CAREC Study tour to the People Republic of Vietnam February 24th – March 2nd, 2012

This trip is organized as a part of the project “Integration of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) and the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD +) in Kyrgyzstan.”

PES is a new tool in Central Asia and REDD+ hasn’t been used so far. CAREC is setting up the first steps of these mechanisms and raises awareness about their great interest for the region. However, there is still a long way to go to make decision makers and local populations interested in PES and REDD+. Meanwhile, these tools are already used in several countries and Vietnam is a very good example with different projects on both PES and REDD+ taking place on its territory. PES mechanism is both implemented by NGOs and by the government itself (through the PFES – Payment for Forest Ecosystem Services program). The REDD+ tool is being implemented by a group of many organizations among which the United-Nations UN-REDD program and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam play an important role.

Thus, the main objective of this trip is to visit different projects and to learn best practices from their experience in order to bring to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan new ideas, a better understanding of the components of PES and REDD+, and solutions to use these tools the most efficiently in Central Asia.

The people chosen for this trip, both decision makers and local habitants, have been selected for their involvement in PES and REDD+. Thus participants will have the important responsibility to bring back from Vietnam experiences and best practices for these tools, and to advocate at their own level (from local to national) for their implementation in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Participants will visit different project sites and participate to several meetings with local or regional authorities as well as NGOs, involved in the design and implementation of the Payment for Forest Ecosystem Services, a PES focusing on forests (PFES) and the REDD+. More specifically, participants will meet with different specialist from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), from the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), from the State Agency in charge of pasture management in Vietnam, from the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ), from the United Nations program for the implementation of REDD+ in Vietnam (UN-REDD). Participants will also meet with local authorities’ representatives and farmers involved in the PFES scheme.

Payment for Ecosystems Services (PES) – The concept of “Payment for Ecosystems Services” is an economic tool which aims to support the provision of ES on the long-term. According to S. Wunder (2005) PES is “a voluntary transaction for a well-defined environmental service (or a land use likely to secure that service), purchased by at least one environmental service buyer from at least one environmental service provider, if and only if the environmental service provider meets the conditions of the contract and secures the environmental service provision.”
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) – a process designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through financial/market incentives. In principle, the REDD component serves a reinsurance for long term sustainability of a project.