|During Project Design
In addition to formal reconnaissance and fact-finding mission meetings, the project consulted with both Viet Nam Forest Protection and Development Fund, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Institute of Strategy and Policy for Natural Resources and the Environment and the Biodiversity Conservation Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture (the implementing partners) through frequent face-to-face meetings and email during project design. Coordination with civil society development partner initiatives including but, not limited to: GIZ on PFES for aquaculture; the FORMIS project on forest data management, JAXA and JICA to promote the use of satellite data for forest monitoring; the World Bank's WAVES Program which is developing a road map for natural resource accounting at a national level; Viet Nam informal coordination group on PFES comprising ADB, CIFOR, Forest Trends, GIZ, IUCN, RCFEE, SNV, USAID, Winrock, World Bank and WWF Viet Nam (membership of this group is open to any academic, civil society or development organization with interest in PFES).
MARD has appreciated TA achievements to the date, especially initiatives for extending PFES payment and technical guidelines. These achievements are Decision No. 4273/QD-UBND of Lao Cai Provincial People Committee on extending cold water PFES aquaculture pilot, Decision No. 86 5085/QD-BNN-TCLN of MARD's Minister on extending project for establishment of information system for VNFF and Decision No. 5301/QD-BNN- TCLN of MARD's Minister on Implementation of PFES Financial Guidelines, which are the results of TA studies. However, up to 31 December 2015, 15 months (63%) of TA implementation, the TA disbursement was only about $ 479,000 (31 %) of TA budget. The Mission found the main reasons for delay were unforeseen change of some positions in the consultant team, delay in developing PFES methodologies and delay in obtaining endorsement from provincial government for implementation of PFES pilots. In addition, there were unrealistically planned activities, such as several work items assigned to one expert being scheduled at the same period that exceed his/her capacity, and timeframe of some work items being set without paying due attention to the interlinked activities. The consultant has requested 03 month extension to TA implementation in order to provide enough time for (i) a necessary period of PFES pilot implementation; (ii) obtaining approval for the policy guidelines to be issued as a circular at the national level; and (iii) producing documentations of the best practices and lessons. MARD strongly supported and requested ADB to extend the TA since they found that the TA results could provide innovation for PFES implementation in the country. During Steering Committee, MARD committed to contribute VND 700 million in cash (around $ 32,000) in 2016 budget plan for CPMU and support PPMs to secure provincial fund for TA administration.