The Multi-level Environmental Governance of Vietnamese Aquaculture: Global Certification, National Standards, Local Cooperatives

Pham, T.A.; Bush, S.R.; Mol, A.P.J.; Kroeze, C.


Poor water quality is one of the key environmental problems associated with shrimp and pangasius aquaculture in Vietnam. Several studies exist on the causes and effects of poor water quality, and on possible solutions for effluent control in these two economically important production systems. However, only a small number of Vietnamese farms apply these reduction options, raising questions over the state-enforced compliance with legislated water-quality measures. Voluntary standards and certification networks have recently emerged as alternative forms of water-quality governance in Vietnamese aquaculture. This paper examines a number of ongoing and interlinked international, national and community level initiatives on (voluntary) standards and certification that aim to promote sustainable shrimp and pangasius aquaculture in Vietnam. The results indicate the potential, but also challenges, in the development and implementation of national and international standards and demonstrate the need for more attention to the role of local institutions like producer co-operatives in multi-level governance arrangements