Young people plant trees in a forest in the southern province of Đồng Nai. — VNA/VNS Photo Sỹ Tuyên
HÀ NỘI — Experts discussed a uniform monitoring and evaluation system for payment of forest environmental services during a conference held last week in Hà Nội.
The conference was organised by the PanNature and the Việt Nam Forest Owners Association (VIFORA).
PanNature’s report showed that since 2014, many individuals and organisations have conducted independent and co-ordinated studies on supervising and assessing the payment of forest environmental services.
They also worked with the Vietnam Forest Protection and Development Fund (VNFF) and localities to design and test the monitoring and evaluating system of payment for environmental services.
However, as in many countries, the process in Việt Nam has faced many challenges.
Current data for monitoring and evaluating payment for forest environmental services is still inconsistent, while the system of payment for forest environmental services has not been integrated into existing environmental monitoring systems.
Some provincial funds use forest data supplied by forest rangers, but the data does not include monitoring data on payment of forest environmental services.
Speaking at the conference, Hứa Đức Nhị, chairman of the VIFORA, said payment for forest environmental services was essentially payment between service users and forest owners or forest environmental services suppliers via the VNFF or provincial funds.
Studies showed that payment for forest environmental services, also low, still helped improve living standards for people maintaining the forest and helps them contribute to forest development, said Nhị.
“To protect the forest, we should not only work based on payment policies but also need more policies and more services,” he said.
Payment level should also be re-calculated to be in balance with people’s efforts to protect the forest.
More meetings should be held so service payers and service suppliers can discuss continuing to improve the payment policy, said Nhị.
Experts at the conference said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should set up a unique supervision and assessment system for forest environmental services for the whole country.
The system building should follow an itinerary including research, trial and assessment.
The Vietnam Administration of Forestry should promulgate guidance for supervising payment of forest environmental services. — VNS