Inception workshop of the Project “Capacity building of wood ID for Vietnam toward development and effective operation of V-WISC in Vietnam”

On 22 June 2022, the Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences (VAFS) in collaboration with the United States Forest Service (USFS) organized the inception workshop of the Project “Capacity building of wood identification for Vietnam toward development and effective operation of V-WISC in Vietnam” to introduce the project, its objectives and activities and also to discuss the implementation plan of the project.

Prof. Dr. Vo Dai Hai, President of VAFS, gave opening remarks Mr. Andrew Wylie, Deputy Chief, Environment, Science, Technology and Health, US Embassy, gave opening remarks

The workshop received over 45 participants from central and local agencies and institutions, research institutes, universities, associations, NGOs, international organizations, and press and media. Especially, the workshop had the great opportunity to welcome representatives of the US Embassy in Vietnam and the US Forest Service to attend.

The participants of the workshop were very interested in 3 presentations: (i) Background, partnerships and overall mission and vision of the V-WISC program; (ii) Overview of the V-WISC project and its objectives and activities; and (iii) Wood identification in Vietnam, challenges and opportunities. Particularly, the workshop was introduced the WISC International conducted by USFS, in which WISC provides training and capacity building for international partners to enhance and/or develop their wood ID methods and capacities to better assist their law enforcement needs, as well as collect field samples to expand the ForeST©Database. Within this program, it is very fascinating that Peru, Gabon, and Vietnam are first countries to be donated the mass spectrometry equipment for wood identification, also to be trained in the use of DART-TOFMS technology. Besides, the wood sample database is also expanded to enter into the ForeST©Database. DART-TOFMS is an advanced technology of the US on wood identification, requires only a tiny wood sample, but gives a highly accurate result within a very short time.

It is expected that, in July 2022, the mass spectrometry equipment supported by the USFS will be installed in the Wood Identification Unit of the Research Institute for Forest Industry (RIFI), VAFS. In addition, in August 2022, 4 researchers of RIFI will go to the US for a training course on uses of the mass spectrometry equipment that helps to well operate this equipment in Vietnam, as well as to transfer this advanced technology to the other VAFS’s staff and relevant stakeholders. The reviewing and expanding the wood sample database for wood identification using DART-TOFMS technology are being implemented.

Mr. Will Mateo, Vietnam Program Specialist, USFS IP, gave opening remarks Participants attended the inception workshop

In the closing remarks, Prof. Dr Vo Dai Hai, President of VAFS, highly appreciated the cooperation and support of the USFS and the US Embassy in the capacity building of wood identification toward the development and effective operation of V-WISC in Vietnam. Prof Hai strongly believed that, with great support of the USFS and the US Embassy, the V-WISC project will be successfully implemented, making a significant contribution to the control of legal logging system in Vietnam as well as the international trade.

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