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
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