Community forestry management in protected areas of Vietnam
09 / 2007 - 12 / 2012
Protected areas are mainly established to conserve natural resources. However, the paradigm of protected areas is increasingly challenged. From forest management practices in Vietnamese protected areas, the state government controls over the forests is proven not feasible. The emerging paradigm is that protected areas will engage communities into the form of community forestry (CF). CF refers to the forest conservation and management activities carried out by local people, and based on the basis of local norms and interests. CF adapts to site-specific conditions with respect to both type and conditions of forests, local livelihood strategies and community institutions. Two main CF systems exist: (1) community manages forest resource on any land within a local territory; (2) community collaboratively manages state forest lands as a result of (partial) delegation of responsibility by forestry organizations (Wiersum 2004; Sunderline 2005; Charnley and Poe 2007). In Vietnam, protected area remains a dominant paradigm for natural resource management. CF, however, has been recently advocated by international organizations for the country to pursue and to achieve its targets on both forest management and poverty alleviation. Under the pressures for changes from international regimes, and the processes of political-economic innovation such as the implementation of doi moi (renovation) policy, and decentralization, the capacity of multi ¿ level institutional arrangements for forest management in Vietnamese protected areas become challenging. Moreover, the capacity of local people to get involved in managing these areas is also challenging. According to the theory of adaptive governance, only the system of governance has abilities to learn to deal with changes and uncertainties can persist and develop. Therefore, the research title ¿Community forestry management in protected areas of Vietnam¿ is studied to understand the capacity of multi-level institutional arrangements, and capacity of local people to engage in forest protection, and how the system of governance adapts to changes and uncertainties in managing protected areas.