The Effects of Logging on Carbon and Population Dynamics in Evergreen Broad Leaved Forests of the Central Highlands of Vietnam

Viet Nam

The Effects of Logging on Carbon and Population Dynamics in Evergreen Broad Leaved Forests of the Central Highlands of Vietnam

Consumer demand for forest resources has led to extensive logging in Viet Nam’s production and natural forests. These practices have historically been exploitative, prompting a need for restrictive policies on logging allowances. While production forests are almost entirely composed of fast growing species, this timber is not of the quality needed for building or manufacturing furniture, leaving a great demand for illegal logging of natural forests. On an international scale, it is recognized that unsustainable logging practices in tropical forests has the potential to greatly contribute to carbon dioxide emissions. Such harvesting is discouraged by the United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program.

This study aims to generate sound information and relevant data for forestry management policies that adequately account for the market demands and environmental concerns alike. Questions to be addressed include: what levels and methods of harvesting are sustainable? What are the impacts of different logging regimes on the carbon dynamics of these forests? How much carbon is currently stored in the natural forests of Vietnam?

Researcher Vu Thanh Nam of the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) at the Ministry of agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has been working since May 2012 to identify sustainable harvesting methods and estimate carbon storage capacity of Vietnamese forests.

The project has completed data collection for the development of allometric equations that will estimate biomass and carbon storage in the forest study sites. Researchers are continuing to refine allometry models in order to properly account for above and below-ground biomass of woody species.

Duration

2009 - 2014

Objective

The project objectives are: 1) to develop a methodology of carbon stock estimation in the evergreen broad-leaf forest; 2) to create a carbon content database outlining the carbon stored in common Vietnamese tree species; 3) quantifying and modeling of carbon dynamics of both logged and un-logged forest; 4) to quantify population dynamics of commonly exploited trees, focusing on the carbon content of these forests.