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With much of Vietnam's forest area already actively managed by local people, and given Vietnam's early engagement in REDD+ readiness initiatives, the country is emerging as a global leader in community-led climate change mitigation in the forest sector. To do so, however, a number of critical issues still need to be addressed. Here we outline why the active engagement of local communities and indigenous peoples is so crucial, and what challenges still need to be overcome. We then summarize the critical actions required to ensure the future success of Vietnam's REDD+ program.
Local people are essential to the success of REDD+ in Vietnam.
Vietnam's ability to conserve or enhance carbon stocks, and earn REDD+ carbon credits will depend heavily on forest management practices at community level. Forest areas under community management have great potential for reducing emissions.
Community forest restoration will make a significant contribution to REDD+.
REDD+ can contribute to poverty alleviation and democratic participation. International investments will include social safeguards at every stage of REDD+ planning and implementation. But a well-designed REDD+ scheme in Vietnam could go further by ensuring that local people capture a significant share of overall benefits and participate in decision making.
Critical actions can be taken now to accelerate progress, and ensure that local people fully realize their potential role in REDD+.
Expanding forest allocation to communities, securing their rights, and ensuring that transaction and implementation costs are minimized in a performance-based system are all ways to encourage communities to contribute to the success of REDD+.