Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Vietnamese Updates: Charge of forest environmental services – a sustainable revenue source for forest protection and development (3 Feb 2013)

Charge of forest environmental services – a sustainable revenue source for forest protection and development

Chủ nhật, ngày 03 tháng 02 năm 2013 cập nhật lúc 21:29

The policy on payment for forest environmental services is a new policy not only for Vietnam. All over the world, there are few countries, which have successfully implemented this policy. Derived from the socio-economic conditions and the actual capacity, Vietnam has set a policy on payment for forest environmental services on the basis of continuity, in accordance with the system of institutions, policies and Vietnam's current laws. The year 2012 has marked the first success of the implementation of this policy across the country.

Revenue of approximately 1200 billion
The policy on fee and payment for forest environmental services (FES) was implemented nationally in 2012 on the basis of Decree 99/2010/ND-CP on the FES policy of the Government. Discussing this policy, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mr.Ha Cong Tuan assessed: The practical implementation over the first year has proved that this is a sound policy, generating a sustainable source of revenue for the protection and development of forests.

Deputy Ha Cong Tuan said in 2012, revenues from FES reached approximately 1,200 billion, equivalent to the investment in the forestry sector from central budget in 2012. Suppliers of services are forest owners and the contractors. Specifically, folks involved in forest protection and planting enjoy all of this funding. Thus, the charge of FES plays an important role in ensuring the economy and social welfare for the poor.

Nevertheless, in 2012, new FES revenues come only from hydropower plants and several clean water factories. Many other services using FES such as ecotourism services, CO2 credit services, are being researched. Therefore, charging FES is a not only a successful policy in the country, but are also highly regarded and considered as a lesson by the international community.

The ultimate goal of this service is to give payment to service providers precisely. Currently, only about 60% of provinces in the country can pay farmers for FES fee. This is due to that fact that in 2012, the local funds as well as the guidance of the ministries were not implemented timely. Moreover, in order to pay farmer FES fee, the provincial authorities must identify forest areas in the basin. It is required that each forest owner has to carry out the calculation precisely but many of them are facing difficulties due to forest fragmentation.

Fund expansion of forest environmental services
According to Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan, at the moment the country is beginning to implement a plan to protect and develop forests in the 2012-2020 period. Therefore, the expansion of FES Fund will contribute a great deal to the forest protection because FES policy is a breakthrough in solving many problems, which focuses on three basic issues: environment and socio-economy. This policy contributes to reducing deforestation, forest degradation and improving the quality of forests, increasing forest protection, ensuring ecological balance and mitigating climate change, drought and floods. On the other hand, this policy will create a profound shift in the awareness of people and enhance closer cooperation between the forest owners and local authorities on a number of issues, including forest protection, sustainable develop protection as well as prevention of behavior invading forest resources, mitigation of deforestation, forest encroachment and illegal exploitation of forest products.

As predicted, in 2013, FES Fund will collect 1000 billion Vietnam dong, which is a very large and significant amount to pay and support households, encouraging them to actively protect forests and keep them evergreen.



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