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Article

Acacia Plantation Development and the Configuration of Tree Farmers’ Agricultural Assets and Land Management—A Survey in Central Vietnam

1
Faculty of Geosciences and Environment, Institute of Geography and Sustainability, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
2
Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Hanoi 131000, Vietnam
3
Consultative and Research Centre on Natural Resource Management (CORENARM), Hue City 530000, Vietnam
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hossein Azadi
Land 2021, 10(12), 1304; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121304
Received: 8 October 2021 / Revised: 12 November 2021 / Accepted: 19 November 2021 / Published: 26 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Land Environmental and Policy Impact Assessment)
Since 1990 acacia-based tree plantations have fast expanded in Vietnam, now supporting a multi-billion-dollar export-oriented wood industry which is transforming from woodchip production to value-added products. Within this dynamic context, tree farmer associations have started to produce sawlogs under FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification. In this paper, we retrace the development of plantation assets, investigating farmers’ current livelihoods and land management, specifically considering various aspects of sustainability. We interviewed 180 tree farmers in three districts (lowland–upland regions) of Thừa Thiên Huế Province, including sawlog producers with and without FSC and smallholder producers of woodchips. Acacia planting in ‘barren lands’ was initiated through state programs in the 1990s (low-/midlands) and 2010s (uplands). Farmers now producing FSC sawlogs were among the first to gain forestland tenure; they now own large plantations (on good terrain), are in tune with policies and maintain resources/capacities to adopt management in line with FSC standards. Yet, most farmers also retain plots for easy-to-manage and low-risk woodchip production. Soil/vegetation conservation depends on farmers’ status/capacities and environmental awareness; FSC membership added economic-political benefits. Findings are discussed within a regional historic context. Plantations contribute to economic development, but issues persist/emerged in terms of land equity and environmental governance, risks (e.g., plant pathogens), and spaces/impetus for farm-based innovation and adaptiveness. View Full-Text
Keywords: land use change; tree planting programs; forestland tenure and policies; arboriculture; acacia timber production; Forest Stewardship Council; soil conservation; livelihoods and sustainability land use change; tree planting programs; forestland tenure and policies; arboriculture; acacia timber production; Forest Stewardship Council; soil conservation; livelihoods and sustainability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cochard, R.; Vu, B.T.; Ngo, D.T. Acacia Plantation Development and the Configuration of Tree Farmers’ Agricultural Assets and Land Management—A Survey in Central Vietnam. Land 2021, 10, 1304. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121304

AMA Style

Cochard R, Vu BT, Ngo DT. Acacia Plantation Development and the Configuration of Tree Farmers’ Agricultural Assets and Land Management—A Survey in Central Vietnam. Land. 2021; 10(12):1304. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121304

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cochard, Roland, Bien T. Vu, and Dung T. Ngo. 2021. "Acacia Plantation Development and the Configuration of Tree Farmers’ Agricultural Assets and Land Management—A Survey in Central Vietnam" Land 10, no. 12: 1304. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121304

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