving the livelihoods of small foresters and their families – is right up our alley. While we are not forestry experts, we do know a great deal about bringing farmers’ organizations, businesses and experts together. We also use our years of experience to help farmers with feasible long-term plans.