Farmers in NE Viet Nam rank values of ecosystems from seven land uses uri icon

abstract

  • Despite being promoted as an integral part of natural resource management and Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) community participation is often considered restricted by'lack of (local) knowledge'. Contrasting evidence suggest that farmers' more holistic understanding of ecosystems may challenge scientific studies and payment schemes typically focussing on a fraction of ecosystem services, e.g. Viet Nam's PES-policy which covers forest carbon, water and landscape beauty. Against this backdrop we explored how farmer groups in two villages (one with PES and one without) in northeast Viet Nam rated and justified fifteen ecosystem services from seven land-uses, including non-PES functions and non-forest land uses. The villagers gave overall analogous ranking and reasoning. For overall ecosystem services natural forests and forest plantations rated highest and paddy rice lowest, however for economic values natural forests rated lowest and rice-fish cultivation highest. With regards to the PES-policy, farmers failed to see the logic of excluding agricultural land and agrochemical pollution from water services. We recommend that research and capacity building aiming to prepare for PES-schemes embrace a wider range of local knowledge and understandings of ecosystem functions than those immediately considered for payment schemes. We present a participatory matrix ranking tool to support such purposes

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014