Towards carbon certificate in Vietnam: Net ecosystem production and basic income for local community. In Mario L, Jafar S (Ed.). Environmental Resources Use and Challenges in Contemporary Southeast Asia: Tropical Ecosystems in Transition
In recent years, ecologists have focused on estimating Net Ecosystem Production (NEP) to understand the role of forests against increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, a major concern in researches and debates on global warming. This is due to the fact that NEP of a forest is the amount of carbon accumulated in a unit of area and time. This chapter discusses NEP in tropical broad-leaved forests of the Copia Natural Reserve, northwest Vietnam and the need for a carbon certificate to support the local community. Based on field research in northwest Vietnam, this chapter proposes a modified and easily applicable method for estimating NEP. Research results indicate that one hectare of secondary broad leaved forest in Vietnam can accumulate 6.57 Mg C y−1, more than twice that of old-growth forest at 2.57 Mg C y−1. Research suggests that NEP is higher than some other forests around the world. We suggest that a price should minimally sustain the livelihood of forest protectors, at around 10 US$/ton carbon, a price much higher than current government payments of 10 US$ ha y−1, regardless of carbon accumulation. This chapter asserts the importance of issuing forest carbon certificate to forest protectors so that local communities can raise their bargaining power to improve their income while at the same time, protect the natural forests sustainably.