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Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 292;

The Vietnamese State and Administrative Co-Management of Nature Reserves

Environmental Policy Group (ENP), Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Faculty of Biology-Biotechnology, University of Science Ho Chi Minh City, 227 Nguyen Van Cu street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helmut Haberl
Received: 18 September 2015 / Revised: 17 March 2016 / Accepted: 18 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
Full-Text   |   PDF [634 KB, uploaded 22 March 2016]   |  


The Vietnamese government has introduced co-management in its national system of special-use forests (SUFs) to improve the effectiveness of nature and biodiversity conservation. One of the major challenges is to allow flexibility and local adaptability of co-management coordinated by SUF management boards within the overall still-rigid structure of vertical state networks. Using a critical institutional perspective, this paper examines the influence of the vertical and horizontal linkages that underline the form and function of SUF co-management. Data is presented from a nation-wide survey of 113 SUFs, 22 random in-depth interviews, and four in-depth case studies of SUFs. The results show that the success of co-management in centralized states like Vietnam depends on the greater devolution of allocative power from central to district governments to facilitate horizontal networked collaboration with local communities. Yet the results also indicate that the central state maintains an important role in setting the conditions that allow for the success of these networked collaborations. Based on these findings the conclusions reflect on the need to further develop a critical institutional approach for understanding the purpose, interests, and resources of co-management in the context of centralized states. View Full-Text
Keywords: co-management; networks; nature conservation; protected areas; Vietnam co-management; networks; nature conservation; protected areas; Vietnam

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KimDung, N.; Bush, S.R.; Mol, A.P.J. The Vietnamese State and Administrative Co-Management of Nature Reserves. Sustainability 2016, 8, 292.

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