Lao Cai – 14. July 2020

Sustainable Sourcing of Benzoin Gum in the Northern Mountainous Region

Lao Cai city - On July 17th, 2020, Helvetas Vietnam and TRAFFIC co-organize a Policy Dialogue Workshop on “Sustainable Sourcing of Benzoin Gum in the Northern Mountainous Region”. This is an activity within the framework of the Regional BioTrade Project in South East Asia funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) to promote ethical sourcing and sustainable trade of natural ingredients combined with biodiversity conservation in Vietnam.

Attending the Conference are representatives from related governmental agencies, law enforcement and monitoring agencies, researchers, enterprises and local people in Benzoin Gum supply chain in Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Son La provinces, Helvetas Vietnam and TRAFFIC.

The sourcing of Benzoin Gum (resin of Styrax tonkinensis tree), a non-timber forest product, has gained more attention from businesses, forest farmers and forestry management agencies at different levels as this native ingredient can create significant economic value for mountainous local communities and contribute to forest protection. However, the guidelines and policies related to forest protection and development, timber and non-timber forest products (including Benzoin Gum) have not been widely disseminated and are quite difficult to apply. The policy dialogue workshop held in Lao Cai is expected to create an important premise for the northern mountainous provinces to improve the efficiency of management, supervision of Benzoin Gum sourcing and trading from provincial to grassroots levels, contributing to biodiversity protection and enhancing the livelihoods of local people. The workshop also creates a good opportunity for stakeholders to share information and lessons learned, enabling better cooperation in developing this valuable product as well as other potential timber and non-timber products in these areas.

For more details, please contact: 

Nguyen Thanh Tung (Mr.) - Tel: 024 3843 1750 - Email:


Helvetas is a non-governmental organization, founded in Switzerland in 1955, and supported by more than 100,000 members and sponsors as well as 12 regional volunteer groups. Helvetas has been operating in Vietnam since 1994 in the sectors of agriculture, forestry, governance and peace, water and sanitation, and rural development. Today, Helvetas Vietnam’s programs focus on Sustainable and Inclusive Economies, specific interfaces with Climate Change and Vocational Skills Development are considered and further deepened.

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Wildlife trade is one of the world's most pressing conservation challenges, affecting hundreds of millions of people and thousands of wildlife species. TRAFFIC is a leading non-governmental organisation working globally on trade monitoring of wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. 

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