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

“Interactions of Actors Engaged in the Integration of Market-Based Instrument and Forest Land Allocation Scheme in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam”

Presenter Ms. Chau My Duyen, M.A in Social Science, specializing in Development Studies

Examining committee

Prof. Emeritus Dr. Philip Hirsch (Chair person)
Asst. Prof. Dr. Chusak Wittayapak (Committee)
Dr. Santita Ganjanapan (Committee)


Friday June 21, 2019
From 13.30 p.m.
At the Department meeting room,
Department of Social Science and Development
Faculty of Social Sciences

Abstract: In recent years, from the perspective of the Market-based Approach, Payment for Forest Environmental Service (PFES) has been seen as a potential solution for natural resource management. In Vietnam, the implementation of PFES has proven to be a successful case in Southeast Asia because of the various projects that have been implemented and support that it has from the government, primarily through the national approval of Decree No.99 in 2010 which promoted PFES nationwide. Ca Mau province, which is located in the southern region of Viet Nam, is the first province in the Mekong Delta, to adopt Decree No.99. By which, in 2016, Ca Mau province issued Decision 111 in order to implement PFES in the form of organic shrimp-mangrove farming, with the pilot project to be located in Vien An Dong Commune.

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.
Fourthly, property rights among stakeholders under the new policy of PFES have changed. By which, the use rights of farmers have improved due to the indirect benefits of the payment scheme. However, they were limited in control rights, which is the most relevant when concerning the topic of benefit-sharing. Consequently, the poor have been excluded from the system of benefit-sharing. Meanwhile, the newly emerged actor, Minh Phu Company, holds the control and authoritative rights to the PFES scheme.

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.

:: Your attendance is highly appreciated ::