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Does Devolution Really Influence Local Forest Institution? Two Case Studies in the Central Highlands of Vietnam

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Thanh, Tran Ngoc
Conference: Politics of the Commons: Articulating Development and Strengthening Local Practices
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Conf. Date: July 11-14, 2003
Date: 2003
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/334
Sector: Forestry
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
devolution--case studies
forest management--case studies
institutional change
village organization
property rights
Abstract: "This paper examines the changes in local forest institutions that have occurred after allocation in two villages of Dak Lak. The study suggests that allocation has modified local forest institutions, though to a much lesser degree than expected. Local people have been eager to claim legal titles to local forests, yet they face significant problems to translate legal rights into rights-in-practice. Above all, local people need support in the enforcement of their rights against encroachment by outsiders. In addition, gaps between forest management regulations and local forest institutions continue to exist, creating possibilities for conflicts within villages and between villages and the state. The paper thus suggest that devolution opens up opportunities for local people to improve their access to and control over forests, but that on time legal interventions are not sufficient to create supportive local forest institutions. "The paper is divided into 5 sections. After introduction part, section 2 provides basic information about 2 studied villages. Section 3 describes and compares the changes in local institutions focusing on property rights according to the local community rules, property rights in-practice, and changes in governance structures. Section 4 give a detail account of problems that local villagers facing in translating legal rights into rights in-practice. The paper ends with a conclusion and policy recommendations"

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