Decentralization and Devolution of Forest Management in Vietnam: A Case Study of Ea Hleo and Cu Jut Forest Enterprises, Dak Lak Province

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"Dak Lak is the largest province of Vietnam, which contains the largest remaining natural forest of the whole country and also is the traditional homeland of many ethnic minorities. The fact that deforestation has been taken place rapidly in the years since liberation day has led to land use changes and land use conflicts. So far, the forest has been owned by the government (state forest enterprise), a system, which has not been congruent with the traditional way of the indigenous communities to manage their forest. "Being aware of the importance of the forest resources to social and economic development, Dak Lak province has gone further than the national policy and played a pioneering role in allocating forested land to the indigenous households and communities with a long-term land use right. This is the only area in Vietnam where this type of forest land allocation is occurring, which offers a unique chance for policy-relevant research. "This paper analyzes this local experiment, and investigates how state law is being adapted to the local reality of Dak Lak. The paper will also explore the political interests of the decision-making bodies at province and downward to the grass root level, including foreign donors/project and in particular the State Forest Enterprises, which currently manage almost all of the forest in the region. The paper will conclude with a look at the institutional questions and gender issues with regard to the effects of the new policy on indigenous communities such as the Giarai and Mnong group."



IASC, common pool resources, decentralization, devolution, forest management--case studies, forest policy, land tenure and use, indigenous institutions, forest law