Harmonizing coffee and forest protection in Viet Nam

Coffee comes from forests. To meet an insatiable global demand, coffee was taken out of forests and grown intensively following the agroindustry model. The global thirst for coffee is quenched for now, but this model has come at a serious environmental price, including rampant deforestation, massive pollution from fertilizers and pesticides, overuse of water and soil degradation.

Coffee is a strategic resource for Viet Nam. The country is the second world producer of coffee after Brazil. In 2016, Vietnam produced 1.5 million tons of coffee. Coffee is a strategic resource, worth an annual $1.5billion and employing more than 1 million people in the country. The Central Highlands are the heart of the country’s coffee industry. But, as a result, large areas of forests have been destroyed and converted.

High market price and growing demand, vulnerable rural population including many ethnic minorities living on small farmland, combined with inadequate planning and law enforcement, has made coffee a threat to its mother forest. All these aspects are drivers of deforestation and show how complex and multifaceted protection of forests is.

Despite those drivers, the forest might be striking back: People in and close to the forest feel the consequences, for example increased droughts, water shortages and soil erosion, which can lead to poverty and hunger.

The UN-REDD Programme in Viet Nam works on different levels and with many sectors to help people and nature: local communities, research institutes, local and national Government departments and even international enterprises. Due to the Programme’s efforts, various stakeholders are now working together on converging work plans that aim at addressing drivers comprehensively.

A broad portfolio of actions addressing the above drivers illustrates how deforestation-free coffee is being explored and piloted in Viet Nam, and demonstrates how REDD+ and Viet Nam are contributing to this challenging international agenda.

More video clips on the UN-REDD Viet Nam Programme here:


For more information please contact:

Hoang Viet Dung, Communication Officer, UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme.

Phan Huong Giang, Media and Communications Analyst, United Nations Development Programme.

Mihaela Secrieru, Regional Communications and Knowledge Management Specialist for Asia-Pacific, UN-REDD Programme.

235 views9 comments