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Article

Stakeholder Expectations of Future Policy Implementation Compared to Formal Policy Trajectories: Scenarios for Agricultural Food Systems in the Mekong Delta

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School of Geography and Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
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Department of Social Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle NE1 8ST, UK
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TETIS, CIHEAM-IAMM, University of Montpellier, AgroParisTech, CNRS, CIRAD, INRAE, 34090 Montpellier, France
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Research Institute for Climate Change, Can Tho University, Can Tho, Vietnam
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College of Environment and Natural Resources, Can Tho University, 3/2 Street, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho, Vietnam
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Vietnam Institute of Economic, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Floors 11–12, 1B Lieu Giai, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam
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Southern Institute of Water Resource Research (SIWRR), 658 Vo Van Kiet Str., Ward 1, Dist. 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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Vietnam National Center for Water Resources Planning and Investigation (NAWAPI), No. 93/95, Vu Xuan Thieu Street, Long Bien District, Hanoi City, Vietnam
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Faculty of Environment, Hanoi University of Natural Resources and Environment (HUNRE), No. 41A Phudien Street, North Tuliem District, Hanoi City, Vietnam
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Oxfam, 22 Le Dai Hanh, Ha Noi, Vietnam
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Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull, Kingston upon Hull HU6 7RX, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shona K. Paterson
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5534; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105534
Received: 13 April 2021 / Revised: 11 May 2021 / Accepted: 12 May 2021 / Published: 15 May 2021
The development of a coherent and coordinated policy for the management of large socio-agricultural systems, such as the Mekong delta in southern Vietnam, is reliant on aligning the development, delivery, and implementation of policy on national to local scales. Effective decision making is linked to a coherent, broadly-shared vision of the strategic management of socio-agricultural systems. However, when policies are ambiguous, and at worst contradictory, long-term management and planning can consequently suffer. These potential adverse impacts may be compounded if stakeholders have divergent visions of the current and future states of socio-agricultural systems. Herein we used a transferable, scenario-based methodology which uses a standard quadrant matrix in order to explore both anticipated and idealized future states. Our case study was the Mekong delta. The scenario matrix was based upon two key strategic choices (axis) for the delta, derived from analysis of policy documents, literature, stakeholder engagement, and land use models. These are: (i) who will run agriculture in the future, agri-business or the established commune system; and (ii) to what degree sustainability will be incorporated into production. During a workshop meeting, stakeholders identified that agri-business will dominate future agricultural production in the delta but showed a clear concern that sustainability might consequently be undermined despite policy claims of the contrary. As such, our study highlights an important gap between national expectations and regional perspectives. Our results suggest that the new development plans for the Mekong delta (which comprise a new Master Plan and a new 5-year socio-economic development plan), which emphasize agro-business development, should adopt approaches that address concerns of sustainability as well as a more streamlined policy formulation and implementation that accounts for stakeholder concerns at both provincial and national levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: scenarios; stakeholders; agricultural systems; Mekong Delta; livelihoods scenarios; stakeholders; agricultural systems; Mekong Delta; livelihoods
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hutton, C.W.; Hensengerth, O.; Berchoux, T.; Tri, V.P.D.; Tong, T.; Hung, N.; Voepel, H.; Darby, S.E.; Bui, D.; Bui, T.N.; Huy, N.; Parsons, D. Stakeholder Expectations of Future Policy Implementation Compared to Formal Policy Trajectories: Scenarios for Agricultural Food Systems in the Mekong Delta. Sustainability 2021, 13, 5534. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105534

AMA Style

Hutton CW, Hensengerth O, Berchoux T, Tri VPD, Tong T, Hung N, Voepel H, Darby SE, Bui D, Bui TN, Huy N, Parsons D. Stakeholder Expectations of Future Policy Implementation Compared to Formal Policy Trajectories: Scenarios for Agricultural Food Systems in the Mekong Delta. Sustainability. 2021; 13(10):5534. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105534

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hutton, Craig W., Oliver Hensengerth, Tristan Berchoux, Van P.D. Tri, Thi Tong, Nghia Hung, Hal Voepel, Stephen E. Darby, Duong Bui, Thi N. Bui, Nguyen Huy, and Daniel Parsons. 2021. "Stakeholder Expectations of Future Policy Implementation Compared to Formal Policy Trajectories: Scenarios for Agricultural Food Systems in the Mekong Delta" Sustainability 13, no. 10: 5534. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105534

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