“As Forest Protection Department Fund officers, we are also happy, as we are no longer worried about losing money or taking months to complete the payment process,” Long says.
E-payments are a new way of doing business for members of the community. Most have traditionally engaged in cash transactions, so Winrock’s training on how to do e-payments is crucial. Once over the learning curve, though, people are certainly seeing the benefits of quicker transactions, more transparency in the transfers (both with the government and within the household), and additional access to financial services.
The USAID Vietnam Forests and Deltas program (VFD), implemented by Winrock International, is supporting the Government of Vietnam’s efforts to better manage natural resources through an innovative Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) program, which pays forest owners for conservation that improves watersheds and biodiversity and sequesters carbon. Healthy forest ecosystems mitigate climate change by transforming the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into oxygen. Vietnam’s forests also protect water quality by preventing erosion, reducing and limiting the impact of landslides, reducing floods, and acting as a protective buffer during extreme weather.
Jennifer Norfolk, Associate Director in the Forestry and Natural Resource Management Unit, leads Winrock’s Forestry and Natural Resource Management team, supervising projects in Senegal, Vietnam, China and Indonesia. She is an international development professional with extensive experience in sustainable natural resource management, resilience and community development. She has had direct leadership of several $20+ million natural resource management projects. Norfolk led the proposal efforts for the successful Senegal Fisheries, Biodiversity and Livelihoods project and the Ghana Agriculture and Natural Resource Management project. Prior to Winrock,. she designed Counterpart International’s Blue Carbon Initiative resulting in it being featured at UNFCCC side events in Doha and Warsaw, as well as publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Norfolk has extensive experience with donor relationship management, particularly with USAID, USDOL and USDA, as well as four different foundations, and excels at bringing stakeholders together to design solutions to sustainability challenges. She has local work experience in Bolivia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Paraguay, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. She holds an M.A. in international policy and development from Georgetown and a B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan.