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Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in Vietnam: An exploratory analysis at the national level.
28/05/18 02:10PM
Quy Van Khuc, Bao Quang Tran, Patrick Meyfroidt and Mark W. Paschke. Forest Policy & Economics, 2018, volume 90.

Abstract: Climate change is a pressing global issue and it negatively affects many developing countries, including Vietnam. To help Vietnam effectively respond to this pressing challenge, the country has recently introduced a major program for reducing carbon emissions arising from deforestation and forest degradation, fostering conservation, managing forests sustainably, and enhancing forest carbon stocks (REDD+). Current policies in Vietnam provide a sound platform for the development of REDD+, and REDD+ can potentially greatly contribute to the reduction of deforestation and forest degradation. However, these policies and the REDD+ program are hindered by limited understanding of the extent of deforestation and forest degradation and their underlying causes. This study employed geographic information system (GIS) tools, a structural regression model (structural model), and a regression tree method to quantify the extent as well as the approximate causes of deforestation and forest degradation in Vietnam. Results show that around 1.77 and 0.65 million ha of forests were lost and degraded, respectively, between 2000 and 2010. Deforestation and forest degradation were most notable in the north central, northeast, central highland, and northwest areas of the nation. There were several underlying indicators of deforestation and forest degradation including initial forest cover, per capita income, agricultural production, governance, population growth, food, and poverty. Our results illustrate several important policy implications for forest restoration and the REDD+ program in Vietnam: Vietnam should focus most strongly on reducing poverty, preserving existing forests, improving provincial-level governance, and controlling population growth.

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