In Vietnam, many forests are being effectively managed by the most active guardians - the local communities - thanks to their cultural norms: the forest left by their ancestors is also the place where the forest god resides. It’s the traditional regulations and laws imprinted through the traditional practice of worshiping the sacredness of the gods that guide the community to manage and protect these forests for hundreds and thousands of years. However, there are challenges ahead that hinder them from playing their role.
Vietnam has adopted a national Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PES) policy, which while primarily paying individual households for forest protection, has been flexible enough to allow for collective PES models to also arise. Such collective models have the potential to reduce transaction costs, avoid motivation crowding, and protect common-pool resources like community forests.
Community-based tourism, with locals directly partaking in tourism products and service offerings, is slowly taking shape in Vietnam. According to the Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA), which listed the four villages, the initiative helps create jobs, reduce poverty, preserve cultural identity, and boost the country’s tourism landscape.
The A Luoi Valley bears the scars of war and suffered the tactical use of herbicides. Today it also faces the challenges of deforestation, reforestation, and struggles for resources between diverse stakeholder groups. How do people in the A Luoi Valley in Vietnam manage their forestland in times of accelerated climate change, and what are their livelihood needs?