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Precision Forestry
Mar 7 • 4 min read

Supporting sustainable forest industry in Vietnam

Simosol is participating in the Forest Industry Monitoring System (FIMS) project in Vietnam, which is part of the project Development of Management Information System for Forestry Sector in Vietnam (FORMIS II). The purpose of the project is to provide support in building a management information system that will help forestry agencies and other stakeholders to access and share forest related data and information.

The FIMS planning meeting at the HAWA office in Ho Chi Minh City on Dec 13th, 2017 gathering the industry, administration and project service provider representatives.


The forest area of Vietnam has continuously increased due to effective forest rehabilitation and plantation programs. By the end of 2009 the forests of Vietnam were estimated at 12.8 million ha covering 39 % of the country. Furthermore, the forest product processing industry and the associated trade is gradually becoming the economic engine of the forestry sector. Today Vietnam has about 3,000 wood processing enterprises, 95 % of which are privately-owned. Vietnam is also in the final phases of negotiating Voluntary Partnership Agreement as a part of FLEGT process with the European Union, potentially boosting the trade relationships for wood products. However, there is a major hurdle for further expansion; while the most potential plantation area is in North East, the wood processing industry is flourishing in the East of South Vietnam where there are no large plantations. Therefore, there is a strong demand in the industry for more data related to the forest resources and their utilisation.

Development of Management Information System for Forestry Sector, FORMIS II

In order to meet the challenge of up-to-date information on forests resources and activities the state forest authority VNFOREST has implemented the FORMIS II project. Niras Finland Oy acts as the lead consultant for the project implementation. FORMIS II supports building a management information system (MIS) that will help forestry agencies and other stakeholders to access and share forest related data and information. FORMIS provides a unified ICT platform for the relevant agencies to integrate their data and applications. This will enable efficient data management and sharing to facilitate better decision-making at all levels.

For the forest industry, the current information systems are based on manual reporting, being characterised by a large amount of manual work and limited to hard copies at all administrative levels. Therefore FORMIS II is currently in the process of developing the Forest Industry Monitoring System (FIMS).

Forest Industry Monitoring System, FIMS

The main purpose of FIMS is to capture the raw material input and production output data for each processing mill at a monthly level. It is implemented as a web application that allows the users to easily enter their production data and see it also on a map. Administrative-level users can use the application to generate aggregated reports at district, province and national levels eventually replacing the manual work currently involved.

Forest industry capacity analyses based on up-to-date information:
Besides reporting, the application can be used for analysing the availability of round wood to mills as well as the capacity and location of mills competing for the forest resources. FIMS will integrate forest resource information from the Forest Resource Monitoring System (FRMS). In this way, the application will enable users to compare the mill round wood usage against the wood resources available and plan for wood procurement and investments.

The image: courtesy of Fairventures Worldwide.

FIMS is currently being developed and tested. Once completed later in the spring of 2018, the forest industry and the forest administration in Vietnam will be able to jointly utilise the application to advance the building of a sustainable bioeconomy in Vietnam. This is an excellent example of what can be achieved when the premise of sustainable forestry is kept in mind: mapping, planning and monitoring are all required as a continuous process. However, if you do not take care of these three steps, you will not get very far. When you combine the three, a lot can be accomplished.

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