At the meeting. Photo: SNV
The meeting on May 10 drew attention from Chau Cong Bang, deputy of DARD and a great number of representatives from the district-level officials and forest management boards from large forest-covered areas such as Nam Can, Ngoc Hien, Phu Tan and Dam Doi.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Bang hailed SNV’s support for the province in the last six years, including the building of a local PFES policy in aquaculture. He said Decision 111/QD-UBND, dated in 2016 by the provincial People’s Committee with the support from MAM project, is the first PFES written policy in Vietnam.
At the meeting, Dr. Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, MAM project manager, said that since MAM’s piloting of PFES for integrated mangrove-shrimp model in the province, thousands of shrimp households have signed contracts with Minh Phu Seafood Corp. Accordingly, more than VND5 billion (US$214,000) has been paid for PFES. In the pilot period, MAM has connected with enterprise which paid more than VND2 billion (US$86,000) for PFES.
Thanks to the successful piloted implementation of PFES policy, the MAM project has provided scientific and legal bases for the drafting of Government Decree 156/2018/ND-CP, which was put into effect in January 1 of this year.
However, with the new Government Decree, the province needs to adjust the existing local policy in order to adapt to the new national policy on PFES and implement it effectively in the context of Ca Mau. According to Dr. Nguyen Chi Thanh, MAM policy expert, the province does not need to draft a new legal normative document, instead it should specify articles promulgated in Decree No. 156 to create a common understanding and agreement amongst stakeholders involved in PFES policy.
Dr. Thanh said a common understanding is important for implementing of PFES policy as it is one of the most important steps must be taken to ensure forest sustainable reservation and development. One of the most discussed issues in the meeting was what should be the base for measuring the rate for PFES. While under Decree No. 156, the rate of environment services shall not be under 1% of the payers’ total realized revenue in a payment period, representatives from local forestry and aquaculture sectors said it is not easy to verify the exact 1% revenue of the payers. Participants at the meeting requested for recommendations on another base for calculating PFES rate.
Bang said on behalf of DARD said that recommendations from MAM experts, and feedback and comments from participants of the meeting are all well-taken. DARD agrees that it is necessary to develop a document on PFES implementation for Ca Mau.
The process of developing this document will be carried out with the support of MAM/SNV from proposing to the provincial People's Committee the form of the document to organizing technical meetings with relevant agencies to solicit their feedback for developing the draft document which will be submitted to the Provincial People's Committee for approval and implementation.
The implementation of PFES policy in Ca Mau will continue to create economic incentives for shrimp farmers and enhance the effectively conservation of forest on a wider scale. In addition, an agreement in terms of thinking and acting throughout the province also enhances the transparency and fairness among the seafood enterprises in the province and as well as neighboring provinces in the Mekong Delta.