The forestry sector is looking to collect more than 1.3 trillion VND (60 million USD) from payments for forest environmental services in 2015.

As of March 25, organisations and individuals using the services had paid 234.9 billion VND (10.9 million USD), it was reported at a conference held by the Fund for Forest Protection and Development in Hanoi at the end of March.

To achieve the 2015 target, Deputy Head of the fund Pham Hong Luong said the fund will direct and guide its members to follow the policy on payments for forest environmental services while disseminating policy details to organisations and individuals involved.

At the conference, participants agreed that after four years of implementation, the policy on collecting fees for forest environmental services has produced positive results in forestry management, improving forest owners’ awareness of protection and development and contributing to poverty reduction in mountainous areas.

In 2010, Vietnam introduced new regulations on payments for forestry environmental services, which took effect in 2011.

Water supply for hydropower plants, the supply of clean water for water stations and eco-tourism are three main sources of income from the forest environmental services

At present, 37 localities across the country have funds set up for forest protection and development.

Last year, the funds collected 1.3 trillion VND (60 million USD) from forest environmental services, protecting around 5.78 million hectares of forests./.