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Closer look: The Hieu Commune REDD+ Project

Son Tra - Vietnam. Credit: FFI.
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Written by: Josh Kempinski
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Emerging from a project entitled ’Developing community carbon pools for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, plus enhancing forest carbon stocks (REDD+) projects in selected ASEAN countries’ the carbon pools project was a first of its kind, international (4 country) exploration into the role that environmental markets can play in underpinning sustainable, commune-based forest management.

The Vietnam site (Hieu Commune, Kon Plong District, Kon Tum) has now become a stand-alone project, due it a range of technical, institutional and practical (‘one the ground’) successes.

The Hieu Commune REDD+ Project, as it is now known, is working to protect habitat of the Grey-shanked douc langur, one of the 25 most endangered primates globally, and is also inhabited by some of the most remote and marginalised ethnic minorities in the country.

It is Vietnam’s most advanced REDD+ project, and ready for validation as soon as new funding is secured.

The level of poverty in the area is acute and REDD+ payments are expected to successfully incentivise long-term forest protection and contribute to the improved well-being of eleven communities.

Meanwhile, future REDD+ payments aside, community members have stated that stronger forest protection is what they view as the most positive outcome of the project to date.

One of the most important outputs of the project, and most notable in the Vietnam (Kon Tum) site, was the development local Community Forest Management (CFM) institutions that comprise equitable, easy to understand, locally devised and implemented rules, with a potential to effectively reduce emissions, while also providing benefits to forest-dependent local people.

The overall objective (or goal) is to contribute to reducing deforestation and forest degradation through forest improved forest governance and the development of finance/incentive mechanisms that provide benefits to forest-dependent people.

The project profile can be found here: Hieu Commune – Vietnam REDD+ Pilot in Kon Tum and our REDD+ policy briefing documents can be found on our REDD+ Resources page.

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Josh Kempinski

After completing an Ecological Management MSc at Imperial College, Josh moved to Vietnam, where he lived and worked for 7 years. In 2010, after 10+ years focusing on species conservation and protected area management, mostly with Fauna & Flora International, Josh moved into the emerging field of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). In his new role, Josh contributed to Vietnam’s REDD+ ‘Preparation Idea Note’, which helped release $3.5m from the World Bank for REDD+ ‘readiness’. He went on to design Vietnam's first sub-national REDD+ pilot, which is currently in its first – project-based – phase. More recently, Josh has worked in Liberia, co-authoring/editing the county’s REDD+ Readiness Plan for the World Bank, and has provided technical oversight to the development of Liberia’s first (and only) fully operational REDD+ pilot. Josh sees project-level REDD+ as framework for developing financially sustainable, equitable and locally managed protected areas; both formal reserves or national parks, or as community forests.

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