[Call for papers] Community Forestry and Sustainable Development in Vietnam: Evaluating Emerging Challenges and Assessing Opportunities

In the past two decades, Vietnam has embarked on a radical policy shift governing its forests, namely from state-owned forest management to a community-based approach. The Vietnam government adopted community forestry as a national program to achieve multiple objectives of empowering communities, increasing livelihood opportunities, and improving conservation outcomes. Vietnam community forestry policies are part of a broader shift in policies of decentralization in Vietnam (such as Decree 29/1998 and its amendment decree 79/2003) and around the world that seek to enhance wider public participation of different non-state actors, especially those related to community engagement.

In 2004, the Vietnam Forest Protection and Development Law officially recognized community forestry and provided the legal basis for the allocation of forest-use rights to individuals, households, and communities for forest protection and development. This shift in legal framework and ensuring policy implementation initiated widespread recognition of community forestry in Vietnam. According to the State of Forest report in 2015, a total of 4,256,375 ha of forest land in Vietnam was transferred to management authority among local actors. Of this, 3,145,967 ha (74 percent) are managed directly by households, and 1,110,408 ha (26 percent) by communities (MARD, 2016). Although community forestry in Vietnam could be considered as a practical strategy in linking poverty alleviation and sustainable forest management, many challenges still remain to achieve these goals in practice.

Therefore, the Forest and Society is initiating a call for papers that will contribute to an in depth examination of community forestry in Vietnam. This special issue seeks to compile evidence-based studies on community forestry processes, trends, and effectiveness at different scales, ranging from current policies, institutions, and case studies. Overall, we seek to better understand how community forestry can contribute to sustainable development in Vietnam. What are the current enabling conditions, where are the barriers, and what are the opportunities for community forestry? Furthermore, as community forestry underpins the success of numerous other international policy goals, particularly in climate change, we also call for submissions that take a closer examination of the role that community forestry plays in the context of broader global initiatives such as PES, REDD+, and FLEGT.

This special section belongs to a series of recent calls by Forest and Society on emerging trends of social forestry across the Southeast Asia region. The primary aim is to promote high – quality research on community forestry and sustainable development from diverse perspectives. We invite authors of various backgrounds ranging from academics, researchers, students, concerned citizens, policymakers, and forestry practitioners to contribute original research, and we are particularly interested in a range of methods (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed).

Tentative publication schedule:

Submission     : September 2018 – May 2019

Peer Review    : completed June 2018

Publishing       : August 2019

For further information, read the full instruction for authors as well as the template: here, or submit your paper via the journal’s online submission site: here

Please contact us for any queries. Also see notification here

Call for Papers: Agrarian transformation in Thailand – commodities, landscapes, and livelihoods

We would like to extend a call for papers Edited by Sukanlaya Choenkwan and Micah Fisher on Agrarian Transformations in Thailand – Commodities, Landscapes, and Livelihoods

Over the last two decades, there have been extensive discussions about the priorities and processes of agrarian and rural transformation in Thailand. The production and value systems surrounding agricultural transformation involves the overall restructuring of a subsistence-oriented economy to a market-oriented one. Agricultural households are increasingly prioritizing and becoming more dependent on intensive and specialized production of cash crops. Rural livelihoods are also relying more on off-farm income generated by local urban centers or remittances sent back from migrant workers. Although outmigration and the remittance economy has supported rural households, there are also other consequences, most evident in the scarcity and changing labor practices in agricultural sectors. This transformation is affecting rural society in perplexing ways, such as the decline in poverty rates, the increasing levels of economic differentiation, improving access to education, and the perceived withering of community solidarity. These trends of agrarian transformation reflexively interact with broader developments in Thai society, related to an increasing population, processes of urbanization, public policy interventions, natural resources limitations, and changing societal values.

This special section attempts to provide a picture of the processes of transformation over time and examine the current conjunctures taking place across rural communities in Thailand. Our entry point is through the lens of agricultural commodities. We believe that explaining the multiple sources and effects of certain commodities in particular locations in Thailand provides distinct explanatory potential. For example, rubber, a crop originally grown in the South of Thailand has been widely introduced in the northeast region for the past 30 years, affecting local community dynamics, creating new projects, changing cultivation practices, and initiating new ways of interacting with the state and international markets. Another example is rice, an important staple crop for rural households, grown widespread across the country. Rice farmers have been directly affected by agricultural policies from various government policies in the last two decades. Currently, vast stretches of paddy fields are being converted to other cash crops. Farmers are facing new choices to choose a staple, plant cash crops, and migrate seasonally to find work in other business sectors. Other examples include agricultural commodities geared to supporting a vision of tourism, illicit agricultural production of poppies in upland and border areas, and a multitude of others.

Agrarian transformation provides perplexing, contradictory, and paradoxical effects, which can at once empower and dispossess. We are open to any papers that examine agrarian transformation through the lens of longstanding or newly introduced (or lack thereof) commodities that allows for a better understanding of change taking place across Thai rural society.

Please follow this link to submit your research articleThai Picture4

Call for Papers — The economies, ecologies and politics of social forestry in Indonesia: Current issues and emerging trends

Call for papers

Special section on

The economies, ecologies and politics of social forestry in Indonesia: Current issues and emerging trends

After decades of advocacy for a greater role of local communities in the management of natural resources, social forestry has become a central policy commitment of the Indonesian government. At the national level, President Joko Widodo’s administration has committed to expanding social forestry areas to 12.7 million hectares to local community management by 2019. Such policy commitments emerged in response to the growing pressure from land conflicts, and a long struggle by advocacy groups to support recognition of rights and agrarian reform. These regulatory changes also represent major policy breakthroughs for more progressive governance strategies in support of social justice, equitable development practices, and better natural resource management. However, studies on the implementation of social forestry policy in the past remain inconclusive. Furthermore, the policy application is proceeding rapidly faster than the evaluative opportunity that research can provide.


The numerous social forestry permits being signed across Indonesia provide a timely area of inquiry. Evidence-based studies are still lacking on the processes and effects of the current policy imperative. Can social forestry achieve its promise of alleviating poverty, empowering communities and improving forest governance? And if so, in what ways? Additionally, few studies are available on the role of social forestry in responding to the broader and more contemporary issues such as climate change mitigation and adaptation, forest landscape and peatland restoration, global demands for sustainable value chains, timber legality, green economy, and upcoming initiatives on ASEAN economic integration.


Forest and Society is therefore initiating the first of its series on emerging trends of social forestry across Southeast Asia by examining dynamics taking place in Indonesia. The primary aim is to take stock of evidence on the rapid implementation of social forestry permits across Indonesia and to promote knowledge on the realities, achievements, challenges and pathways to sustainable strategies for the future. We invite authors from academics, researchers, students, concerned citizens, policy makers and forestry practitioners to contribute original research, on a range of methods (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed), to improve our collective understanding of social forestry in Indonesia. We invite paper submissions on politics, ecology, economy and culture. We also welcome research approaches at various scales, including review articles that take on a macro perspective or rich contextual studies of site-specific experiences, as well as comparative approaches across sites.


Submission Guidelines

Tentative publication schedule:

Submission     : May 2018 – August 2018

Peer Review   : From submission until October 2018

Publishing       : November 2018

To submit, visit our journal website

About Forest and Society

Forest and Society is an international and interdisciplinary journal, which publishes peer-reviewed social, political and economic research relating to people, land, and forests. Our geographic focus is on Southeast Asia, but we encourage comparative work and collaborations beyond the region.
We provide an avenue for publishing peer reviewed work for the important work that has less access and exposure across the region. Therefore we also work to build capacity to initiate efforts to build confidence, skills, and networks to improve research approaches and expand access.
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To submit a paper please visit the journal website here