Mangrove ecosystem services for ensuring local sustainable development: the case study of payments for ecosystem services (PES) in Xuan Thuy National Park, Nam Dinh province, Vietnam

PROJECT: Mangrove ecosystem services for ensuring local sustainable development: the case study of payments for ecosystem services (PES) in Xuan Thuy National Park, Nam Dinh province, Vietnam.

Leader: Tran Thi Anh Dao (University of Rouen)

Key members: Nguyen Viet Thanh (Hanoi University of Natural Resource and Environment), Nguyen Manh Hung (Toulouse School of Economics), Henrik Anderson (Toulouse School of Economics), Nguyen Thi Lan Anh (PhD, University of Montpellier), Luong Thi Tuyen (PhD, Newcastle University)


Vietnam is the first South East Asian country to launch a national pilot policy on Payment for Forest Environmental Services (SEI, 2011). In 2013, Vietnam developed a national strategic plan for biodiversity conservation lasting to 2020 and vision towards 2030 that promotes Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) in coastal areas. However, case studies of PES in Vietnam are limited (though one was recently conducted in Ca Mau National Park, in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam), and it is recognized that further case studies are urgently needed to inform PES policy recommendations about implications for Vietnam. Xuan Thuy National Park (Nam Dinh province, Vietnam) has a typical wetland ecosystem, including 2000 ha of mangroves that produce high economic values for the coastal communities (such as aquaculture, fisheries, and tourism). However, it is under a high threat of overexploitation and natural impacts (such as erosion and salinity). The main threats facing mangrove forests include removal, aquaculture, forest use, and freshwater diversion. Xuan Thuy National Park is a good case study of applying PES in Vietnam. Ecosystems and PES are very critical for ensuring sustainable development in Vietnam. The government of Vietnam will need to sustainably manage mangrove ecosystems, which play a critical role in the protection of the environment and from climate change. In addition, the policy on PES will contribute to sustainability strategies, such as the National Strategies on Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Green Growth of Vietnam. Thus, we consider this study a starting point for a long-term research by our team to respond to the real and urgent need for organizations working to implement policies related to ecosystem and PES. The following main research questions are addressed in this study:

  1. How can the ecosystem services from mangroves forests be described and monitored? What can ecosystem service valuations be applied to Xuan Thuy National Park?
  2. How much do local people benefit from these values of coastal ecosystem services?
  3. Who are the service users and service providers of PES? Which method is used for supply, usage, and payment? What are the responsibilities, duties, and benefits of each side?
  4. How do stakeholders perceive PES and are they willing to participate in implementing PES?
  5. Are any policy interventions necessary to ensure the sustainability of ecosystem services, especially for local communities?

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