M&E for More Transparent and Efficient PFES in Viet Nam

The GMS Core Environment Program and the World Wide Fund for Nature are working on a monitoring and evaluation framework to improve Viet Nam’s Payments for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) scheme.

Since 2011, Viet Nam’s PFES scheme has generated over $230 million from forest users; much of which has been distributed to more than 500,000 rural households who protect around 5.3 million hectares of forest. The scheme is highly regarded for bolstering national conservation revenue while mobilizing and rewarding community efforts for sustainable forest management. 

Under the scheme, forest ‘users’ ­–  nearly all are hydropower companies although a smattering of water suppliers and tourism enterprises are involved ­–  make payments to the Viet Nam Forest Protection and Development Fund. The fund, which is under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, distributes PFES revenues to local authorities in 40 provinces who then disburse to the households.

Typically, the households provide forest patrolling services, report on illegal activities, and must themselves abstain from illegal or unsustainable forest use activities. On average, each will protect around 10 hectares of forest and make around $75 per year.

While PFES is progressing well, key challenges remain including the low disbursement rates of PFES revenue and a lack of systematic monitoring and evaluation. In 2015, CEP commissioned a technical review as an initial step to help the Government develop an M&E system that will enable a more transparent, efficient, and performance-based PFES.

The review emphasized the need for monitoring on-the-ground results such as forest cover, biodiversity, and livelihoods as well as the operational performance of the PFES system, including the disbursement and use of revenue. Forty indicators were proposed by the review and it also analyzed key elements of an M&E framework including roles and responsibilities, data requirements, monitoring mechanisms, and tools.

With funding from CEP and in collaboration with the Viet Nam Forest Protection and Development Fund and provincial authorities, WWF will build on this analysis to develop and test a M&E framework in Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam provinces. Both provinces have been involved in PFES since 2011 and WWF has supported PFES in each as part of its Carbon and Biodiversity Project (CarBi).

Following inception workshops in the two provinces in late February, an M&E framework will be drafted and tools identified for testing the framework at commune, district, and provincial levels. An M&E working group will also be established and training delivered for government officials and other stakeholders. Based on the field trials, in late 2017 a national M&E framework will be proposed and disseminated to other provinces and national audiences for consideration.

Publish Date: 19th February 2017

Last Updated: 20th February 2017

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