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Forest data management focus of Finnish-funded seminar

Update: March, 10/2017 - 11:41
Forest data management and investment promotion were among the topics on the agenda of a seminar held in HCM City on Wednesday with Finnish assistance. — Photo

HCM CITY — Forest data management and investment promotion were among the topics on the agenda of a seminar held in HCM City on Wednesday with Finnish assistance.

“Forestry Data Sharing and Promoting Investment” brought together forestry sector stakeholders to exchange information and ideas on information and communication technology solutions in forestry.

Speaking at the seminar organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Finnish embassy, Ilkka-Pekka Similä, Finland’s envoy to Việt Nam, said in his country the forestry sector plays a crucial role in industrialisation and trade.

It provides livelihoods for more Finns than any other industry and accounts for around 20 per cent of the country’s exports, he said.

Finland has been supporting the forestry sector in Việt Nam since 1996, giving over 33 million euros (US$35.15 million) mainly to the FORMIS (Development of Management Information System for the Forestry Sector in Việt Nam) project, he said.

The Việt Nam Administration of Forestry and the FOMIS technical assistance team have worked for years to develop the country’s forestry sector, he said.

They can boast of many accomplishments, including the development of a forest resource monitoring system that is being deployed throughout the country, he said.

“Uniform forest resource data is probably the most valuable sector from FOMIS II project. It benefits first of all the forest administration, also holds many opportunities for a larger group of stakeholders.”

Application of modern ICT offers huge benefits in terms of improved cost-effectiveness and transparency in forestry, he said.

“I cannot emphasise enough the importance of the availability of forest resource data to be accessed and used by the forest owners as well as the private and public sectors.

“Our experience shows that opening the data can stimulate socio-economic development in many ways and is likely to boost investments.

“However, when opening the data to users, we also need to strike a balance between information security and economic benefits: access to data should be as open as possible without harming the interests of individuals and companies.”

Sharing experience between the two countries is useful because of the similarities in their forestry sector, he said.

Nguyễn Tôn Quyền, general secretary of the Việt Nam Timber and Forest Product Association, said wood processing companies are in need of information related to timber consisting of wood reserves, output, geographic location and wood suppliers.

The FOMIS project’s information and data system is very useful to wood processing companies, he said.

Nguyễn Bình Minh, office manager at the forestry administration, said it updates and integrates big data such as forest inventory data, environment payment services, forest seedlings and other data into its server. — VNS

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