In 2010, Vietnam implemented the payment for forest environmental services (PFES) program that was expected to bring additional income to local people and improve the efficiency of forest protection. However, factors affecting the motivation to participate in PFES have rarely been examined. The objectives of this study were to (1) identify factors that influence local people’s participation in PFES, (2) examine how local people participating in the PFES program were involved in decision-making in the Thua Thien Hue Province, and (3) assess PFES impact on local people. We conducted a field survey of 32 households at the study site. We found no difference in the access to PFES between poor and non-poor households. Participation in PFES was considered a reward for labor work in forests and a means to compensate for the legal rights of participants. Local people could participate at many stages of PFES implementation; however, they were only passive spectators with regards to PFES management. Two-thirds of the participants did not participate in decision-making regarding PFES distribution. We conclude that the efficiency of future PFES programs may be increased by enabling and stimulating the participants to take a more active part in the process of PFES management and distribution.
!!!All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes