Tree cover in 2000 and tree cover loss (2000 – 2014) in Son La province, Vietnam

Student information

MSc thesis subject: Forest change in Son La province, Vietnam: Monitoring the effect of a PFES program

Vietnam is the first country in Southeast Asia to initiate a nationwide payment for forest environmental services (PFES) scheme. The objectives of PFES include the improvement of forest quality and quantity, an increase in the forestry sector’s contribution to the national economy, a reduction of the state’s financial burden for forest protection and management, and improvement of social well-being. Son La province implemented the PFES program in 2009.

There is a lack of reliable and adequate data on the actual impacts of the PFES program both on environmental and livelihoods improvements. In Son La province, CIFOR and Winrock started a pilot project for the Vietnamese government to develop and test an M & E (Monitoring & evaluation) system. Wageningen University has been asked to look into forest changes such as forest loss, gain and degradation to support the development of this system. Several existing remote sensing products such as Hansen’s forest cover data can be useful for this analysis.


  • Asses forest changes in Son La province, Vietnam
  • Assess impact of PFES program on forest in Son La province, Vietnam


  • Vietnam Forest Protection and Development Fund, 2014.Payments for forest environmental services (PFES) in Vietnam: Findings from three years of implementation. Vietnam Forest Protection and Development Fund, Hanoi, Vietnam. DOI: 10.17528/cifor/005066
  • Hansen, M.C., Potapov, P.V., Moore, R., Hancher, M., Turubanova, S.A., Tyukavina, A., Thau, D., Stehman, S.V., Goetz, S.J., Loveland, T.R. and Kommareddy, A., 2013. High-resolution global maps of 21st-century forest cover change. science, 342(6160), pp.850-853.


  • Preference for students who are willing and able to work with R

Theme(s): Sensing & measuring, Integrated Land Monitoring