Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) was first piloted in Vietnam in 2008 and nationally scaled out in 2010. PFES contributes to an astounding 22% of annual investments in the forestry sector in Vietnam and is also considered by the government as one of the main breakthrough policies in the sector during the past decade. Nevertheless, although PFES has gained significant achievements since it was first rolled out in 2008, the lack of rigorous and research-based approaches to assessing the effectiveness of PFES impacts, particularly in its relations to environment and livelihoods, makes it difficult to confirm the current status of its implementation.

From a formal policy standpoint, legal frameworks on monitoring and evaluating PFES in Vietnam are also still in their nascent stages. To date, there has been no systematic, detailed assessment of PFES, and most evaluations are small scale, piecemeal, and are not based on deliberately approached scientific methods. From a policy standpoint, establishing a monitoring and evaluation mechanism for PFES is, therefore, essential for institutions to assess their effectiveness. Such assessments are particularly important for reinforcing the belief among environmental services providers about sustainable financing, as well as developing greater confidence among financiers about the reliability of their investments.

In this special section, we seek to contribute to the task of advancing knowledge and understanding of PFES in Vietnam by analyzing, applying, reconstructing, and critically evaluating its effectiveness. On the one hand, this call-for-papers (CFP) seeks to convene knowledge of more rigorous approaches to studying and evaluating the current progress of PFES in Vietnam. Such ends are geared towards enhancing research for more deliberate engagement of the empirics and a way to inform formal policies better and associated monitoring and evaluation systems. On the other hand, from a global standpoint, Vietnam has gained much attention for its progressive stance and aggressive pursuit of implementing PFES policies. Therefore, this special section in Forest and Society also seeks to contribute to the broader state of knowledge about PFES to inform other regions across Southeast Asia and around the world.

For these reasons, this CFP seeks original research contributions that respond to the following questions:

  • Has PFES effectively achieved its intended goals, including increasing forest cover and forest quality and reducing state budget allocations to the forestry sector?
  • How do we evaluate the notion of PFES efficiency, namely in terms of whether PFES has been implemented in a cost-efficient manner?
  • In what ways has PFES in Vietnam contributed to broader goals of equity (e.g., in terms of contextual equity, distributive equity, and procedural equity, or other approaches to evaluating equity?
  • How might we think about developing broader monitoring and evaluation systems for PFES in Vietnam?
  • What lessons might other countries or contexts take away from the PFES experience in Vietnam?

Submission Guidelines

Tentative publication schedule:

  • Submission     : January 2021 – July 2021
  • Peer Review    : From submission until November 2021
  • Publishing       : April or November 2021 

For further information, read the full instruction for authors as well as the template: here

Or submit your paper via the journal’s online submission site here: 

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