We will investigate the roles, constraints, and visions of different actors, particularly the poorer residents of forest areas, with respect to qualities aspects of forest transition.
AN ANALYSIS OF NATURE CONSERVATION POLICIES IN UPLAND CENTRAL VIETNAM: HISTORIES, INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENT AND PEOPLE'S FOREST PRACTICES
By Van Nguyen and Christian A.Kull
The Saola Nature Reserve and its periphery (SLNRP) is perceived as part of one of the most global important biodiversity conservation hotspots, Vietnam’s Central Annamite. The region has witnessed a large number of forest conservation efforts through policies and projects in order to both conserve the important natural forests, the richness of biodiversity they contain and improve local people’s lives over three decades recently. On the war-scarred landscape characterized by large swaths of forest destroyed by war, and even larger areas lost to post-war logging and dispersal of population, a “green” of trees and lives now prevails. It is Ta Oi and Ka Tu ethnic minority people settlement villages, irrigated rice fields, mixing with virtually unbroken monocultures of commercial cash crops (as acacia, rubber and cassava) blanket the hillsides in all directions, stopping only at the very edge of high-valued natural forests now are protected by State policies and international efforts. Through the lens of political ecology and ethnographic methods, the research will excavate the processes and the relationship behind the formulation of this landscape as currently, especially under the effects of successive forest conservation interventions have been implemented there. The way in which the relationship between forests and people, land- use practices and livelihood system shape and are shaped by these interventions over time, will also be explored. In the end, the research will answer the questions relating to the ways and the degrees by which successive conservation initiatives have contributed to shaping the forested landscape, and to change local people’s lives – possibly including unanticipated feedbacks of socio-economic changes on conservation outcomes in the SLNRP. Through building a new analytical framework, the research expected to bring fresh insights into multi-scalar linkages and a dynamic understanding that is going along with forest conservation policy processes, from ideas to practice, outcomes and feedback loops from the ground. The new knowledge from the research will contribute to both academic and practical discussion on the forest conservation policies and initiatives as means for governing forested landscape toward more adequate and sustainable in the future.