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Scale up of Participatory Planning for Resource Governance: A Case in Sam Chuon Lagoon, Vietnam

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Tuyen, Truong Van
Conference: Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities, the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Conf. Date: June 19-23, 2006
Date: 2006
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/753
Sector: Social Organization
General & Multiple Resources
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
participatory management
learning
co-management
CBRM
Abstract: "In responding to the overexploitation and degradation of the rich natural resource base in the Tam Giang Lagoon in Vietnam, IDRC (Canada) provided support to participatory research to investigate problems and community-based management. Local farmers, fishers, and government officials joined with the research team in a series of collaborative learning and testing interventions over a period of several years. This led to a pilot implementation of a new model for participatory planning and resource co-management in the lagoon. This not only helped resolve conflicts and ensure a more equitable access to the resources, but also improved the prospects for better governance of lagoon resources in the future. Key to this achievement was a common understanding of the Community-Based Natural Resource Management approach developed among the stakeholders. The essential elements included full engagement of local stakeholders (with emphasis upon marginalized groups), recognition of customary access rights, changes to the processes of local planning and resource governance, and changes to the organization and roles of the key stakeholders. The research team also adopted a new role as facilitators of learning, capacity-building, and more importantly, negotiation and consensus building among the stakeholders. New locally-organized user groups along with leaders of local government played a central role in empowering the community, providing legal support, and organizing the implementation of joint plans. The officers of provincial and district government departments adopted a new role: they provided technical assistance instead of giving direct instructions. Fishers and farmers participated in lagoon planning based on their improved understandings of problems, benefits, and responsibilities, which grew from their ongoing involvement in the research. The challenge of the on going research activity is to identify the process and means for the scale up of the application of the participatory planning with respect to ecosystem base and multiple community involvement. The participatory planning was replicated successfully in Quang Loi lagoon, that had similar context of Quang Thai. It is also being carried out and further developed in Sam Chuon, a lagoon located in the middle of the larger lagoon system with four communes surrounding. The activities in supporting the participatory planning scale up include (1) building community movements for enlarging common lagoon areas and reorganizing exploitation based on livelihood problem solving; (2) supporting community capacity building through strengthening of the Fishing Union newly established; and (3) improving local livelihoods with participatory technology development for pen-culture. This paper introduces the participatory planning process and how its application is scaled up for larger effects in supporting community based resource management and local governance in the Tam Giang lagoon."

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