IUCN conducted two Payment for Environmental Services (PES) training workshops for commune, district, and provincial government officers and other PES stakeholders in Lam Dong Province in April and May 2008.
Lam Dong is one of the pilot provinces for Payment for Forest Environmental Services in Viet Nam. The province is upstream of many rivers that supply water for domestic use and hydropower production in downstream cities and provinces including Ho Chi Minh City.
The main objective of the training was to strengthen the understanding of the legal and economic conditions of PES for government officials responsible for biodiversity conservation, natural resources management, and tourism development.
During the training workshop, participants learned about the concept of PES as a sustainable financing mechanism for natural resources conservation and management, and discussed how to apply this in the context of Viet Nam. Examples of successful PES implementation schemes in other countries were shared to demonstrate the usefulness of PES application.
Participants also discussed the Decision 380 from the Primer Minister on piloting Payments for Forest Environmental Services and the implementation plan of the Decision in Lam Dong Province. Discussions identified opportunities and constraints to implementing the pilot PES policy in the province and resulted in suggesting solutions to meet these potential challenges.
The first training was conducted on April 24 and 25 in Da Teh District, Lam Dong Province. Forty-seven representatives from Da Teh District and Quoc Oai, An Nhon, Da Lay, Da Kho, and Huong Lam Communes attended. These participants are representatives of People’s Committees, Forest Protection Unites, Forest Management Boards, Cadastral Offices, and Education Offices.
Sixty Lam Dong provincial and Lac Duong district officials and other PES stakeholders from the province attended the second training on May 28 and 29 in Da Lat City.
The workshops were coordinated under the Dong Nai River Basin Conservation Landscape Project within the Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Program (ARBCP). IUCN organized the workshops in close collaboration with Winrock International, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) as well as local partners.
It is expected that the participants, with an improved understanding of PES and equipped with the basic skills to manage the implementation of PES policy, will be able to facilitate compliance with PES policy, ensuring that the rights and responsibilities of providers and users are upheld.