Forest-based bioeconomy in Vietnam

VOV.VN - VNU University of Science (VNU-HUS), in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in Hanoi and the University of Valladolid (UVa), co-hosted a seminar in Hanoi on March 18 on the development of forest-based bioeconomy in Vietnam in the presence of many domestic and foreign scholars.

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Mr. Miguel Moro, Deputy Chief of Mission of Embassy of Spain to Vietnam 

Addressing the event Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Noi, Rector of VNU-HUS, and Prof Antonio Largo Cabrerizo, Rector of UVa underlined the need to develop a forest-based bioeconomy within Vietnam. This need comes amid global environmental issues and current economic development trends.

Beginning the seminar, Prof. Nguyen Quang Huy, Dean of the Faculty of Biology and Prof. Vu Van Manh (co-coordinator of EU Erasmus+ BioEcoN project) from VNU-HUS gave a presentation reviewing the changing forestry policies of Vietnam from the 1980s to the present day, the role of forestry in the economy, the developments made by the forest industry, government programs to encourage plantation establishment, and trade progress.

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Prof. Antonio Largo Cabrerizo, Rector of UVa, and Prof. Nguyen Van Noi, Rector of VNU-HUS, co-chair the seminar. 

The Government of Vietnam has issued a range of important policies, which are considered a vital legal basis for the development of a forest-based bioeconomy such as a National Green Growth Strategy, said Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Thu Ha from Vietnam National University of Forestry.

The professor added that the nation is one of the few countries that have been operating new governance mechanisms such as payments for forest environmental services as well as actively participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In addition to agreeing to the convention, other agreements have been signed such as the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade.

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 Prof. Antonio Largo Cabrerizo, Rector of University of Valladolid

The Vietnamese scholars emphasised that these moves have presented a wealth of opportunities for future co-operation between universities and research institutes in domestically and abroad, noting that forestry policies will contribute significantly to developing a forest-based bioeconomy at home.

Dr. Doan Van Duong from Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry (TUAF) also delivered a report outlining wood quality evaluation for domestic forest-based industries, which have enjoyed a remarkably development in recent years.

He pointed out that although Vietnam is the fifth largest exporter of wood and forest products in the world, the second in Asia, and first in Southeast Asia, the wood processing is facing a number of challenges. This is largely due to a lack of co-operation between manufacturing and forest planters to improve the high quality of plantation timber.

It is necessary to apply non-destructive evaluation techniques within scientific research and wood processing that will help use wood for the correct purpose, optimising the source of raw materials, improving its product value, and contributing to the sustainable utilisation of wood and forest products in Vietnam.

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Participants at the seminar 

Prof. Dr. Felipe Bravo, Chair and Director of the Research Institute on Sustainable Forest Management at UVa gave an introduction about a forest simulation system on the cloud (SIMANFOR:, which is free for users and has an interface translated to Vietnamese.

Prof. Dr. Felipe Bravo also provided participants with further insights into the new development and implementation of SIMANFOR in a supercomputing system, silviculture path analysis, and adaptive forest management.

Meanwhile, Dr. Irene Ruano, a researcher at UVa underscored the importance of biomass estimations in recent times due to global change, noting that biomass equations can be fitted using statistical methods or using LiDAR.

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Domestic and foreign scholars at the seminar 

Ms.Olaya Mediavilla, a researcher at UVa highlighted the role of fungi in the forest based bioeconomy, especially within rural economies as there is a large part of the rural population involved in their harvesting and the commercial trade, which generates an important income each year.

She gave an example of how Mediterranean forests are annually affected by severe wildfires and stressed the need to develop a proper management approach regarding the vegetation and fungal communities to decrease the risk of fire and increase the economic benefit derived from mushroom production.

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Visiting the botanical museum at VNU-HUS 

At the seminar, other foreign scholars from UVa, Prof. Rosario Sierra de Grado and Prof. José A. RequeKilchenmann, discussed issues relating to forest biodiversity, international co-operation opportunities to develop resources, tools and applied projects, research and capacity building as well as social perception of forestry and virtual reality ( 

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UVa delegation visits and has a meeting with Prof. Nguyen Kim Son, President of Vietnam National University, Hanoi

In addition, Prof. Felicidad Ronda Balbás, Chair and Coordinator of the Master on Quality and Innovation in Food Technology at VNU-HUS has developed a new curriculum on Food Science at VNU-HUS.

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UVa Alumni meeting at VNU-HUS 

This seminar also relates to the ongoing project “European-Vietnamese Higher Education Network for Sustainable Forest-and Bio-Economy” co-hosted by VNU University of Science, Eberswalder University of Sustainable Development from Germany, UVa, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences from Finland, Vietnam National University of Forestry, and TUAF.

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