|21 June 2019|
Thesis Examination: Interactions of Actors Engaged in the Integration of Market-Based Instrument and Forest Land Allocation Scheme in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam
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RCSD Center, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University is pleased to invite you to participate in a Thesis Examination
In order to contribute to the understanding of PFES in the context of Vietnam, especially as it concerns the Mekong Delta landscape, this study has investigated the designing and implementation processes of PFES in Vien An Dong commune. I examine the design and implementation processes of PFES in order to understand how Forestland Allocation policy (FLA) has influenced it. Other themes of interest include, how involved actors in PFES contribute towards the design and implementation of PFES, how PFES is changing property rights, and how forest recipients are integrated into the new policy of PFES. The study analyses the process of the design and implementation of PFES through the lens of the social actors involved, with their various roles, incentives and capacity. Moreover, the concepts of power relations, property rights and the theory of access will be applied in parallel with the concept of community of practice to analyse the collected data. Information was gathered from preliminary research, interviews and participant observation. Afterwards, the collected data was analysed and interpreted based on the conceptual framework and research questions.
The main findings show that, firstly, there are five groups of social actors that are engaged in PFES. These are: local governments (Provincial People’s Committee, District People’s Committee, and Commune People’s Committee), government agencies (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Forestry and Nhung Mien Forest Management Board), private companies (Minh Phu Company), farmers and NGOs (SNV). Each actor has engaged in the design and implementation processes of PFES differently and according to their role, incentive, and capacity.
Secondly, the PFES policy (Decision 111) was designed and operated based on the institutional framework of the FLA. In which, the FLA helped the PFES project identify stakeholders for consultation in the administrative and professional management of forestland. Additionally, the power relationship of the actors under the FLA policy has led to the differentiation in engagement among local government authorities and government agencies within PFES implementation. Lastly, FLA policy determines who can be the beneficiaries of PFES projects.
Thirdly, Minh Phu Company was a powerful actor in the operation of PFES, in which they decided that the most important aspect of PFES is benefit-sharing due to their economic capacity. Meanwhile, the farmer was a powerless actor, where they have to follow the top-down decisions of Minh Phu Company and government authorities during the operation process.
Lastly, forest recipients have been able to engage in the PFES project due to their rights provided in the law. Their engagement is also determined by the form of knowledge, social relations, capital, and geographical condition that they hold. From then on, those forms of access have improved the capacity of forest recipients to respond to the payment scheme. However, the extent of integration of forest recipients highly depended on the capital they held; it led to an increased differentiation between the rich and poor within the community in reacting to PFES scheme.