The Importance of Socio-economic Development to Sustainable Natural Resources Management in Rural Areas: A Case Study of Sustainable Livelihoods and Forest Management in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve in Northwestern Vietnam

Nguyen Thi Luyen 1 and Ngo Thanh Son 2

1International Centre for Environmental Management, Hanoi 118000, Vietnam
2Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Hanoi 131000, Vietnam
Received: Aug 23, 2021 /
Revised: Mar 30, 2022 /
Published: Mar 30, 2022

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Abstract

Sustainable forest management is facing threats such as deforestation, forest degradation, and biodiversity loss due to socio-economic conditions, a weak governance capacity, and lack of public participation. In Xuan Nha Nature Reserve, about 50% of the total population are living below the poverty level and  their livelihoods are depending on forest. The community’s activities have been creating pressures on the forest by reducing the forest area, increasing forest land degradation, and through illegal logging. The objectives of the study were to (i) identify sustainable livelihood options; (ii) the most suitable livelihood practices with the purpose of reducing poverty for local communities and their dependency on forest resources; and (iii) recommend suitable policies to reduce the conflict between socio-economic development and forest management. In order to achieve these objectives, we used the LIFE (livelihood, income, forest condition, and equity); the Sustainable Livelihood Framework; and the Advocacy Coalition Framework. The results showed that fruit orchards and beekeeping were two suitable livelihood options for the buffer areas since there were more convenient assets such as roads, markets, and human knowledge, while fruit orchards and local pig farming were suggested for the ERA (ecological restoration area) and SPA (strictly protected area) to solve the problem of land degradation and maintain the traditional habits of the local community. Regarding policy changes, support for livelihood practices and improvement of the community’s and authorities’ awareness on forest protection was necessary for all the sub-areas for reducing poverty and the pressures on forest resources of the community.

Keywords: Sustainable forest management, fruit orchard, beekeeping, local pig farming, forest policy

Article Details

How to Cite
Luyen, N., & Son, N. (2022). The Importance of Socio-economic Development to Sustainable Natural Resources Management in Rural Areas: A Case Study of Sustainable Livelihoods and Forest Management in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve in Northwestern Vietnam. Vietnam Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 5(1), 1345-1358. https://doi.org/10.31817/vjas.2022.5.1.04

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