The Role of Livelihood Initiatives in Reducing Non-wood Forest Product Reliance in Protected Areas of Southern Vietnam: Opportunities and Challenges
06/09/22 12:05PM
Lisa Lobry de Bruyn, Thi Minh Phuong Duong, Paul Kristiansen, et al. in A. Z. M. Manzoor Rashid, Niaz Ahmed Khan and Mahmood Hossain (eds.), Non-Wood Forest Products of Asia: Knowledge, Conservation and Livelihood. Springer, 2022.
Abstract: As an alternative livelihood approach to improve forest conservation and reduce dependency on non-wood forest products (NWFPs), the government of Vietnam has implemented community-based ecotourism (CBE) in the relation to protected area management. One such initiative is the Talai Ecotourism Venture for the ethnic groups living in the buffer zone of the Cat Tien National Park. This study through household survey (n = 150), and key informant interviews (n = 23), identi-fied the impacts of the ecotourism venture on local people's livelihood and explored whether these impacts have reduced economic livelihood reliance on NWFPs, and increased awareness of forest conservation importance. Among households partici-pating in the initiative, their level of NWFP dependency was 66% lower than those households not employed. In addition to the reduced dependency on NWFPs, the beneficiaries of the initiative also taking advantages of other benefits namely higher household income, access to benefit sharing mechanism, and heightened awareness of forest conservation. To scale out these benefits to similar livelihood interventions for forest conservation and community development goals, they need to be implemented equitably, and to attain an understanding of social-cultural norms in the area of the intervention, particularly local institutions, power structures, and differentiation of ethnic groups. .