Distributing the benefits from REDD+: The case of Vietnam

Case Summary: 

Vietnam has engaged in reforestation programs since the 1980’s. The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program began in 2005 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UN-REDD program assists countries by granting financial awards to applicants to conduct their own REDD+ programs. In 2008 Vietnam had been working towards building its REDD+ program. In 2009 the Vietnam REDD+ program was selected as one of nine pilot programs. This report details some of the necessary improvements that are needed in Vietnam to further the REDD program and that are applicable to other countries. These include:

  • Adequate payment plans for those participating in the REDD+ program. Originally reforestation payments were flat and based only on land area. This failed to take into account the project size or efficiency. It was found that along with providing financial incentives that accounted for land efficiency, it was also necessary to provide a portion of the payment for start-up investment costs and regular disbursements of the payment for long-term projects.
  • Equitable treatment of individual participants. During the program development new laws were passed to protect the rights of indigenous people and educate people on their rights under the new laws. It was found that payments were more equitably dispersed between genders and classes when payments were made to communities rather than individual households.
  • Create transparency in the government payment and distribution mechanisms. This involved holding stakeholder meetings to explain the REDD+ program.
  • Educate the local population on the REDD+ program. Along with holding stakeholder meetings, the REDD+ program produced flyers and handouts that were given to interested citizens that explained the program details and how to get involved.
  • Provide the necessary government oversight. This included safeguarding the benefits of the community and increasing the forest law enforcement to adequate levels.
East Asia and Pacific
Action Area 
Planning and Implementation Activity 
Developing Strategies and Plans, Developing and Implementing Policies and Measures, Financing Implementation, Long-Term Strategies
Sectors and Themes 
Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)
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