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Title: A multi-level analysis of forest policies in Northern Vietnam : uplands, people, institutions and discourses
Authors: Clement, Floriane Cecile
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The dissertation presents a thorough analysis of forest policies in Northern Vietnam which simultaneously apprehends the biophysical conditions, institutions, discourses and socio-politico-economic context in which actors are embedded. The analysis is based on the case study of two sets of policies: the Five Million Hectares Reforestation Programme (5MHRP), a state-led afforestation campaign, and forestry land allocation (FLA) to households. The study is innovative in several respects. Firstly, it focuses on the impact of these policies on land use and management, which has not so far deserved much attention. Secondly, it develops and uses an enriched version of Ostrom's Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework (Kiser and Ostrom, 1982) aiming at "politicising" it, i. e. making it better suited to policyprocess analysis. Thirdly, it applies this original framework at multiple levels, bringing fresh insights on cross-scale linkages, and uses an historical perspective to develop a dynamic understanding of policy outcomes. Fourthly, it collates several qualitative and quantitative methodologies to investigate the topic from a variety of angles. Results indicate that from a regional outlook, the 5MHRP has not succeeded in involving households in forestry and FLA has had little impact on afforestation. Rather, the individual-property regime has been observed to be ill-adapted to the socioecological settings of Northern Vietnam. Underlying drivers for these poor achievements result from a complex combination of the upland biophysical conditions, socio-political-economic setting, institutions and discourses. One of the most important contributions of the study is to disclose the co-production and co-action of these variables at multiple institutional and geographical levels. Policy recommendations include: (1) increasing the accountability of state administration to higher governance levels and to the population; (2) improving policymakers' mental representation of the mountainous socio-ecological systems; and (3) adapting institutions to their complexity and diversity of upland systems by devolving greater responsibilities to local people.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

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