Advertisement

Environmental Management

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 113–131 | Cite as

Resource Use Among Rural Agricultural Households Near Protected Areas in Vietnam: The Social Costs of Conservation and Implications for Enforcement

  • Pamela D. McElwee
Article

Abstract

This article examines the use of forests in a protected area by nearby agriculturalists in central Vietnam. Research indicates that the majority of rural farmers interviewed who lived near a state designated protected area were receiving both subsistence and cash incomes from forest-based activities, primarily from the collection of forest products. However, much of the collection of forest produce was officially illegal, as it occurred in state protected forests, and interdiction efforts were on the increase. Yet, little attention has been paid in Vietnam to the need for income substitution for households who lose access to forest produce as a result of conservation enforcement, particularly in the case of farmers who live near, but not in, protected areas; their resources use has been ‘invisible’ due to a lack of attention and research on the topic. This misunderstanding of the importance of forests to rural farmers has the potential to result in households facing adverse welfare and livelihood outcomes as protected areas boundaries are tightened, and local communities face increased opportunity costs due to stricter conservation enforcement. The article concludes that substitution for loss of income due to conservation activities would best be achieved through carefully targeted interventions to specific high-impact and high-dependency households. Additionally, investments in new sources of wage labor and other low capital-input activities, rather than in agriculture, would likely be of most benefit.

Keywords

Non-timber forest products Rural livelihoods Protected areas Poverty Vietnam Conservation ICDPs 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Funding for research in Ha Tinh in 2000–2001 was generously provided by the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research small grant and a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant. The author would like to thank her research sponsor in Vietnam, the Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies of Vietnam National University, and in particular Dr. Vo Quy, Dr. Truong Quang Hoc, and Vo Thanh Giang, for their support of this research project. Dr. Le Tran Chan’s assistance in identifying specimens is gratefully acknowledged. The author would also like to thank Michael Dove, Eric Worby and Jim Scott for their comments on this research in different form.

References

  1. Action Aid Vietnam, World Bank, DFID (1999) Ha Tinh: a participatory poverty assessment. World Bank, HanoiGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams W, Hulme D (2001) If community conservation is the answer in Africa, what is the question? Oryx 35:193–200Google Scholar
  3. Adams WM, Hutton J (2007) People, parks and poverty: political ecology and biodiversity conservation. Conservation and Society 5:147–183Google Scholar
  4. Adams WM, Aveling R, Brockington D, Dickson B, Elliott J, Hutton J, Roe D, Vira B, Wolmer W (2004) Biodiversity conservation and the eradication of poverty. Science 306:1146–1149Google Scholar
  5. Angelsen A (1999a) Agricultural expansion and deforestation: modeling the impact of population, market forces and property rights. Journal of Development Economics 58:185–218Google Scholar
  6. Angelsen A (1999b) Why do farmers expand their land into forests? Theories and evidence from Tanzania. Environment and Development Economics 4:313–331Google Scholar
  7. Arnold JEM, Ruiz-Pérez M (2001) Can non-timber forest products match tropical forest conservation and development objectives? Ecological Economics 39:437–447Google Scholar
  8. Balmford A, Whitten T (2003) Who should pay for tropical conservation, and how could the costs be met? Oryx 37:238–250Google Scholar
  9. Balmford A, Gaston K, Rodrigues ASL, James AN (2000) Integrating costs of conservation into international priority setting. Conservation Biology 14:597–605Google Scholar
  10. Balmford A, Gaston KJ, Blyth S, James A, Kapos V (2003) Global variation in terrestrial conservation costs, conservation benefits, and unmet conservation needs. PNAS 100:1046–1050Google Scholar
  11. Belcher B (2005) Forest product markets, forests and poverty reduction. International Forestry Review 7:82–89Google Scholar
  12. Belcher B, Ruiz Pérez M, Achidiawan R (2005) Global patterns and trends in the use and management of commercial NTFPs: implication for livelihoods and conservation. World Development 33:1435–1452Google Scholar
  13. Bhattarai T (1998) Charcoal and its socio-economic importance in Asia: prospects for promotion. Paper presented at regional training on charcoal production, Pontianak, Indonesia, Feb 1998Google Scholar
  14. Brockington D (2002) Fortress conservation: the preservation of the Mkomazi Game Reserve, Tanzania. Indiana University Press, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  15. Brockington D, Igoe J (2006) Eviction for conservation: a global overview. Conservation and Society 4:424–470Google Scholar
  16. Brockington D, Schmidt-Soltau K (2004) Forum: the social and environmental impacts of wilderness and development. Oryx 38:140–142Google Scholar
  17. Brockington D, Igoe J, Schmidt-Soltau K (2006) Conservation, human rights, and poverty reduction. Conservation Biology 20:250–252Google Scholar
  18. Brown K (1998) The political ecology of biodiversity, conservation and development in Nepal’s Terai: confused meanings, means and ends. Ecological Economics 24:73–87Google Scholar
  19. Byron R, Arnold M (1999) What futures for the people of the tropical forests? World Development 27:789–805Google Scholar
  20. Cavendish W (2000) Empirical regularities in the poverty-environment relationship of rural households: evidence from Zimbabwe. World Development 28:1979–2003Google Scholar
  21. Caviglia-Harris JL (2004) Household production and forest clearing: the role of farming in the development of the Amazon. Environment and Development Economics 9:181–202Google Scholar
  22. Cernea MM, Schmidt-Soltau K (2006) Poverty risks and national parks: policy issues in conservation and resettlement. World Development 34:1808–1830Google Scholar
  23. Chatty D, Colchester M (eds) (2002) Conservation and indigenous mobile peoples: displacement, forced settlement and sustainable development. Berghahn Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  24. Coad L, Campbell A, Miles L, Humphries K (2008) The costs and benefits of protected areas for local livelihoods: a review of the current literature. Working paper. UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, GlandGoogle Scholar
  25. Colchester M (2006) Justice in the forest: rural livelihoods and forest law enforcement. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), BogorGoogle Scholar
  26. Coomes OT, Barham BL, Takasaki Y (2004) Targeting conservation-development initiatives in tropical forests: insights from analyses of rain forest use and economic reliance among Amazonian peasants. Ecological Economics 51:47–64Google Scholar
  27. de Jong W, Sam DD, Van Hung T (2006) Forest rehabilitation in Vietnam: histories, realities and future. CIFOR, BogorGoogle Scholar
  28. de Merode E, Homewood K, Cowlishaw G (2004) The value of bushmeat and other wild foods to rural households living in extreme poverty in Democratic Republic of Congo. Biological Conservation 118:573–581Google Scholar
  29. Delacote P (2007) Agricultural expansion, forest products as safety nets, and deforestation. Environment and Development Economics 12:235–249Google Scholar
  30. DPI Ha Tinh (2003) Planning atlas of Ha Tinh. Department of Planning and Investment—Ha Tinh Province, Ha TinhGoogle Scholar
  31. Dung VV, Giao PM, Chinh NN, Tuoc D, Mackinnon J (1994) Discovery and conservation of the Vu Quang Ox in Vietnam. Oryx 28:16–21Google Scholar
  32. Eames J (1996) Ke Go Nature Reserve. World Birdwatch 18:6–8Google Scholar
  33. Eames J, Eve R, Tordoff A (2001) The importance of Vu Quang Nature Reserve, Vietnam, for bird conservation, in the context of the Annamese Lowlands Endemic Bird Area. Bird Conservation International 11:247–285Google Scholar
  34. Ferraro PJ (2002) The local costs of establishing protected areas in low-income nations: Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Ecological Economics 43:261–275Google Scholar
  35. Fisher RJ, Maginnis S, Jackson WJ, Barrow E, Jeanrenaud S (2005) Poverty and conservation: landscapes, people and power. IUCN—The World Conservation Union, GlandGoogle Scholar
  36. Geisler C (1994) Adapting social impact assessment to protected area development. In: Davis SH (ed) The social challenge of biodiversity conservation. Global environmental facility working paper no. 1. World Bank, Washington, DC, pp 25–43Google Scholar
  37. Geisler C (2003) A new kind of trouble: evictions in Eden. International Journal of Social Science 175:69–78Google Scholar
  38. Ghimire K, Pimbert M (eds) (1997) Social change and conservation: environmental politics and impacts of national parks and protected areas. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  39. Godoy R, Wilkie D, Overman H, Cubas A, Cubas G, Demmer J, McSweeney K, Brokaw N (2000) Valuation of consumption and sale of forest goods from a Central American rain forest. Nature 406:62–63Google Scholar
  40. Gopalakrishnan C, Wickramasinghe WAR, Gunatilake HM, Illukpitiya P (2005) Estimating the demand for non-timber forest products among rural communities: a case study from the Sinharaja Rain Forest region, Sri Lanka. Agroforestry Systems 65:13–22Google Scholar
  41. Green RE, Cornell SJ, Scharlemann JPW, Balmford A (2005) Farming and the fate of wild nature. Science 307:550–555Google Scholar
  42. Hanh LH, Hanh VT, Hong NC, Phuong NV, Ton DoDuy (2002) Legislation enforcement capacity and training needs in special-use forests. World Wildlife Fund & Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, HanoiGoogle Scholar
  43. Hughes R, Flintan F (2001) Integrating conservation and development experience: a review and bibliography of the ICDP literature. IIED, LondonGoogle Scholar
  44. ICEM (2003) Vietnam national report on protected areas and development. ICEM, IndooroopillyGoogle Scholar
  45. Igoe J (2006) Measuring the costs and benefits of conservation to local communities. Journal of Ecological Anthropology 10:72–77Google Scholar
  46. James AN, Gaston KJ, Balmford A (2001) Can we afford to conserve biodiversity? BioScience 51:43–52Google Scholar
  47. Kideghesho J, Roskaft E, Kaltenborn B (2007) Factors influencing conservation attitudes of local people in Western Serengeti, Tanzania. Biodiversity and Conservation 16:2213–2230Google Scholar
  48. Kusters K, Achidiawan R, Belcher B, Ruiz Pérez M (2006) Balancing development and conservation? An assessment of livelihood and environmental outcomes of nontimber forest product trade in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Ecology and Society 11:20 (online)Google Scholar
  49. Larson P, Freudenberger M, Wyckoff-Baird B (1998) WWF integrated conservation and development projects: ten lessons from the field 1985–1996. World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  50. Letsela T, Witkowski ETF, Balkwill K (2003) Plant resources used for subsistence in Tsehlanyane and Bokong in Lesotho. Economic Botany 57:619–639Google Scholar
  51. Luoga E, Witkowski ETF, Balkwill K (2000) Differential utilization and ethnobotany of trees in Kitulanghalo Forest Reserve and surrounding communal lands, Eastern Tanzania. Economic Botany 54:328–343Google Scholar
  52. Mahapatra AK, Albers HJ, Robinson E (2005) The impact of NTFP sales on rural households’ cash income in India’s dry deciduous forest. Environmental Management 35:258–265Google Scholar
  53. Mamo G, Sjaastad E, Vedeld P (2007) Economic dependence on forest resources: a case from Dendi District, Ethiopia. Forest Policy and Economics 9:916–927Google Scholar
  54. MARD (2004) Vietnam conservation fund operations manual. Forest Sector Support Project and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), HanoiGoogle Scholar
  55. McCarthy JF (2002) Power and interest on Sumatra’s rainforest frontier: clientelist coalitions, illegal logging and conservation in the Alas valley. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 33:77–106Google Scholar
  56. McElwee P (2002) Lost worlds and local people: protected areas development in Viet Nam. In: Chatty D, Colchester M (eds) Conservation and mobile indigenous people: displacement, forced settlement and sustainable development. Berghahn Press, Oxford, pp 296–312Google Scholar
  57. McElwee P (2004) You say illegal, I say legal: the relationship between ‘illegal’ logging and land tenure, poverty, and forest use rights in Vietnam. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 19:97–135Google Scholar
  58. McElwee P (2006) Displacement and relocation redux: stories from Southeast Asia. Conservation and Society 4:396–403Google Scholar
  59. McElwee P (2008) Forest environmental income in Vietnam: household socioeconomic factors influencing forest use. Environmental Conservation 35:147–159Google Scholar
  60. McShane T, Newby SA (2004) Expecting the unattainable: the assumptions behind ICDPs. In: McShane T, Wells M (eds) Getting biodiversity projects to work: towards more effective conservation and development. Columbia University Press, New York, pp 49–74Google Scholar
  61. McShane T, Wells M (eds) (2004) Getting biodiversity projects to work: towards more effective conservation and development. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  62. McSweeney K (2004) Forest product sale as natural insurance: the effects of household characteristics and the nature of shock in eastern Honduras. Society & Natural Resources 17:39–56Google Scholar
  63. Mehta J, Kellert S (1998) Local attitudes toward community-based conservation policy and programmes in Nepal: a case study in the Makalu-Barun Conservation Area. Environmental Conservation 25:320–333Google Scholar
  64. Mishra C (1997) Livestock depredation by large carnivores in the Indian trans-Himalaya—conflict perceptions and conservation prospects. Environmental Conservation 24:338–343Google Scholar
  65. Moore J, Balmford A, Allnutt T, Burgess N (2004) Integrating costs into conservation planning across Africa. Biological Conservation 117:343–350Google Scholar
  66. Mulder MB, Coppolillo P (2005) Conservation: linking ecology, economics, and culture. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  67. Naughton-Treves L, Holland MB, Brandon K (2005) The role of protected areas in conserving biodiversity and sustaining local livelihoods. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 30:219–252Google Scholar
  68. Newmark W, Manyanza D, Gamassa D, Sariko H (1994) The conflict between wildlife and local people living adjacent to protected areas in Tanzania: human density as a predictor. Conservation Biology 8:249–255Google Scholar
  69. Nguyen TQ (2006) Forest devolution in Vietnam: differentiation in benefits from forest among local households. Forest Policy and Economics 8:409–420Google Scholar
  70. Nguyen TQ (2008) The household economy and decentralization of forest management in Vietnam. In: Colfer CJP, Dahal GR, Capistrano D (eds) Lessons from forest decentralization: money, justice and the quest for good governance in Asia-Pacific. Earthscan/CIFOR, London, pp 187–209Google Scholar
  71. Ogle BM, Tuyet HT, Duyet HN, Dung NNX (2003) Food, feed or medicine: the multiple functions of edible wild plants in Vietnam. Economic Botany 57:103–117Google Scholar
  72. Oxfam Hong Kong (1997) Participatory rapid needs assessment in Huong Do commune, Huong Khe district, Ha Tinh. Oxfam Hong Kong, HanoiGoogle Scholar
  73. Pagiola S, Arcenas A, Platais G (2005) Can payments for environmental services help reduce poverty? An exploration of the issues and the evidence to date from Latin America. World Development 33:237–253Google Scholar
  74. Pattanayak S, Sills E (2001) Do tropical forests provide natural insurance? The microeconomics of non-timber forest product collection in the Brazilian Amazon. Land Economics 77:595–613Google Scholar
  75. Paumgarten F (2006) The role of non-timber forest products as safety-nets: a review of evidence with a focus on South Africa. GeoJournal 64:189–197Google Scholar
  76. Perz S (2004) Are agricultural production and forest conservation compatible? Agricultural diversity, agricultural incomes and primary forest cover among small farm colonists in the Amazon. World Development 32:957–977Google Scholar
  77. Peters J (1998) Transforming the integrated conservation and development project (ICDP) approach: observations from the Ranomafana National Park Project, Madagascar. Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics 11:17–47Google Scholar
  78. Phillips O, Gentry AH, Reynel C, Wilkin P, Galvez-Durand CB (1994) Quantitative ethnobotany and Amazonian conservation. Conservation Biology 8:225–249Google Scholar
  79. Pichon FJ (1996) The forest conversion process: a discussion of the sustainability of predominant land uses associated with frontier expansion in the Amazon. Agriculture and Human Values 13:32–52Google Scholar
  80. Pichon FJ (1997) Settler households and land-use patterns in the Amazon frontier: farm-level evidence from Ecuador. World Development 25:67–91Google Scholar
  81. Pinedo-Vasquez M, Zarin D, Jipp P, Chota-Inuma J (1990) Use-values of tree species in a communal forest reserve in Northeast Peru. Conservation Biology 4:405–416Google Scholar
  82. Polet G, Ling S (2004) Protecting mammal diversity: opportunities and constraints for pragmatic conservation management in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam. Oryx 38:186–196Google Scholar
  83. Prance GT, Balee W, Boom BM, Carneiro RL (1987) Quantitative ethnobotany and the case for conservation in Amazonia. Conservation Biology 1:296–310Google Scholar
  84. Quang VD (2004) Domestication of rattan (Calamus tetradactylus) in the buffer zone of Ke Go Natural Reserve Area, Cam Xuyen District, Vietnam. In: Kusters K, Belcher B (eds) Forest products, livelihoods, and conservation: case studies of non-timber forest product systems. CIFOR, Bogor, pp 276–286Google Scholar
  85. Quang DV, Anh TN (2006) Commercial collection of NTFPs and households living in or near the forests: case study in Que, Con Cuong and Ma, Tuong Duong, Nghe An, Vietnam. Ecological Economics 60:65–74Google Scholar
  86. Reddy SRC, Chakravarty SP (1999) Forest dependence and income distribution in a subsistence economy: evidence from India. World Development 27:1141–1149Google Scholar
  87. Roe D, Elliott J (2004) Forum: poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation: rebuilding the bridges. Oryx 38:137–139Google Scholar
  88. Rugendyke B, Son NT (2005) Conservation costs: nature-based tourism as development at Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. Asia Pacific Viewpoint 46:185–200Google Scholar
  89. Ruiz Pérez M, Belcher B, Achidiawan R, Alexiades MN, Aubertin C, Caballero J, Campbell BM, Clement C, Cunningham AB (2004) Markets drive the specialization strategies of forest peoples. Ecology and Society 9:4 (online)Google Scholar
  90. Salafsky N, Wollenberg E (2000) Linking livelihoods and conservation: a conceptual framework and scale for assessing the integration of human needs and biodiversity. World Development 28:1421–1438Google Scholar
  91. Scherl LM, Wilson A, Wild R, Blockhus JM, Franks P, McNeely JA, McShane T (2004) Can protected areas contribute to poverty reduction?: opportunities and limitations. The World Conservation Union (IUCN), GlandGoogle Scholar
  92. Schmidt-Soltau K (2003) Conservation-related resettlement in Central Africa: environmental and social risks. Development and Change 34:525–551Google Scholar
  93. Schmidt-Soltau K (2004) The costs of rainforest conservation: local responses towards integrated conservation and development projects in Cameroon. Journal of Contemporary African Studies 22:93–117Google Scholar
  94. Schmidt-Soltau K, Brockington D (2007) Protected areas and resettlement: what scope for voluntary relocation? World Development 35:2182–2202Google Scholar
  95. Shackleton C, Shackleton S (2004) The importance of non-timber forest products in rural livelihood security and as safety nets: a review of evidence from South Africa. South African Journal of Science 100:658–664Google Scholar
  96. Shackleton SE, Shackleton CM, Netshiluvhi TR, Geach BS, Ballance A, Fairbanks DHK (2002) Use patterns and value of savanna resources in three rural villages in South Africa. Economic Botany 56:130–146Google Scholar
  97. Shively G, Pagiola S (2004) Agricultural intensification, local labor markets, and deforestation in the Philippines. Environment and Development Economics 9:241–266Google Scholar
  98. Shyamsundar P, Kramer R (1997) Biodiversity conservation—at what cost? A study of households in the vicinity of Madagascar’s Mantadia National Park. Ambio 26:180–184Google Scholar
  99. Sikor T, Nguyen TQ (2007) Why may forest devolution not benefit the rural poor? Forest entitlements in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. World Development 35:2010–2025Google Scholar
  100. SRV (2001) Decision no. 08/QD-TTg on the management of special use forest protection forest and production forest, 11 January 2001. Socialist Republic of Vietnam, HanoiGoogle Scholar
  101. Straede S, Treue T (2006) Beyond buffer zone protection: a comparative study of park and buffer zone products’ importance to villagers living inside Royal Chitwan National Park and to villagers living in its buffer zone. Journal of Environmental Management 78:251–267Google Scholar
  102. Summers PM, Browder JO, Pedlowskic MA (2004) Tropical forest management and silvicultural practices by small farmers in the Brazilian Amazon: recent farm-level evidence from Rondonia. Forest Ecology and Management 192:161–177Google Scholar
  103. Sunderlin WD, Ba HT (2005) Poverty alleviation and forests in Vietnam. CIFOR, BogorGoogle Scholar
  104. Sunderlin WD, Angelsen A, Belcher B, Burgers P, Nasi R, Santoso L, Wunder S (2005) Livelihoods, forests and conservation in developing countries: an overview. World Development 33:1383–1402Google Scholar
  105. Takasaki Y, Barham BL, Coomes OT (2001) Amazonian peasants, rain forest use, and income generation: the role of wealth and geographical factors. Society and Natural Resources 14:291–308Google Scholar
  106. Trai LT, Dung NH, Cu N, Cham LV, Eames J, Chicoine G (1999) An investment plan for Ke Go Nature Reserve, Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam: a contribution to the management plan. Birdlife International and the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute, HanoiGoogle Scholar
  107. Vedeld P, Angelsen A, Bojo J, Sjaastad E, Berg GK (2007) Forest environmental incomes and the rural poor. Forest Policy and Economics 9:869–879Google Scholar
  108. Wells M (1992) Biodiversity conservation, affluence and poverty: mismatched costs and benefits and efforts to remedy them. Ambio 21:237–243Google Scholar
  109. West P, Igoe J, Brockington D (2006) Parks and peoples: the social impact of protected areas. Annual Review of Anthropology 35:251–277Google Scholar
  110. World Bank EASRE (2003) Forest sector development project ethnic minority development strategy. World Bank, East Asian Rural Development, Natural Resources & Environment Unit (EASRE), HanoiGoogle Scholar
  111. Wunder S (2001) Poverty alleviation and tropical forests—what scope for synergies? World Development 29:1817–1833Google Scholar
  112. Wunder S (2007) The efficiency of payments for environmental services in tropical conservation. Conservation Biology 21:48–58Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics and Global StudiesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

Personalised recommendations