Sustaining ecosystem and carbon benefits by unlocking reversal of emissions drivers in landscapes

Project Timeframe:
Jul 2013 to Dec 2014

Related country(s)



Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)




Vietnam is one of the pilot countries for Reducing Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) initiative. The country has gained forests at more than 2% per annum over the last 20 years, making it one of the few tropical countries on the right side of the forest transition curve. However, more than 2/3rd of the natural forests are considered poor or regenerating. There is thus, great scope for forest conservation and management through REDD+ initiatives at the national and sub-national level.

While REDD+ focused on the forest per se, the drivers of deforestation need a more holistic and integrated approach. In developing countries like Vietnam, emission reductions is unlikely to be of equal priority as energy scarcity, poverty reduction, and exports of agricultural commodities. Hence, REDDD provides a platform on which to build an approach to simultaneaously address multiple problems and multiple benefits (poverty reduction, food security, environmental services such as biodiversity, water, etc and energy security) that originate from outside forests, especially from agriculture and other sectors.

Building on previous works, the project promotes landscape approaches as an integrated approach to complex realities and to building a sustainable landscape in Vietnam. Research activities are carried out at both national and sub-national levels in Bac Kan province, where a REDD+ incentive scheme will be piloted.

Overall Objective

To improve knowledge and understanding of landscape approaches to REDD+ and pilot such approaches for sustaining rural livelihoods and landscape functions.

Research Methods and Approaches

Advancing scientific knowledge through participator) action research: Our studies pursue an action research approach with the typical cycle, “plan -> act -> observe -> reflect”. Activities are designed to respond to emerging needs, carried out in a participatory manner, and critical reflection upon the process and outcomes.

Grounded on local partnership: Our research activities builds on previous collaboration with national partners, civil society organizations and international partners operating in Vietnam. This helps in ensuring the follow-up of the project processes and outputs. Ensuring private scetor finance and participation: By analyzing the enabling conditions for private sector involvement and making policy recommendations and building public-priavte-partnerships, we hope to generate financing that can ensure sustainability in investments as well as the dynamic innovations and adaptability that enterprise brings into landscapes.
Capacity building for actors in landscapes: The capacity building activities provided to national and sub‐national and civil society organizations boost locally available expertise that could facilitate the implementation of landscape approaches even after the project is completed.



Local and national readiness for landscape approaches enhanced by the availability and use of tools methodological, policy and investment guidance

Training manual for landscape level emission reduction produced in English and Vietnamese and disseminated to targeted users.

Capacity support and training for readiness at national and sub-national levels (provinces piloting REDD+), i.e. through training workshops

Papers, reports and policy briefs on application of landscape approaches and associated frameworks, methods and tools

Experience and lessons in landscape approaches that address drivers of emissions with sustainable benefits increased through learning-by-doing in the demonstration landscape

Incentive scheme designs that could promote landscape approaches developed and tested in Bac Kan province

Papers and frameworks for promoting landscape approaches to emission reduction including choosing policy incentives, payments for ecosystem services, designing sustainable intensification and climate smart agriculture

Case studies and comparative analysis of incentive schemes successes and challenges

Publication of mechanisms to foster public-privatepartnership in planning and implementing REDD+ in Vietnam

Enabling policy and institutional environment for landscape approaches enhanced at national and sub-national levels through policy and investment guidance in the context of nested REDD+

Guide on approaches for integrating and nesting REDD+ relevant policies and strategies across scales

Strategies and institutional frameworks to facilitate the nesting approaches

Investment options and knowledge uptake for sustainable multifunctional landscapes improved through facilitation and promotion of public-private-partnerships

Increased awareness among policy makers and planners about the opportunities and challenges of landscape approaches to emission reduction

National policy events on landscape approaches

Scientific papers and policy briefs

Expecteed Outcomes

  • Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) 
  • Vietnam Academy of Forest Science (VAFS) 
  • Pro-poor Partnership for Agroforestry Development (3PAD) project, Bac Kan province 
  • The Munden Group 
  • NORAD funded projects in Vietnam 

Bac Kan homes and eroded hills
(Photo: ICRAF Vietnam)

Erosion filling in Ba Be Lake, photo taken in Pac Ngoi village,Bac Kan
(Photo: ICRAF Vietnam)

Bac Kan farmers are checking their forest
(Photo: ICRAF Vietnam)