Exclusive versus inclusive devolution in forest management: Insights from forest land allocation in Vietnam's Central Highlands

Sikor, Thomas and Thanh, Tran Ngoc (2007) Exclusive versus inclusive devolution in forest management: Insights from forest land allocation in Vietnam's Central Highlands. Land Use Policy, 24 (4). pp. 644-653. ISSN 0264-8377

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The devolution of forest management is high on the agenda in international forest policy. Devolution is generally conceived as a policy that aims to include a more diverse set of actors in forest management. One of the most problematic outcomes of devolution policies, therefore, is their tendency to exclude the claims of some local actors. This paper examines the exclusionary effects of devolutions in settings characterized by overlapping state and customary regulations and links these effects to exclusive notions of property and governance contained in particular devolution policies. The paper draws on insights gained in a pilot initiative of forest devolution in Vietnam's Central Highlands. Forest land allocation, as the initiative is called in Vietnam, took an exclusive approach to devolution by assigning ownership-type rights on forest to local actors, obliging those to protect the forest against encroachment by other actors, and centering governance in the state. In this particular case, exclusive devolution failed to diminish the gap between state and customary regulations, created conflicts among local actors, and contributed to forest loss. The unintended outcomes of exclusive devolution suggest the need for an inclusive approach to devolution that accommodates diverse kinds of overlapping claims made by multiple actors. The key elements of inclusive devolution are proprietary but not ownership rights granted to individual users and nested governance relations involving state and customary actors.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: mid:13991 dc:ueastatus:post-print formatted dc:ueahesastaffidentifier:0711176508077
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 15 - life on land ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/life_on_land
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Climate Change
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Global Environmental Justice
Depositing User: Vishal Gautam
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 16 May 2023 00:51
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/16384
DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2006.04.006

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