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Impact of forest land allocation on rural livelihoods of Katu and Kinh households in Nam Dong district, Central Vietnam

By M.J.E. Huizinga


The Vietnamese forest land allocation policy of 1993 aims at simultaneously achieving national forest cover rehabilitation and rural poverty reduction by devolving forest rights to the local level. Barren forest land is allocated to idividual households for reforestation purposes (i.e. acacia plantations) and natural forest areas are allocated to groups of households or village communities for management and protection purposes. With the allocation of forest land, households gain legal ownership rights (RBCs) which are proposed to increase tenure security and create opportunities for livelihood development (e.g. RBCs as collateral for bank loans). Much of the allocated natural forest land in Vietnam is however degraded, which raises the question to what extent natural forest land allocation may actually offer fruitful opportunities for local livelihood development. Also the potential of household acacia plantations for livelihood development is debatable as much depends on the quality of planted acacia species, the application of appropriate land-use techniques and access to markets. Further questions relate to whether or not benefits (if any) of forest land allocation are equally available to the forest-using households in Vietnam. The poorest of the poor are assumed to benefit least, which leaves ethnic minority households in a disadvantaged position, as these people are disproportionally poor compared to the Kinh majority people in Vietnam. This study analyses the impact of forest land allocation on the rural livelihoods of two different ethnic groups in Central Vietnam, namely the Katu (i.e. ethnic minority) of village 4 'A-Ro' and the Kinh (i.e. ethnic majority) of village 6 'Vinh Hung' in Thuong Quang commune, Nam Dong district

Topics: Geowetenschappen, forest land allocation, red book certificates, rural livelihoods, community forest management, acacia plantations, ethnic minorities, Vietnam
Year: 2012
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