Poverty, low level of education, and lack of awareness on the importance of the forests, coupled with the lack of economic incentives for forest protection are the main causes of forest destruction in Vietnam. Despite various policy reforms, the deforestation problem has not been reduced, hence the logging ban policy in 1995. This policy, however, runs in conflict with existing management contracts in many parts of the forest areas where households or communities are engaged in forest management in anticipation of their being able to harvest the fruits of their labor from such efforts. This study examined the socio-economic lives of the forest communities under four such types of forest management contracts or arrangements. It evaluated these management systems in terms of the community’s role in forest protection, their economic dependence on the forests and how this varies across forest communities, and their performance in being able to protect and manage well the forests. The problems posed by the log ban policy on the forest communities were also analyzed.
Forest Management Systems in the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam