Supporting better design of PFES

CIFOR’s research findings adopted in policy and project design in Vietnam

Between 1943 and 1990, Vietnam experienced extensive deforestation, with the loss of 5 million hectares of forest. The national Payments for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) scheme, initiated in 2011, supports forest management and protection by paying forest owners, including households and communities, to protect the forest, which in turn protects soils, reduces sedimentation of water courses, and regulates water supply. PFES financing comes largely from hydropower plants and water supply companies.

Since 2011, CIFOR has studied many aspects of Vietnam’s PFES system in collaboration with Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and provincial authorities in Son La, Nghe An and Dien Bien Provinces.

“CIFOR’s research findings are very valuable to us as they help us to improve PFES implementation in Son La to meet local people’s interests and needs.”

At national level the PFES system has made significant progress on policy and legal frameworks, and government commitment. Local level implementation has been hampered, however, by a lack of guidance on financial management, weak monitoring and evaluation of spending and results, lack of transparency, and poor understanding of local equity concerns.

CIFOR’s findings have been taken up by central government, provincial authorities and donors. Nationally, the Vietnam Fund for Forest Protection and Development (VNFF) has used them to inform revisions of the PFES policy and develop the new REDD+ policy. At provincial level, in 2015 Son La forest authorities integrated CIFOR’s findings into their policy framework. Donors such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have also taken up the research findings. CIFOR’s research is actively supporting adaptation and improvement of Vietnam’s forest policy.

US$ million
Funds generated annually by Vietnam’s PES program
PFES funding
derived from hydropower plants
million ha
Area of forest protected by the PFES system