This report discusses the political, economic and social opportunities and constraints that will influence the design and implementation of REDD+ in Vietnam. In particular, four major direct drivers (land conversion for agriculture; infrastructure development; logging (illegal and legal); forest fire) and three indirect drivers (pressure of population growth and migration; the state's weak forest management capacity; the limited funding available for forest protection) of deforestation and degradation in Vietnam are discussed, along with their implications for REDD+. These drivers and their impacts vary from region to region, and change over time - no ‘one-size-fitsall' formula will function across the whole of Vietnam. The report also examines the lessons learnt from various forestry and economic development policies and programmes and suggests how a future REDD+ mechanism can overcome the major challenges, which include limited funding for forest protection, weak local governance capacity, poor vertical and horizontal coordination, low involvement of the poor, women and indigenous groups, low economic returns, elite capture of land and benefits, and corruption. The report suggests that if REDD+ is to succeed, it must be participatory, that is, all players are given fair and ample opportunity to be part of the programme (particularly those with the least resources or the greatest economic disenfranchisement); transparent, that is, all players can trace how the programme is administered, including the distribution of benefits; and well-monitored, to ensure that the programme is conducted such that it meets its overarching objectives and guidelines. The success of REDD+ will also require that it take a pro-poor and pro-gender equity approach.