Cat Tien Landscape Pro-Poor REDD Project



The objective of this project was to support local institutions in the establishment of a functioning and equitable forest carbon monitoring facility in the landscape surrounding the Cat Loc section of Cat Tien National Park. Cat Tien National Park is a critically important biodiversity hotspot that is threatened by forest encroachment.

The project aimed to explore forest carbon financing to incentivise the conservation of biodiversity by local communities in the Cat Tien Landscape.  After financial and technical analysis of the original pilot REDD+ project targeting the voluntary carbon market indicated that the approach was unsustainable, the project was restructured to focus on developing models to inform future public sector funding for REDD+ in Vietnam. The project aimed to assess the drivers of deforestation and enable the carbon market to sufficiently compensate local villagers by providing an alternative source of income in order to reduce continued degradation and deforestation.

The project was being implemented in the Dong Nai Thuong and Tien Hoang communes in Cat Tien district, and in the Loc Bac and Loc Bao communes in Bao Lam district, Lam Dong Province. The project has the following main outputs: 1) The establishment of a pilot payment mechanism under REDD to provide financial resources that contribute to combating the major threats to the buffer zone of the National Park; 2) Enhanced awareness and capacity of local agencies/departments on REDD related technical issues; 3) Reduced encroachment of agriculture into the habitat of the critically endangered Javan Rhinoceroses and other species; and, 4) Improvements and increased resilience through diversification of rural livelihoods in the four target communes.

The results of the project include: the identification of the Cat Tien National Park and the wider landscape in Lam Dong as a pilot areas under the National REDD+ Programme; the establishment of participatory systems to estimate and monitor changes in forest carbon stocks and biodiversity; the design and testing of a local BDS in the pilot site, and; the development of REDD+ policies and measures with a view to access potential carbon financing. This project intends to inform the government in its establishment of a nationwide REDD+ scheme. 

The project was closed in March, 2012. 

Stakeholder engagement and participation

Stakeholder engagement occurred at multiple levels throughout the duration of the project. Meetings with community members aimed to identify priorities for the design of the Benefit Distribution System (BDS). Further meetings with communities aimed to gather feedback on the BDS, with workshops also held in target communities explaining how REDD+ benefits would be distributed. Other stakeholder engagement included surveys of business interests in the area and the establishment of a community management board for future funds generated from REDD.


The project originally used Landsat imagery of the project area. The project expected to also use an unsupervised land cover classification of improved field-level data gathered.  The project admits that SPOT imagery would be ideal for the project, but because it is relatively expensive, opted for Landsat instead. In-house, the project used GRASS GIS for image processing and analysis.

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