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Complexity of the Socio-Ecological Dynamics in Hong Ha Commune in the Vietnamese Highland—A Review through the Coupled Human and Natural Systems Framework

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Laboratory of Forest Utilization, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture 606-8502, Japan
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Department of Global Studies, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture 615-8558, Japan
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College of Gastronomy Management, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture 525-8577, Japan
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Faculty of Architecture, University of Sciences, Hue University, 77 Nguyen Hue St., Hue City, Thua Thien Hue Province 530000, Vietnam
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6232; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156232
Received: 18 June 2020 / Revised: 31 July 2020 / Accepted: 1 August 2020 / Published: 3 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment-Poverty Nexus and Sustainable Development)
In Vietnam, government policies have led to improvements in the national forest cover and poverty situation. However, numerous recent case studies in the Vietnamese highland found that socio-ecological dynamics were highly complex on a local scale, resulting in unintended policy impacts and varying policy success among regions. While such complexity has become apparent, it has been difficult to understand and compare between regions, as assessment methods and targeted aspects of socio-ecological dynamics differed between case studies. In this review, complex socio-ecological dynamics in Hong Ha Commune in Thua Thien Hue Province were identified in published case studies and organized into complexity features based on the coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) framework, to make information more accessible and comparable under the widely applied framework. All complexity features of CHANS systems were identified in the reviewed literature, such as feedback loops (between illegal forest use and flood damage), heterogeneity (in incomes between Kinh people and ethnic minorities), and telecoupling (of the local livelihood through tourism). Based on its applicability to Hong Ha Commune, the CHANS framework is suggested to be applied in other forested areas of the Vietnamese highland to understand and compare complex socio-ecological dynamics and evaluate policy impacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural livelihood; poverty alleviation; forest land allocation; community development rural livelihood; poverty alleviation; forest land allocation; community development
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Schäfer, H.; Miyaguchi, T.; Yoshizumi, M.; Tung, N.N. Complexity of the Socio-Ecological Dynamics in Hong Ha Commune in the Vietnamese Highland—A Review through the Coupled Human and Natural Systems Framework. Sustainability 2020, 12, 6232.

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