Direct and Indirect Payment for Ecosystem Services in Bac Kan Province, Vietna: Are Households More Satisfied When There Is No State Involvement?

Cao Truong Son, Thorkil Casse*, Anders Milhøj, Nguyen Thanh Lam, Nhinh Thi Do, Mitsuyasu Yabe

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskning


Payments for forest ecosystem services (PFES) have been widely implemented in Vietnam, and the environmental, social, and economic outcomes are becoming increasingly clear. However, the difference between the voluntary PFES schemes—which are a contract between an environmental service provider and service user—and indirect schemes, where the state acts as an intermediate, is not as well understood. In this study set in Bac Kan province, we discuss differences in payments, household satisfaction between the two schemes, and deforestation rates. Villagers from the Ba Be district can participate in either a state–induced PFES program (hydropower plant service user) or in a voluntary scheme (national park and tourist facilities are the service user). We interviewed 105 in the state–induced PFES program and 29 in the voluntary PFES scheme. Using a multiple–choice–based survey question of life satisfaction expressions from local people, we show a negative and significant correlation between participation in the voluntary scheme and life satisfaction among the households surveyed. In normal conditions, we would expect households participating voluntarily in the PFES program to show more satisfaction than households compelled to participate in an indirect program. We conclude that the unexpected finding could be linked to poor households, with little negotiating power against service buyers such as homestays and food providers.
TidsskriftJournal of Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)177-187
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 20 sep. 2023


  • Bac Kan province
  • bargaining power
  • life satisfaction perceptions
  • payment for forest ecosystem services (PFES)

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