Payment for Ecosystem Services: Training Needs Gauged for Local Government

'Payments for Ecosystem Services' (PES) is a relatively new concept internationally and in Viet Nam. To support the use of PES for biodiversity conservation, training on PES is needed for relevant government staff at all levels.

Team work during the PES training needs assessment.

A PES training needs assessment (TNA) for local government staff was done this last January by IUCN in Lam Dong Province, covering staff from agencies responsible for biodiversity, forestry, protected areas, water resources, tourism, and staff from People’s Committee at Provincial, District and Commune levels.

The assessment was conducted under the framework of the IUCN executed Dong Nai River basin Conservation Landscape Project, a component of the Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Programme (known as the ARBCP programme).

The objective of the exercise was to identify gaps in the awareness and understanding of local government staff on PES concept and related policy and legal provisions.

Findings from the TNA have suggested that the upcoming training programme should include such topics as PES and its related terms and aspects; Lessons learned on international PES practices; Laws and policies related to PES; Existing regulations related to PES in Viet Nam and the integration of PES into the Law on Forest Protection and Development and the Biodiversity Law; Status of biodiversity conservation in Lam Dong Province and an update of ARBCP implementation in the province, especially in relation to the PES pilot site. 

The training program is planned to be organized in two workshops. The first workshop will tentatively be held in early April in Cat Tien National Park, and will target district and communal staff. The lessons learned from this training session will influence the second workshop that targets provincial government leaders. This second training workshop will be held in late April in Da Lat.

IUCN will organize these training workshops in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and other ARBCP project partners.

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