Payment for Forest Environmental Services: A Case Study on Pilot Implementation in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam
This case study examines a payment for forest environmental services (PFES) scheme in Vietnam from 2009-10. The PES pilot was the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.
The pilot program created the legal framework necessary to collect and distribute a portion of the economic value of ecological services provided by forests in two pilot areas (Lam Dong province in the south and Son La province in the north). This report covers Lam Dong Province.
The program facilitated payments aimed at ensuring forest protection and management, while improving the livelihoods of local communities. It was transparent and required payments from public utilities based on a reduction in their operating costs.
By December 2010, payments totaling the equivalent of $4.46 million were made to 22 Forest Management Boards and forestry businesses, as well as to 9,870 households. Activities resulted in greater protection of 209,705 hectares of forests. In 2010, the average annual payment per household was the equivalent of $540-615 - an almost 400 percent increase over such payments in the past by Vietnam’s government. Forest protection patrols have reported that cases of illegal logging and wildlife poaching were cut in half in the Da Nhim watershed.
The case study report summarizes ongoing monitoring and evaluation efforts and provides an overview of the policy’s achievements, challenges, and lessons learned.