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Vietnam earns more than US$ 41 mln from selling forest carbon credits

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Vietnam has received more than 41 million U.S. dollars from selling forest carbon credits as part of an emission reduction deal with the World Bank. The money is transferred to localities to pay forest owners, locals and communities to manage, protect and develop forests.

This marks the first implementation of an agreement on emission reduction in Vietnam, contributing to forest management, protection and the enhancement of people's lives.

Six provinces -- Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế-- areparticipating in the agreement. Currently, these provinces have more than 3.1 million hectares of forested land, equivalent 58%.

Nguyễn Quang Bảo, Director of the Department of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said: "It’s a must to protect special-use, protective and natural forests to increase carbon reserves.

"In addition to increasing wood productivity and carbon content, the forests will create added value and improve livelihoods for vulnerable communities, " he said.

Ba Be National Park‘s forests in Northern Vietnam. (Photo: Rod Waddington via Flickr)

95% of households in Tra Măng Village, Nam Đông District, Thừa Thiên-Huế Province are Cơ Tu ethnic people. For the past 10 years, they have protected 560 hectares of forest.

On average, each household receives VNĐ2.4 million ($98) annually from forest environmental services.

In addition to receiving money from forest environmental services, it has also, for the first time, received money from selling carbon credits. In the future, it is set to receive an additional payment of VNĐ190 million ($7,800) from the sale of carbon credits.

After the successful pilot of payments aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in six provinces, many localities with large areas of natural forests are ready to soon implement the program.

About 70 households in Ngài Trồ Village, Bát Xát District in Lào Cai Province have received forest protection contracts from the Forest Protection and Development Fund. On average, each household will receive about VNĐ2 million ($80) every year.

Giving up exploiting forest products and joining in forest protection, forest owners in the province are protecting over 230,000 hectares of forest, each year receiving nearly VNĐ152 billion ($6.2 million) in environmental service contracts.

Lào Cai Province's forested area is nearly 400,000 hectares, of which over 70% is natural forest.

According to hạm Văn Đăng, Director of the provincial Forest Protection and Development Fund, its potential to implement carbon sequestration services is huge, about nearly one million credits.

Some countries have developed carbon markets, while others have implemented carbon taxes, and some have adopted both. To develop the carbon market in Vietnam, it is necessary to complete the legal framework for the exchange of emission quotas, carbon credits and the credit exchange mechanism.

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