Payments for environmental services in Vietnam: Assessing an economic approach to sustainable forest management
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This study assessed the potential for the PES conservation approach in Vietnam. This was done through a review of the country's legal framework and by conducting an experimental PES scheme involving sustainable forest management. The work was constrained by the fact that all land in Vietnam is state-owned and that there has been limited ES market development in the country. However, the results of the PES experiment (in forest areas where the fundamental conditions for PES were met) were quite promising. Participation in the trial scheme was good, despite the fact that it was an experiment of limited duration. Moreover, institutional support for this kind of PES initiative was found to be already available and effective. Expected environmental impacts were also observed: The sustainable forest management regime that was tied to the PES scheme resulted in a reduction in both soil erosion and in destructive natural forest extraction activities. In light of these findings, it is suggested that more practical policy/program trials should be implemented. These will allow Vietnamese policy makers to gain more experience and knowledge before the large-scale implementation of PES is tried in the country.
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