By Peter Stephen, SNV REDD+ team as Senior Forest Management & Climate Change Technical Advisor, and Lucy Goodman, Global Canopy Programme Senior Project Manager.
The Forest COMPASS project is currently attending a Regional Knowledge exchange on Participatory Forest Monitoring hosted by the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), SilvaCarbon and USAID-LEAF in Viet Nam, from 18-20 November 2014.
The workshop is being held in Dalat, in Lam Dong Province, which has been implementing a Payment for Forest Ecosystem Services (PFES) scheme since 2007. Under this scheme, households and other forest owners are paid under a Memorandum of Understanding between a hydropower company, water supply companies and tourism operators. To support this scheme and explore its potential extension to include REDD+, SNV has partnered with Lam Dong Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to introduce and build capacity on participatory forest monitoring for households. Under the PFES scheme, households are paid 8,000,000 Vietnamese Dong per year for patrolling their forests, with payment being received once a report is produced indicating patrols have been completed successfully. Following the trial monitoring scheme, the hope is that households will now be able to expand the payments through REDD+ incentive payments.
Mr Hoang, Director of the community company in Bao Lam district, shared the particular challenges they are facing in carrying out participatory monitoring with the workshop participants:
- There is a lack of technical knowledge, for example on scientific tree species names, and tree measurement skills and techniques;
- Processing data from the surveys is challenging and time consuming;
- Forest patrolling is costly and time consuming.
The most positive outcome of the project has been the livelihood opportunities for the monitoring teams and forest patrolling staff.
In the district the main source of employment is currently the growing of cash crops such as coffee, tea and vegetables.