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Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1802; doi:10.3390/su9101802

Livelihood Implications and Perceptions of Large Scale Investment in Natural Resources for Conservation and Carbon Sequestration: Empirical Evidence from REDD+ in Vietnam

1
Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.115, 3508 TC, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2
Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 27 September 2017 / Accepted: 28 September 2017 / Published: 5 October 2017
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Abstract

The complex relationship between local development and current large scale investments in natural resources in the Global South for the purpose of conservation and carbon sequestration is not fully understood yet. The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation programme (REDD+) is an example of such investment. This study examines the livelihood implications and perceptions of REDD+ among indigenous and forest-dependent communities in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. A systems-based livelihood survey has been conducted with two communities affected by REDD+ (n = 102)—Kala Tonggu village (participating in UN-REDD, a multilateral programme) and Hieu commune (participating in a REDD+ project of Fauna and Flora International). The positive effects of REDD+ included: introduction of community-based forest management; shifting power relations in favour of local communities; communities receiving financial benefits for forest monitoring; and positive community perceptions on REDD+. The negative impacts concerned: more restricted access to the natural forest; raising false expectations on the financial benefits of REDD+; increasing risks of food insecurity; exclusion of customary institutions and forest classifications; and lack of livelihood alternatives in dealing with changing socio-ecological conditions. Based on the findings of this study, we argue that REDD+ implementation needs to incorporate the temporality and dynamics of community livelihoods, power relations, and customary and formal socio-ecological systems more comprehensively. This to ultimately achieve inclusive local development and effective conservation of global forest commons. View Full-Text
Keywords: REDD+; forest-dependent livelihood; socio-ecological system; Vietnam; global land rush; carbon sequestration; livelihood perception; climate action REDD+; forest-dependent livelihood; socio-ecological system; Vietnam; global land rush; carbon sequestration; livelihood perception; climate action
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bayrak, M.M.; Marafa, L.M. Livelihood Implications and Perceptions of Large Scale Investment in Natural Resources for Conservation and Carbon Sequestration: Empirical Evidence from REDD+ in Vietnam. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1802.

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