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Conservation at what cost? : a case study of the social implications of protected areas and the role… Timko, Joleen 2001

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C O N S E R V A T I O N A T W H A T C O S T ? A C a s e S tudy of the Soc ia l Implications of Protected A r e a s and the Ro le of L o c a l Peop le in V ie tnam by Jo leen Timko B S c , University of Victoria 1996 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE R E Q U I R E M E N T S FOR THE D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF S C I E N C E in THE FACULTY OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Resource Management and Environmental Studies) We accept tlTis^iesis/a^conforming to the required standard. April 2001 ©Joleen Timko, 2001 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) Abst rac t Interest in the role that local people's knowledge and experiences can play in natural resource conservation is increasing throughout the world. This is due in part because protected areas and national parks have repeatedly proven to be unsuccessful in achieving conservation objectives, and in part because they threaten the existence of nearby rural communities. When severe restrictions are placed on access to the forest resources local people depend upon for survival, poverty is often exacerbated. The result is that local people feel contempt and distrust for the protected area. In order to mitigate the impacts that protected areas have had on rural populations, local people have become the locus for development activities which either strive to understand the value of local ecological knowledge and experiences, or which encourage local people to participate in often externally-designed initiatives. Only a community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) approach, which is grounded in an understanding of local people's realities and livelihood needs, can unite the strengths of local knowledge and participation. To gain insight into the opportunities and constraints facing planners seeking to take a participatory approach to park management, a case study was conducted of Cat Ba National Park, Vietnam. Semi-structured interviews were carried out in two communities within the park, Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village. The results show that local people in Cat Ba are willing and able to participate in the park's conservation activities, but that they are inhibited from doing so by political and socio-economic factors. As well, it was found that local people possess detailed ecological knowledge about the park's forest resources. This knowledge has been developed by keen observations of the surrounding environment for generations. Improving local livelihoods was identified by local people as essential to reducing their dependence on forest biodiversity. Drawing on ideas offered by Cat Ba interviewees and analysis of other findings from the case study, suggestions are offered for capturing opportunities and overcoming barriers to effective participatory park management. T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S ABSTRACT ,LV TABLE OF CONTENTS $H LIST OF TABLES VI LIST OF FIGURES ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS V LcC CHAPTER 1 1 PROBLEM STATEMENT 1 THESIS G O A L AND OBJECTIVES 3 THESIS ASSUMPTIONS 3 STRUCTURE OF THE THESIS : 4 RATIONALE FOR THIS RESEARCH 4 CHAPTER 2 9 1. T H E IDEOLOGY OF BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION 12 2. CONSERVATION, ECOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE 15 Cultural Ecology and Traditional Ecological Knowledge 16 Local Ecological Knowledge 17 3. CONSERVATION AND L O C A L PARTICIPATION 20 Participation 22 4. SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL FACTORS 27 4.a. Socio-Economic Incentives 27 4.b. Parks, Power and Political Ecology 34 5. T H E CONVERGENCE OF CONSERVATION AND H U M A N NEEDS 40 Community-Based Natural Resource Management 41 Co-Management 43 Barriers to Community-Based Approaches 44 Integrated Conservation and Development Projects 44 Barriers to ICDPs 47 Why Pursue Community Based Approaches? 48 CHAPTER SUMMARY 49 CHAPTER 3 53 SECTION 1 54 The Traditional Village 54 French Colonialism .'. 59 The Seeds of Consciousness 62 The Vietnamese Communist Movement—Origins 64 The First War of Resistance and Initial Agrarian Reform 67 Transition to Socialism 68 Renewal 71 • Vietnam's History and its Implications for the Environment 73 SECTION 2 74 The Challenges of Conservation in Vietnam 74 A Recent History of Biodiversity Conservation in Vietnam 78 Cat Ba National Park 82 Section Summary 89 i i i CHAPTER 4 90 RESEARCH APPROACH 90 DATA COLLECTION 91 DATA ANALYSIS 95 DA TA VALIDITY AND RESEARCH LIMIT A TIONS 96 CHAPTER 5 102 SECTION 1-LOCAL ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE 103 Medicinal Flora and Fauna 103 Endemism 105 Rare Plant and Animal Species 106 Changes in Wildlife Populations : Ill Benefits Received from the Forest Ill Extinction • 113 Perceived Threats 114 Uncertainties in Knowledge 118 SECTION 2 - L O C A L PARTICIPATION IN THE PARK'S CONSERVATION INITIATIVES 118 Local Involvement in Cat Ba National Park 120 SECTION 3-CONSTRAINTS INHIBITING L O C A L INVOLVEMENT IN C A T B A NATIONAL PARK 124 Socio-Economic Factors 124 Political Factors ..: 128 Cultural Factors 131 SECTION 4-INTEGRATED CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN C A T B A NATIONAL PARK 132 CHAPTER 6 134 THE PARK's APPRO A CH TO CONSER VA TION 134 Scientific Research 135 Local Ecological Knowledge 135 Environmental Education 136 Tourism Management Strategy 137 THE NEEDS OF THE LOCAL PEOPLE 137 Forest Protection Contracts 139 Tree planting opportunities 139 Animal husbandry 139 Apiculture 140 Fruit Trees 140 Sustainable Commercialisation of Forest Plants 140 Tourism Guiding 140 THE INTERACTION BETWEEN PEOPLE AND THE PARK 141 CONCLUSION 144 REFERENCES 146 APPENDIX I 161 Crops Grown 162 APPENDIX II 163 Interview Questions , 164 APPENDIX III 166 Rare Plants, Birds and Animals 167 APPENDIX IV 168 Plants..... .- 169 i v Birds and Animals / 71 APPENDIX V 173 Animals Hunted for Personal Consumption or Trade 174 APPENDIX VI 175 Potential Opportunities and Constraints / 75 v LIST O F T A B L E S CHAPTER 4 Table 4.1 92 CHAPTER 5 Table 5.1 107 Table 5.2 109 Table 5.3 112 Table 5.4 119 Table 5.5 121 v i LIST O F F I G U R E S CHAPTER 1 Figure 1.1 ...6 Figure 1.2 .' 7 CHAPTER 2 Figure 2.1 13 CHAPTER 3 Figure 3.1 75 Figure 3.2 85 Figure 3.3 85 Figure 3.4 86 CHAPTER 4 Figure 4.1 93 CHAPTER 5 Figure 5.1 104 v i i A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S So many people supported me in so many ways throughout the two and a half years that I have been a graduate student, and it is to these people that I dedicate this thesis. To my family for remaining, as always, incredibly encouraging and supportive even at the times when what I was endeavouring to study was a mystery to them. To my beloved partner, Mike James, who nourished me throughout the entire process with gentle affection and understanding. To my friends at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University (Toronto) and the Institute for Resources and Environment (UBC) who, remaining some of the most committed social and environmental activists I've ever met, continue to inspire me. To Dr. Frank Tester at UBC's School of Social Work for encouraging me to understand the larger social and political framework in which this research is located. And to Dr. Les Lavkulich at the IRE for indelibly reassuring me of my abilities and choices. To all of you, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Chapter 1 Introduction and B a c k g r o u n d Problem Statement The past decade has seen a growing trend towards an emphasis on the role that a community's ecological knowledge can play in natural resource conservation. This emphasis can be seen in the initiatives of organisations such as The World Conservation Union (IUCN), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the United Nations (UN) Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO), and Fauna and Flora International (FFI). This trend has followed decades of development work that viewed local knowledge as an obstacle to efficient resource use. In the past it had been assumed that the goals of conservation and the interests of local communities were in opposition as conservation required the protection of natural resources such as forests and wildlife while local communities simultaneously relied on these resources for their subsistence needs like food, fodder, and fuel wood (Agrawal and Gibson, 1999; Hardin, 1968; Hausler, 1993; Peters, 1998). From these assumptions emerged heavy-handed, State controlled strategies aimed at excluding local people from natural resources, such as protected areas and national parks. National parks, generally established to protect areas of national or international significance, rarely have as an explicit goal the involvement of local people and the improvement of their living conditions. Often these national parks exist with no official management strategy, and hence no policy for including local people's ecological knowledge into the park's management practices. This is particularly problematic as the potential of national parks as habitat conservation vehicles is in serious debate. Hence, there is an immediate need to develop innovative ways to involve local communities and their knowledge in protected area management strategies. This thesis will demonstrate that local people's knowledge and experiences can pragmatically be included in conservation initiatives that potentially impact their lives. It will show there are a number of reasons for this. First, rural people in forest dependent communities often possess detailed ecological knowledge regarding their surrounding natural environment. This context specific knowledge, often developed over generations, can complement formal management strategies such as those required for the effective maintenance of a national park. This knowledge, identified as local ecological knowledge in this thesis, can range from the general sense that wild flora and fauna populations have changed over an extended amount of time, to specific knowledge about endangered flora and fauna or an understanding of the physical and service benefits provided by an intact forest. Second, the involvement of local people in conservation activities that can genuinely improve theirquality of life depends upon an understanding of the community's local ecological knowledge, local lives and realities, the impacts that the national park has had on their lives, and the manner in which the local people can feasibly participate in park . initiatives. It is imperative to determine if local people in forest-dependent communities possess local ecological knowledge that can contribute to local conservation and management initiatives because, although a group of individuals may possess a robust body of local ecological knowledge, the applicability of this knowledge is likely to be tempered by a number of significant factors. These can include local socio-economic factors such as food insecurity, political forces such as favouritism and nepotism on the part of park officials, and inherent cultural influences. As well, the local people's perceptions of the surrounding natural environment may be inaccurate, requiring environmental education initiatives in order to correctly inform them. And finally, along with understanding the community's local ecological knowledge, it is imperative to determine if and how the community would like to participate in a national park's management and conservation activities. Most importantly, for the involvement of local people in the conservation of the park to be successful, "local people must be able to define their needs, make decisions, and thus manage their resources within the context of the institutional framework governing the resources and the resource user groups" (Lavkulich, pers. comm., January 14, 2000). Within this more overtly egalitarian structure, the root causes of deforestation can be determined and local knowledge and experiences can help to devise local, context specific initiatives. 2 Thesis Goal and Objectives The goal of this research is to contribute to an understanding of the opportunities and constraints of involving local people in a forest-dependent community in biodiversity conservation initiatives. More specifically, this research was designed to determine the factors that contribute to, or detract from, the participation of local people in conservation initiatives and practices within Cat Ba National Park, Vietnam. The four objectives of this research are: 1. to assess human knowledge and behaviours towards the park's forest resources, with an emphasis on threatened species; 2. to describe which activities local people perceive as threats to the park's biodiversity; 3. to determine if local people are willing to contribute to the park's conservation activities; 4. to identify opportunties and constraints associated with the involvement of local people in biodiversity conservation initiatives. Thesis Assumptions There are four basic assumptions that precluded the case study research. This first is that local people in agrarian societies, particularly those situated in the buffer zones of protected areas, depend upon forest biodiversity for sustenance. Second, because of this close association with their natural environment, local people in these societies often possess detailed ecological knowledge related to their locale. Third, and depending upon its applicability, this knowledge can complement formal management strategies such as those required for the effective and efficient management of a national park. And finally, there are frequently pressures that inhibit people from utilising their ecological knowledge and thus hinder the initiatives directed at the conservation of biodiversity. 3 Structure of the Thesis This thesis is divided into six chapters. This introductory chapter presents the goals and objectives, the assumptions underlying the case study research, as well as background information regarding the implications that the establishment of national parks has on rural people in forest dependent communities and an introduction to the conservation situation in Vietnam and the case study region, Cat Ba National Park. Chapter 2 provides the conceptual framework that has been developed to enable an understanding of the factors that hinder local people from participating in conservation initiatives. Chapter 3 provides a brief historical background about Vietnam, a brief overview of the formal conservation strategies developed by the Vietnamese government, and a description of the communities and ecosystems of Cat Ba National Park. Details regarding the method of data collection and analysis and the implications of the methods for the results of this thesis are provided in Chapter 4. The factors identified in Chapter 2 will provide a basis for elaboration of the data analysis in Chapter 5. Finally, Chapter 6 completes the thesis with a summary of the main conclusions of the case study evaluation, and offers further recommendations for increasing the welfare of local communities in rural areas and involving these people in biodiversity conservation initiatives. Rationale for this Research The involvement of local people and their experiences with regards to conservation initiatives is a critical issue in Vietnam given that it is considered by many to be both a priority and a challenge for biodiversity conservation. With an incredibly dense rural population, most of whom produce for subsistence, and a large amount of endemic wild flora and fauna species, the low economic standing in rural areas often results in an overdependence on forest resources. This is particularly problematic in areas where national parks and other protected areas have been established to protect unique biological characteristics. Often local peasant communities, dependent upon subsidies from nature, are neglected during the park's establishment and thus are disadvantaged by its creation. This is the situation for the people in the case study communities of Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village in Cat Ba National Park on Cat Ba Island, Vietnam. 4 Cat Ba National Park is comprised of a large archipelago located southwest of the spectacular U N E S C O World Heritage Site of Halong Bay (Fig. 1.1). Consisting of 366 offshore islands, the archipelago is approximately 8km off the coast between 2042'-2054' N and 10654'-10709E (WCMC, 1989). The island of Cat Ba is the largest island in the archipelago and is inhabited by 10 286 people. Cat Ba is administratively divided into 7 communes: Cat Ba township, Tran Chau, Viet Hai, Cat Ba National Park, Xuan Dam, Hien Hao, and Gia Luan (Chung and Yen, 1997). Although there are three communities located within the national park, only two of these, Khe Sau Hamlet (belonging to Tran Chau village) and the village of Viet Hai, were involved in this study. Both communities were resettled in this area well in advance of establishment of Cat Ba National Park. Local people used to depend heavily on their surrounding forest-resources for subsistence but have had severe restrictions placed on their access to forest resources since the park was established in 1986. Local people in both Khe Sau and Viet Hai are very poor and still depend on subsidies from nature to meet many of their livelihood needs, mainly for fuel wood but also for food and other saleable items in times of need. Cat Ba National Park is a priority site for biodiversity conservation in Vietnam, as well as for primate conservation throughout the world. Cat Ba Island is the only place where the endemic and highly endangered Golden-Headed Langur, Trachypithecus francoisi poliocephalus, is found (Fig. 1.2). With less than two hundred individuals remaining in the wild, it is believed that hunting by both local people and those from the mainland is causing the langur population's decline (Le, 1997). Although there has been research done on the island with regards to both tourism development and langur ecology, no understanding has been developed about what local ecological knowledge the people in these communities possess, how the park's establishment has affected their lives, nor if the local people are willing and able to contribute to the park's conservation initiatives. This research is timely as there is a significant amount of distrust and contempt held by the local people for the park and its employees. In order to facilitate a more trusting and mutually beneficial relationship between the two in the future, it will be imperative to do more than just determine what ecological knowledge local people possess and if this 5 Hon Xoan Lon Gia Luan Tra Bau Cai ViSng Dao Cal Hai Aug Ll ^KiffiT5TaoPeak ) Headquarter^  Vigt Hai Hien Huo fVTning ifrang Cave 1<Cim Ngan Quail y Cave Khe Sau L E G E N D Park Border - Road • Trails Hikes Core zone Natural Forest Marine Zone an C h a u ^ n g S o i Cat Dim Cat Co Cat Ba Town Port F i g . l . l C a t Ba N a t i o n a l P a r k , Vietnam Source: WWF, 2 0 0 0 6 Figure 1 . 2 The endemic Cat Ba Langur, T.f. poliocephalus Source: WWF, 2000 knowledge can contribute to conservation initiatives. "It will be important to develop a framework whereby local knowledge can become legitimate and credible and thus part of a policy and management mechanism" (Lavkulich, pers. comm., January 14, 2000).. This research will extend the theory about what constitutes a viable situation for conservation in a number of important ways. This project is holistic in that it incorporates socio-economic, ecological, and political factors into a conceptual framework. This framework is predicated on a thorough understanding of the local context, including local people's needs and realities. As well, the framework developed in this thesis acknowledges the essentially distinct theories of conservation, ecological knowledge, and local participation, but demonstrates that only when all three are integrated into a type of community-based natural resource management project, can successful conservation result. And finally, this research looks to the people of Khe Sau and Viet Hai, who possess both local ecological knowledge and a desire to participate in conservation initiatives within the park, for solutions and recommendations about what factors would constitute an improvement in their livelihoods. 8 Chapter 2 A C o n c e p t u a l F ramework for the Integration of Ideologies: C o n s e r v a t i o n , E c o l o g i c a l K n o w l e d g e and L o c a l Part ic ipat ion "The preservat ion of representat ive wor ld ecosys tems , spec i e s . . . and natural wonde r s is indeed a noble and important goa l ; but the protection of local human cul tures and the opportunit ies for e conom i c improvement. . . in the face of stark rural poverty is a l so a crit ically important goa l and moral imperat ive" (West, 1991, p. xix). The protection of local livelihoods alongside the natural environments they depend upon for survival can be enormously challenging. Conserving natural resources often means eliminating human use of the same resources, resulting in negative impacts on local communities dependent on these resources for subsistence. Parks and protected areas have long been thought of as the best way of preserving wildlife however, under a national park's designation, it is extremely difficult to give equal consideration to preserving the diversity of peoples and places, as well as to the conservation of species (Pretty and Pimbert, 1995). There is no question that wildlife and wildlands must be protected as the benefits to the host country, including soil retention, habitat for species, protection from wind damage, shade from sunlight, water retention and filtration, as well as spiritual, moral, and aesthetic benefits, are undeniable. Indeed, parks and protected areas should remain the cornerstone of any strategy directed at preserving biodiversity as "many species can maintain themselves only in large expanses of unaltered or lightly disturbed habitat" and particularly given the biological and social problems surrounding the sustainable use of resources both inside and surrounding parks (Terborgh and van Schaik, 1997, p. 15). What is questionable however, is the vehicle in which conservation and wildlife management takes place, the national park's structure. The purpose of establishing a national park is to "protect natural and scenic areas of national or international significance for scientific, educational and recreational use" (IUCN, 1984, p. 49). Generally, all types of protected areas are managed primarily for conservation purposes, and human use in the area ideally should not conflict with the purpose (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997). Not only is the 'park' structure in its current conception too rigid to incorporate local ecological knowledge into management activities, but it also appears to pursue essentially dichotomous objectives. These 9 mutually exclusive objectives, certainly unachievable when pursued in tandem by the same organisational body in the same locale, are 'use' and 'preservation'. It is quite apparent then, that there is an inherent contradiction in the conception of a park in this manner. How can there possibly be simultaneous use (scientific, educational, or otherwise) and protection in the same location? Ironically, this is the same challenge that faces forest-dependent communities as they strive to fulfil their basic livelihood needs by utilising the surrounding natural environment in such a way so as to not jeopardise the integrity of the environment and accordingly, their own existence. Because of their close association with the natural environment, forest-dependent communities often rely on knowledge developed over time to manage forest resources sustainably. This dual challenge of use and protection, shared by local communities and parks, is a strong reason why local ecological knowledge may be able to contribute to conservation activities within a park. Thesis Purpose The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to an understanding of the opportunities and constraints of involving local people in a forest-dependent community in biodiversity conservation initiatives. More specifically, this research was designed to determine the factors that contribute to, or detract from, the participation of local people in conservation initiatives and practices within Cat Ba National Park, Vietnam. In order to do this it is essential to determine if there is a lack of participation on behalf of the local people due to a deficiency in local ecological knowledge, or if there are other forces that serve to inhibit their participation? If there are other forces, are they socio-economic, political or otherwise? Because there is a complex set of factors that inhibit local people living within or nearby parks and protected areas from participating in conservation initiatives, it is imperative that a holistic perspective examining the relationships between these factors be adopted. This integrative framework must treat the park as a system, one that integrates local communities, their knowledge and experiences, and conservation activities surrounding the natural environment, as well as the interconnections between these factors. And it is 10 within this framework that an analysis of socio-economic incentives that may motivate the communities to participate, as well as political barriers that impact the local communities, especially poverty and access-or lack thereof--to other means of subsistence, must be located. It is also important to acknowledge that these factors limit local people both explicitly, such as through the non-involvement of locals in the establishment and stewardship of a park, and implicitly, such as through the oppressive influences that food and water insecurity have on the local people. Cat Ba National Park 's Communi t ies Local people in both Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village, Vietnam depend upon forest resources to subsidise their livelihoods. The people in these communities are primarily peasant-farmers who farm to meet their subsistence requirements. That is, they may "trade or sell a portion of their crop to obtain or purchase necessities that they cannot themselves produce...but the acquisition of cash is destined primarily for household consumption" (Schmink and Wood, 1987, p. 40). Local people also depend on the forest for extraction of, among other things, fuel wood, medicinal teas, and wildlife products for both personal consumption and trade (Brechin etal, 1991). Although a more thorough history of these two communities will be discussed in Chapter 3, it is important to acknowledge the impact that the parks' establishment had on their livelihoods and well being. Policies of the Vietnamese government sometimes result in people throughout Vietnam being relocated to less populated areas. The populations in Viet Hai and Khe Sau were relocated from other provinces in northern Vietnam, and these relocations occurred well in advance of the 1986 establishment of Cat Ba National Park. Before the park was established, local people were freely allowed to use forest resources and to hunt wild animals and birds. It was only after the park was established that their access to these much-needed resources was severely curtailed by the park rangers. Hence, there is a general sense on behalf of local people in both Viet Hai and Khe Sau that misery has increased within the communities since the park was established. Thus, the current relationship with the park is relatively tenuous, with distrust and resentment for the park and its employees existing in both communities. l l Local ecological knowledge on Cat Ba has consistently been excluded from conservation discussions and it is my view that local knowledge may be able to contribute significantly to an understanding of changes with the forest structure over the past years, and thus to the design and implementation of comprehensive conservation strategies. The likelihood that local people possess ecological knowledge relevant to this study is even more possible given that there is evidence that human civilisations have existed on Cat Ba for the last 6000 to 7000 years (WCMC, 1989). For this thesis, a conceptual framework has been developed to examine in greater detail the factors that serve to influence local people's involvement in biodiversity conservation initiatives within Cat Ba National Park (Fig. 2.1). The framework consists of three potentially distinct components: the ideology of conservation, local ecological knowledge, and local participation. However, the framework utilises a holistic perspective in that it integrates these three factors into an interdependent structure. Once the interrelationships between the three interconnected themes of conservation, local ecological knowledge, and local participation have been made explicit, the embeddedness of socio-economic, political, and cultural factors can be located within this structure. This thesis posits that a viable and sustainable resource management initiative would include the ideology of conservation, its reliance on local ecological knowledge, and its dependence on local participation in order to achieve a locally-specific community-based natural resource management project. This chapter will consist of five sections with each dedicated to exploring one of the five themes within the conceptual framework. 1. T h e Ideo logy o f B i o d i v e r s i t y C o n s e r v a t i o n Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is the term given to describe the diversity of genes, species, and ecosystems on earth, and conservation can be defined as "the maintenance or sustainable use of the earth's resources in a manner that maintains ecosystems, species and genetic diversity (Environment Canada, 1998, p. 46). Together, biodiversity conservation is an objective that is to be achieved by maintaining the diversity of wild species and wild spaces in perpetuity, but at the same time includes 12 \ ~ - - - - - - - — — Figure 2.1 A visual representation of the conceptual framework showing the relationship between the ideologies of conservation, local ecological knowledge, and participation. These three interdependent fields of study must pass through a "f i l ter" of the local socio-economic, political, and cultural factors in order to obtain a holistic and locally specific community-based natural resource management project. A t the filter and the C B N R M stages, feedback loops represent the need to re-analyse the local realities and theoretical backgrounds, respectively. 13 the principle of wise use: "husbanding the resources of wilderness to provide the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people" (Chowder, 1990). Conservation therefore implies that there is a practising of restraint surrounding the use of natural resources, and thus is concerned with the long-term health of the natural environment, the overall goal of protected areas (Octeau, 1999). The ideology that underlies biodiversity conservation, and by close association national parks and protected areas as well, is that the state of 'wildness' must be maintained. Because the prevailing perception (mostly urban based) is that human use is incompatible with the idea of 'untamed land', local people are actively excluded from areas set up for official protection (Pretty and Pimbert, 1995). In particular it is the local people which, "lacking formal training...are deemed to have nothing to offer conservation" (Kothari, Suri and Singh, 1995: 190). Instead of seeking to utilise local knowledge and experiences in a way that complements formal conservation initiatives, protected area managers tend to view local people as threats to parks and protected areas. Threats here are meant to be "activities of human or natural origin that cause significant damage to park resources, or are in serious conflict with the objectives of park administration and management" (Machlis and Tichnell, 1985, p. 13). It is important to realise that the way we describe and understand the world, including the way we view nature, is entangled with our own assumptions and values (Cronon, 1986). In this perception, "protected areas are a social space...they are socially conceived and preserved" (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997, p. 5). Thus, the establishment of parks as conservation arenas depends upon the valuation of nature as something other than utility, that is, as an entity to be preserved in a "pristine" state without interference by humans. This highly political approach, largely an obsession with wilderness on behalf of the wealthy, ignores the reality that these very spaces sought after for conservation may have been influenced through years of contact with humans. This point will be discussed in further detail in the section on conservation and local ecological knowledge. Protected areas now exist in 169 countries, covering approximately 5.2 per cent of the Earth's land area, and strictly protected areas such as national parks cover 3 per cent of 14 the Earth's surface (WCMC, 1992). The establishment of a national park is highly political at its root, with "the word 'park' coming from the medieval Latin parricus which means 'enclosure'" (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997, p. 5). As the purpose of creating a park is to manage a given area mainly for ecosystem protection, and with the improvement of local livelihood conditions seldom an explicit goal, the current conservationist paradigm has been seen as "an attempt to transplant national parks, a rich country institution, to an alien setting" (Southgate and Clarke, 1993, p. 163). These Western models pose implementation problems in poorer, agrarian countries where the interests of local people who live off the land have been ignored (Matowanyika, 1989). In fact, it is not uncommon for wild animals from inside protected areas to damage the crops and cattle, and sometimes the villagers themselves, often with no compensation provided by the State for damages to the villages (Barraclough and Pimbert, 1995). Given the negative impact they have on local communities, it is particularly problematic that there has recently been a call for an expansion of the worldwide network of protected areas. The IV World Congress on National Parks and Protected Areas, held in Caracas, Venezuela in 1992, recommended that each country "designate a minimum of 10% of each biome (that is, oceans, forests, tundra, wetlands, grasslands, etc.) under its jurisdiction as a protected area" (Pretty and Pimbert, 1995, p. 5). With no indication that the structure of protected areas will be made more accommodating to the needs of local people, Ghimire and Pimbert (1997) state: "conservation programmes are only valid and sustainable when they have the dual objective of protecting and improving local livelihoods and ecological conditions" (p. 3). The efficacy of parks as a conservation vehicle and the role that local people can play in achieving conservation objectives will be discussed in detail in the next sections. 2. C o n s e r v a t i o n , E c o l o g y and K n o w l e d g e "The biggest problem of all with nature conservation is the tremendous reluctance to consult with the people actually involved on the ground, the farmers" (Harrison, Burgess and Clark, 1998, p. 313). 1 5 In order to develop a better understanding of what local ecological knowledge is, how it develops, and how it can assist in designing and achieving conservation objectives, it is important to understand the influence that cultural ecology has on the formation of local knowledge. The foundation of this approach, ecology is "derived from the Greek 'oikos' meaning a house or home", and is "the science of the interrelation between living organisms and their environment, including both the physical and the biotic environments" (Bews, 1935, p. 1; Vayda and Rappaport, 1976, p. 6). Cultural Ecology and Traditional Ecological Knowledge Cultural ecology "sees the mode of production of societies around the world as adaptations to their local environments", and is thus focused on the "functional relationships between people and the environment" (Berkes, 1999, p. 47). As an ethnological approach, it serves as an "heuristic device for understanding the effect of environment upon culture" (Steward, 1983, p. 63). Cultural ecology seeks to "explain the origin of particular cultural features and patterns which characterise different areas" (Ibid, p. 69). More specifically, "cultural ecology is less concerned with the origin and diffusion of technologies than with the fact that they may be used differently and entail different social arrangements in each environment" (Ibid, p. 71). For instance, technologies such as spears and bows were developed independently in many parts of the world, but also may differ from region to region due to the nature of the terrain and fauna. Hence, these cultural tools were adapted to accommodate the specific features of the localised environment. It has also been shown that systems of knowledge, generated locally, show similar ecological adaptations in various locales (Berkes, 1999). These physical adaptations-can be understood as embedded in a system of knowledge, and indigenous groups that possess specialised local knowledge surrounding their natural environment are said to utilise traditional ecological knowledge. Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) refers to a "cumulative body of knowledge and beliefs 16 handed down through generations by cultural transmission about the relationship of living beings (including humans) with one another and with their environment" (Gadgil, Berkes and Folke, 1993, p. 151). There has been much debate, both in favour of and against, the value and applicability of TEK to conservation initiatives. This has been particularly important in situations where "experts" see traditional local practices as conflicting with the goals of resource management and conservation (Howard and Widdowson, 1996). Nevertheless, TEK possessed by ethnic minorities has been shown to complement and extend formal management strategies in national parks (Gadgil, Berkes and Folke, 1991; Quiroz, 1996; Sullivan, 1999). With local communities intimately tied to their surrounding natural environment, a reciprocal relationship of adaptation and alteration often results. Peters (1999) notes that villagers on the border of Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar extract subsistence items such as wood for fuel, house construction, canoes, rafts, tools and utensils; plants for weaving mats, baskets and nutritional consumption; and animals for food. Such indigenous or local management can provide the controlled disturbance needed for the maintenance of ecosystem diversity and maximum species diversity (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997). Local Ecological Knowledge From the previous section, TEK can be seen to have positive implications for biodiversity conservation initiatives. But what sort of value does non-traditional, more recently developed knowledge have for the management of a protected area? Peasant farmers and cottage-craftsmen, living in rural areas away from the influences of modern societies, also live in close association with the local landscape. Berkes and Folke (1998) use the terms "neo-traditional resource management systems" and "newly emergent resource management systems" interchangeably to describe "local resource management that does not have historical continuity but which is based on observation, experience and local knowledge of resource users themselves" (p. 5). The knowledge to which they are implicitly referring is given the term "local ecological knowledge " in this thesis and can be understood as the knowledge developed by a resource user that has allowed him/her to observe changes in the surrounding environment and to formulate 17 theories in order to comprehend why such changes have occurred. Theory, as used here, is a set of concepts and the proposed relationships among them that provides a model or map of why the world is the way it is (Strauss, 1995; Maxwell, 1996). Pragmatically, local ecological knowledge can be utilised to understand such things as changes in forest-stand structure and wildlife populations, and the benefits provided to the community by wild flora and fauna. Endogenous groups may be interested in local ecological knowledge as it includes an understanding of perceptions and attitudes that local people have towards the natural environment, which if erroneous can be corrected through carefully planned and implemented environmental education programmes. And although it may not do so explicitly, local ecological knowledge can also include an understanding of the impacts that socio-economic and political factors have on the local community's relationship with the natural environment. Local ecological knowledge can also lend itself to the planning of conservation objectives. "As knowledge and understanding are socially constructed, what each of us knows and believes is a function of our own unique contexts and pasts. What we take to be true depends on the framework of knowledge and assumptions we bring with us. Thus, it is essential to seek multiple perspectives on a problem simultaneously by ensuring the wide involvement of different actors and groups" (Pretty and Pimbert, 1995, p. 10). Given the conflicts that often ensue regarding the establishment of protected areas, it is imperative that the local ecological knowledge be examined and understood. This is especially critical as the majority of parks and protected areas currently do not recognise the importance of local management practices in sustaining biodiversity (Pretty and Pimbert, 1995). Ironically, many areas designated for preservation under a formal management regime have often been shaped by generations of human presence and pressures, while the rigidity of a "park" designation forces local people to relinquish their stewardship of natural resources to park rangers. In fact, many of these very spaces sought after for conservation may be of anthropogenic origin, influenced through years of contact with humans, and are often much richer in biological diversity than culturally unmodified areas (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997). Moreover, "much of the world's biological diversity 18 is in the custody of farmers who follow age-old farming and land use practices" (Oldfield and Alcorn, 1991, p. 37). It is therefore imperative that "villagers' own approaches towards conservation and resource use need to be understood and built upon" (Das and Christopher, 1998, p. 389). This is essential given that groups that have traditionally relied upon grazing, hunting, fishing, food-gathering and wood collection "have faced not only economic hardship, but also extremely difficult social and cultural adjustments" (Barraclough and Ghimire, 1995, p. 143). The often deleterious social policies of a park combined with the subsistence needs of the local populations has resulted in parks and protected areas in many parts of the world essentially becoming "islands" in a "sea" of development, essentially well-monitored and protected regions surrounded by degraded or completely destroyed habitats. Although referring to Africa, Western and Giochoi (as cited in Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997) could easily be speaking about Vietnam when they suggest "the implicit a s sumpt ion in creat ing a park is that protect ion will mainta in and most l ikely e nhan ce bio logical diversity. In reality, the oppos i te may be the c a s e . Part of the reason s t ems from the large role that human eco logy has p layed in shap ing and mainta in ing the s a v anna s (sic)...the bio logical i nadequacy of protected a reas has on ly b e c o m e apparent in recent years" (p. 13). Not only is it important to incorporate the knowledge and experiences of all local stakeholders in the planning of conservation initiatives, it is also imperative to understand what local people perceive as their roles in these activities. Harrison, Burgess and Clark (1998) found that, instead of passive recipients of conservation projects, local farmers in the UK saw themselves as active stewards of nature, and that by "drawing on their own locally specific and time dependent understandings of nature", local people had "much to contribute to the setting of conservation goals as well as to their implementation" (p. 308). This type of knowledge is therefore seen to be "a science of adjustment and adaptation which is produced by, and reflects, the interests of local farmers as a group within society" (Ashley, 2000, p. 20). The active participation of local people in conservation initiatives will be discussed further in the next section. 19 3. C o n s e r v a t i o n and L o c a l Part ic ipation The establishment of a national park is highly controversial in that it can serve to benefit some, such as directors and employees of the park, while being simultaneously detrimental to others, such as local communities. The losses suffered by local communities living within or adjacent to parks and protected areas, especially the removal of resource-use rights, are due to the values inherent in the ideology of conservation. This approach to nature is one that views the natural environment as separate from humans and their needs: subsistence, spiritual, and otherwise. Not only is the explicit involvement of local people and the incorporation of their localised knowledge not a priority in a park's establishment and management, but local people are often seen to have detrimental effects on conservation initiatives. "Conservationist beliefs have generally held that there is an inverse relationship between human actions and the well-being of the environment" (Pretty and Pimbert, 1995, p. 6). Such preservationist approaches may also result in local communities often being forcibly displaced or relocated from the newly designated protected area, with villagers rarely informed as to why their rights for collecting fuel wood and fodder have been curtailed (Kothari, Suri and Singh, 1995). Moreover, the decision to create a park often lies with the central authority located in a distant city, resulting in local people often being unaware that a park or protected area has even been established in their region. It is important to acknowledge that the establishment of a Western-European park construct, aimed at the conservation of biological diversity, has often been pursued largely for the pleasure of the elite at the expense of the poor majority, ignoring the need for the conservation of cultural diversity (Peters, 1999). Failing to incorporate the concerns of local communities into the management plans for protected areas, as well as failing to explain those policies to surrounding communities, can result in the perception that protected areas are "arbitrary creations of the central government, instituted for government benefit at the expense of surrounding communities" (Lowry and Donahue, 1994, p. 323). Whether correct or not, these perceptions can carry with them feelings of distrust and anger towards the park on behalf of local people. 2 0 Consequently, because of their highly political nature, parks have become a major source of rural tension in many developing countries with local people often retaliating against the park or protected area. Organised protests and rallies, attacks on park guards, poisoning of animals and deliberate burning of forests are becoming commonplace in many developing countries (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997). The implications resulting from the creation of protected areas at the expense of local livelihoods are epitomised by the actions in Togo. When the authoritarian regime of Togo's President Eyadema began to weaken in 1991, local people retaliated by cutting trees, hunting gazelle and wild boar meat, and capturing young monkeys and baboons for pets; "the benefits that were denied under the old regime (were) being exploited to the point of depletion in the absence of central authority" (Lowry and Donahue, 1994, p. 328). Even on Cat Ba, there have been reports of animosity between the park rangers and local villagers as villagers have attacked and threatened park staff, and intimidated them from enforcing the regulations properly (WCMC, 1999). It is apparent then that attention must be given to the role that parks play in rural areas as "there is a real risk that the growing rural conflict induced by such management schemes will actually destroy within a very short period what has been protected with a great deal of effort and time" (Pretty and Pimbert, 1995, p. 7). For a further sample of protests and rallies against protected areas around the world, see Pretty and Pimbert (1995). It is commonly recognised now that parks as habitat protection vehicles are not only unsuccessful in achieving conservation objectives, but that they have also alienated and threatened the existence of many rural communities throughout the world. By severely restricting, and often completely prohibiting, local people's access to natural resources upon which they had depended for sustenance, parks and protected areas frequently exacerbate conditions of poverty in communities located within or near these areas. For rural people who depend on subsidies from nature, such as fuel wood, fodder, food and water, exclusion from resources can be extremely detrimental to the health and well being of their community. Ghimire and Pimbert (1997) stress the transfer of "'Western' conservation approaches to developing countries has had adverse effects on the food security and livelihoods of people living in and around protected areas" (p. 13). Hence, there is an immediate need to alleviate the social consequences of protected areas for resident, forest-dependent populations (Peters, 1999). 21 Although it is recognised that there will be costs involved in the establishment of parks and protected areas, "too often these costs fall on local people who suddenly find themselves cut off from needed natural resources" (Lowry and Donahue, 1994, p. 329). For example, the creation of parks and game reserves in Tanzania has "contributed to widespread pauperisation of the local population and to increasing pressures from poor peasants' subsistence needs on remaining forest areas" (Barraclough and Ghimire, 1995, p. 137). This has been a crucial factor leading to the acknowledgement that the successful management of protected areas ultimately depends on the co-operation and support of local people (Wells and Brandon, 1993). Participation There is an extensive literature surrounding participation, and likewise numerous definitions of participation have been proffered. Participation has been defined as "empowering people to mobilise their own capacities, be social actors rather than passive subjects, manage the resources, make decisions, and control the activities that affect their lives" (Cernea, 1985, p. 10). Participation has also been defined as the "mental and emotional involvement of persons in group situations that encourage them to contribute to group goals and share responsibility for them" (Davis, 1977, p. 140). Awa (1989) posits for participation to be successful, three important and interrelated 'factors are required: "mental and emotional involvement, not just mere physical presence; a motivation to contribute, which requires creative thinking and initiative; and an acceptance of responsibility" (p. 307). As with the sharing of different local ecological knowledges, a holistic approach to participation demands input from a diverse group of stakeholders. Grimble and Wellard (1997) define stakeholders as "any group of people, organised or unorganised, who share a common interest or stake in a particular issue or system; they can be at any level or position in society, from global, national, and regional concerns down to the level of the household" (p. 175). The inclusion of various stakeholder groups is essential in order to understand the different perspectives surrounding a management problem, as well as to understand what factors will be perceived as an improvement. The integration 22 of multiple perspectives will serve to deepen any understanding of resource management problems because each group of individuals, sharing a common history and reality, will bring with them differing perceptions of their reality as well as worldviews. However, before true participation can be achieved there is a need for both trust and credibility to be established between professionals and local people; an open and free flow of information must precede any attempt at reconciliation between stakeholder groups (Peters, 1999). Machlis and Tichnell (1985) list 1611 specific threats to protected areas around the world, with the principal threats identified as: the removal of vegetation and wildlife, poor relations with local people, and conflicting demands for park resources. It is essential to note that these threats are entirely due to social and political factors, not due to the nature of the resource itself. Because of this, the solutions must be equally focused on the social and political environments. Octeau (1999) posits the need for local participation in parks rests in the following: 1) Protected areas are not isolated parcels of land. They exist within a larger regional context and thus the duties of park managers realistically cannot be limited to within park boundaries. 2) The threats to protected areas are predominantly human-caused, and more specifically, are linked to surrounding communities. Dealing with such threats will require dealing with the local communities. 3) Only through the support and co-operation of local people can the future of protected areas be secured, thus the participation of local people is needed in planning and management activities. The involvement of local people in conservation initiatives has been encouraged by many who see the denial of local involvement as responsible for the failure of much protected areas conservation. "Because local communities are directly affected by the establishment of a park and because their activities also have a direct impact on parks, their participation in protected area planning and management is central to the sustainability of parks" (Octeau, 1999, p. 29). In particular, if local participation is encouraged from the outset, such as at the problem-identification and design stages, "the greater the probability that sustainable community involvement will occur in later phases" (Little, 1994, p. 368). 23 A popular critique in the conservation arena is that participation is still seen as a means to achieve externally desirable conservation goals. "This means that, while recognising the need for peoples' participation, many conservation professionals place clear limits on the form and degree of participation that they tolerate in protected area management" (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997, p. 23). As well, considerable rhetoric has been developed and used surrounding the ideology of participation, while very little of it has been operationalised. "Under the rubric local participation, an external body or agency decide(s) what should be done, and the local community participate(s) in its implementation and modification"; thus for genuine participation to occur, some form of decentralisation has to occur which results in the delegation of authority and power over decision making being given to the local community (Little, 1994, p. 351). A number of assumptions have been posited about the role that rural communities can play in conservation initiatives. These include: communities, by virtue of their long term need for renewable resources, must have the most knowledge about managing these resources therefore they are the best managers (Hausler, 1993; Chung et al, 1998; Warren, 1992); without the continued influence of humans after generations of managing the forest, impoverishment of biological diversity has been observed (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997); and without being actively involved in resource management communities have no incentive to use resources sustainably (Western, 1994). Although there are important roles that local people can play in conservation, there is no universal "formula" of participation that can be uniformly applied to resource management and conservation contexts in variable settings. There has been extensive criticism surrounding the "top-down" coercive nature of participation, and Arnstein's (1969) discourse regarding the "ladder of citizen participation" is a must read for all participation enthusiasts. Utilising a ladder analogy, her work emphasises that the bottom 5 rungs of the ladder (manipulation, therapy, informing, consultation, placation) offer varying degrees of tokenism for the involvement of citizens, and it is only at the top end of the ladder (partnership, delegated power, and citizen control) in which a significant redistribution of power has occurred to allow real accountability and responsibility on behalf of the citizens. Similarly, Peters (1997) considers there to be only four levels of participation: information sharing, consultation, decision making, and 24 initiating action. Unlike Arnstein (1969) though, Peters (1997) considers public involvement to be genuine in varying degrees in all levels except the level of information sharing in which there is only a unidirectional flow of information from professionals to the public. Although there are numerous constraints that prevent local people from participating in development activities in their regions, not all of these are applicable to the current situation in Vietnam. There are however two relevant factors that serve to limit local people in Cat Ba National Park from participating in conservation initiatives: poverty and the de-valuing of local knowledge on behalf of government agencies. Poverty is a major factor that directly inhibits local participation. When a community must focus on subsistence food production and with meeting their other basic human needs, involvement in conservation activities is seen as neither a necessity nor as desirable. Instead, all efforts must be directed at subsistence production, and this is particularly crucial for those in areas that suffer droughts or flooding. It has already been mentioned in this thesis that there is the recognition that poverty tempers the willingness of people to participate. Local knowledge has been shown to have value and applicability in certain conservation projects, and yet the devaluing of local knowledge by authorities is the second relevant factor that inhibits local participation in Cat Ba's conservation activities. Regrettably, local knowledge has been consistently de-valued by bureaucratic organisations, with the emphasis instead placed on the role that technocracy can play in conservation. Local people have been given no real power over decision making, and the relationship of park agencies with local communities has been paternalistic, selective and unidirectional (Stankey, 1989). It has been documented that, for local people to take responsibility over conserving their resources, they need to have a sense of ownership over the entire process from decision-making to management and monitoring activities (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997). Requiring authority over decision-making to be passed from bureaucratic organisations to the local people themselves, this shift in power is often difficult as governments have trouble seeing that "there may be viable management methods other than a particular hierarchical form of standardised procedures (Pinkerton, 25 1989, p. 14). In Cat Ba unfortunately, no real power over resource management has yet been ceded to local people. Jansen (1998) posits that science and policy would be bad science and ineffective policy if it did not explore all existing information or failed to communicate with local people. Therefore, an approach based on respect and one that includes local knowledge in conservation initiatives could lead to a profoundly positive relationship between parks and local communities. If it is found that resource use is impacting on the park in a negative manner, then a mutually trusting relationship will be necessary if local people are expected to incorporate scientific recommendations into their practices. Without positive social relationships, local people will likely not respond to scientific knowledge and advice (Wynne, 1992). Collaboration between "scientific experts" and local people can also result in the collection of data year-round as local people can be trained to monitor wildlife populations and record environmental changes. Through years of experience and reflection the practice of participation has been modified to make it more responsive and reflective of local contexts. This can be seen in the historical perspective produced by Pretty and Pimbert (1995) which traces the evolution of the participation ideology from the colonial period when people were seen to be impediments to conservation, through the 1970s when people were seen as passive actors in public relations schemes, and into the 1990s where people are seen as essential actors in protected areas management. As well, there has been extensive debate about what form of participation is the most effective in creating positive and sustainable social change (Peters, 1997; Wells and Brandon, 1993). Of interest to this research was the development of an understanding about which members of the community already participated in conservation initiatives, what form their participation took, and whether other members of the community saw this type of participation as beneficial to themselves and thus wanted to participate in similar activities. What must be stressed for the communities inside Cat Ba National Park, is a bottom-up approach to development and participation. This approach, developed as a reaction to "top-down", centrally organised programs, "encourages self-sufficiency using sustainable resource bases for subsistence...and it entails full participation and control by local 26 people in planning for and implementing rural development projects" (Brechin et al, 1991, p. 15). 4. Socio-Economic and Political Factors ' 4.a. Socio-Economic Incentives "Meeting people's livelihood requirements is crucial to the sustaining of conservation activities in protected areas" (Das and Christopher, 1998, p. 388). At this point in the thesis it is important to acknowledge that it is too simplistic to view poverty alone as the only driving cause behind tropical deforestation. In Vietnam in particular, there are a variety of destructive forces facing the forests, among which poverty is only one. Other forces driving deforestation include an excessive reliance on forest products, and a very high rate of population growth along with an already high population density. Nevertheless, poverty is seen by many aid agencies as perhaps one of the easier challenges to alleviate, as opposed to other options such as the revolutionary overthrow of long-standing political structures. Regardless of how legitimate their impact on forest degradation may be, the search for solutions to the various causes of deforestation becomes essentially pointless due to a lack of understanding about local realities. In order to engender trusting relationships and to work towards solutions to the various causes of deforestation with local people, they must be given a forum in which to voice their ideas and opinions. And it is within this forum that local people can express what they perceive to be the driving forces behind their dependence on forest products. In this manner, local people's perceptions about factors that serve as barriers to their sustainable use of resources will be better understood. These perceptions can then be overcome using educational initiatives if they are incorrect, or incorporated into development plans if accurate. In this way, local people will be active participants in the identification of problems and ideally in the articulation of solutions, and hence will follow what is meant by true participation. 27 In regards to protected areas, the impact of poverty on deforestation has led to the question "How can people achieve improved levels of living so that their reliance on the park resources is reduced and they have a real interest in protecting them?" (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997, p. 21). The answer to this is seen to be socio-economic incentives. An incentive for conservation is "any inducement which is specifically intended to incite or motivate governments, local people, and international organisations to conserve biological diversity" (McNeely, 1993, p. 145). With much literature stressing the message that a "lack of livelihood security ultimately undermines conservation objectives as poverty and rates of environmental degradation intensify in areas surrounding parks" (Pretty and Pimbert, 1995, p. 7), there has been much speculation regarding the need for, and types of, socio-economic incentives. The Essence of Incentives Recurring throughout this thesis is the theme that, with almost no financial support and little real social support from the park, the inhabitants of communities surrounding protected areas are often forced to live in poverty. Therefore, within the narrow confines of their social and economic environment, rural people are forced to set priorities and make economic choices that are not compatible with conservation (Hackel, 1999). In this way, local people are essentially forced into depending upon their surrounding forested environment, with the result being animosity and contempt for the park on the local's behalf. This is significant as many local people understand that their livelihoods depend upon the integrity of the forests and they appreciate the need to protect the forest and its inhabitants, however their desire to protect the natural environment is tempered by the reality of poverty (Infield, 1988). As issues of food and water insecurity are of prime importance to local people, conservation can certainly not be deemed a priority if these basic needs can't even be met. In order for disadvantaged, rural people to feasibly participate in biodiversity conservation, incentives that match the community's livelihood needs will likely be required. A number of authors (Bhatt, 1998; Gibson and Marks, 1995; McNeely, 1993) have categorised incentives in slightly different ways, and the categories used in this thesis will follow McNeely (1993). He posits there are two fundamental types of 28 incentives that can be used to help mitigate the impacts that protected areas have on rural communities: direct incentives and indirect incentives Direct Incentives Direct incentives "are applied to achieve specific objectives, such as improving management of a protected area", and fall into two categories: cash, and in kind contributions (McNeely, 1993, p. 146). Cash incentives include such items as money from fees, grants, subsidies and interest-free loans (Bhatt, 1998). The employment of locals in jobs such as game wardens or wildlife scouts are other types of direct incentives, and Gibson and Marks (1995) discuss how local people in parts of Africa also benefit by receiving the meat of safari-killed game or through the sale of meat from supervised culling operations. These types of incentives can be supplied contingent on the long-term protection and management of forests. With regard to direct cash incentives though, Peters (1998) cautions that providing cash to those who are unaccustomed to receiving it can be somewhat disappointing; the provision of in-kind contributions may be more beneficial to local people instead. In-kind contributions include the provision of items such as food or fertiliser, and can include limited access to natural resources. Again, Peters (1998) cautions about the socially neglectful practices that can accompany in-kind contributions. He supplies an. example describing how the provision of synthetic fertiliser was encouraged as a substitute to slash-and-burn practices in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. What was overlooked was the impact that the fertiliser would have on the cultivation of tavy. A culturally significant plant grown by the local people, tavy is known as "the ancestors way" while the forest is known as "the land of the ancestors". Peters (1998) notes that tavy is, in effect, the way of life for local people, and "substituting fertilizer for the ashes of burned forest assumes that tavy is merely an agricultural production system" (p. 26). Indirect Incentives Indirect incentives "apply fiscal, service, social and natural resource policies to specific conservation problems" (McNeely, 1993, p. 146). These are standard goods used by 29 development projects and can include health clinics, schools, grinding mills, and water wells. This category also can include the provision of technical assistance in agriculture and forestry projects and other opportunities related to the empowerment of the rural people such as their involvement in village level steering committees or women's groups (Gibson and Marks, 1995; Hackel, 1998). Why Employ Incentives? There are three convincing reasons to use incentives as motivating factors in the conservation of biodiversity. First is the assumption that local people, bearing the majority of costs through lost access to resources, need to be compensated in order for them to be able to contribute to conservation initiatives (Gibson and Marks, 1995). This reason underpins the categories of incentives listed in the previous section. Second, local people's support for conservation initiatives, and in wishing to see the continued existence of a local conservation area, has been found to increase with increasing household affluence and with the respondent's level of education (Infield, 1988). Therefore, with increased household affluence local people have "tangible proof of the value of the area and therefore of the importance of conservation" (Infield, 1988, p. 34). And the third reason for employing incentives is related to the use of indirect incentives, and emphasises the importance of conservation awareness programs. It was found that people with less knowledge about wildlife and conservation issues showed significantly less support for conservation initiatives, with their preferences being in favour of using the park's land for agriculture (Harcourt, Pennington and Weber, 1986). The Role of Tourism as an Incentive Although there is no space in this thesis to explore the full complexity of the issue of tourism, it is important here to highlight its relationship to incentives. This is particularly applicable to the context of Cat Ba as tourism is increasing in popularity in both the national park as well as on the rest of the island. Tourism appears to be a double-edged sword with regards to social and economic development in many rural areas around the world. Simultaneously providing large revenues from tourist dollars while impacting on local cultural and natural environments, tourism seems to spoil that which it is intimately 3 0 dependent on. Through their employment in tourist-related activities, tourism is proffered as one of the best ways to involve local communities in the management of protected areas. In reality, tourism jobs rarely reach the majority of the local people. From his experience as conservation technical advisor at Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar, Peters (1998) found that "tourism in the area benefited less than 100 people, infrastructure improvements were carried out in fewer than a dozen (out of 160) villages, and the project directly employed just over 100 people, less than half of whom were from area villages" (p. 27). The use of tourism revenues from national park entrance fees can benefit local communities if they are directly distributed to them. In this way, communities can be encouraged to develop micro-projects of interest to themselves and in effect to become managers over public funds (Peters, 1998). In spite of what may be possible with national park fees however, Hackel (1999) cautions that most of the money generated from entrance fees is already ear-marked for park maintenance. As well, along with the increase in rates of tourism often comes an increase in local prices. For example, the increase in tourism in rural parts of Nepal forced the prices of rice, vegetables, cooking oil, arid kerosene to rise with the result being that most local people in the vicinity of the park lost instead of benefiting from tourism (Mishra, 1982). Misplaced Priorities? There are a number of significant reasons why incentives fail to motivate rural people to protect their natural resources or to become involved in local conservation initiatives. First and foremost is a lack of understanding about the social and cultural realities within rural communities. For incentives aimed at curbing excessive or illegal wildlife hunting practices, this is particularly relevant as the social significance of hunting is rarely understood. The role of hunter is especially valued within many lineage groups, and local hunters occupy an important status in rural societies while exhibiting culturally specific skills (Balakrishnan and Ndhlovu, 1992; Gibson and Marks, 1995). As well, local people tend to see direct benefits from poaching as the profits accrue directly to local populations (Balakrishnan and Ndhlovu, 1992). Therefore, because of the social importance of many natural resources, not all residents will respond to purely economic 31 incentives. In line with this is the potential failure of the "monetarisation" of wildlife and other natural resources. If local people are provided with economic benefits in exchange for conserving natural resources, they might also reject the benefits if a better economic alternative arises (Hackel, 1999). Incentives may also fail to motivate conservation practices due to the distribution of benefits. In some instances, not all benefits accrue equally to all local people. Gibson and Marks (1995) provide an excellent example on this point: a new maize grinding mill purchased for a community will be less beneficial for those who live far away from it than for those who live near it. Yet in other instances, benefits may be shared equitably with all local people regardless of those who act as "free riders", that is, regardless of the fact that local groups cooperate together to determine limits to access to natural resources, there will be those individuals who do not comply with the limits and thus benefit from the groups protection efforts without contributing to them. This type of scenario leads Brandon and Wells (1992) to ask: "should those who currently degrade the resources be "rewarded" by receiving project benefits?" (p. 566). A third reason why incentives fail may be due to the perception that poor households naturally would prefer to switch from illegal, unsustainable, and difficult activities such as poaching. This "assumes that poor households have a fixed income need and if that need can be met then the poor will stop their environmentally destructive practices; in fact, there is little basis for this conclusion" (Brandon and Wells, 1992, p. 963). The provision of jobs as incentives can also fail for two reasons. First, jobs with safari companies or as park rangers may be given to wealthy outsiders rather than to poorer local people who need the employment more (Peters, 1998). Secondly, and more seriously, social tensions in a rural community can be generated by hiring locals to be village scouts. As scouts, the men are provided with not only an income, but also "a firearm, some education, and the power of arrest" all of which "present a challenge to village elders and to the institution of traditional authority within local communities" (Gibson and Marks, 1995, p. 951). 32 And finally, incentives may fail due to the delayed benefits that accrue from pursuing conservation activities. Because ecological benefits are long-term and diffusely distributed, they may not be recognised as benefits at all by residents (Peters, 1998). As well, the underlying belief that poverty drives resource destruction is also the reason that poorer communities are often provided with inappropriate solutions, such as health clinics and schools. These are often supplied to communities in spite of the fact that the local people may not have enough money to pay for their children's education nor have enough land to meet their daily nutritional requirements. Thus, the provision of incentives that do not meet the needs of local people cannot be seen to engender sustainable resource practices. Future Considerations for Incentives Although there are a number of drawbacks affecting the success of incentives, conservation practices can be engendered with the support of local people with the implementation of a few important factors. With a renewed focus on the social implications of parks and protected areas, Rao and Geisler (1990) discuss the need to mitigate, through socio-economic means, the negative consequences that the establishment of protected areas have on rural communities including: the relocation of people, the restriction of access to natural resources, and the disruption of household economies, property systems, traditional skills and cultural values. There is also a need to revise the alternative income generating strategies that have been previously implemented and which have been largely unsuccessful. This is due to the fact that, "unless legal activities generate more income, require less labour, and fit into an overall household is unlikely that people will switch to them" (Brandon and Wells, 1992, p. 563). Again, in order to design culturally appropriate income alternatives, a solid understanding of the local livelihoods is required. And finally, the use of incentives can be made more effective by attempting to meet the needs of local people. Brandon and Wells (1992) ask: "does it make sense for a project to provide a community with a compensation for loss of access?" (p. 563). Due to the heavy emphasis on poverty as the driving force behind resource degradation 33 in rural areas, communities have often been provided with inappropriate compensatory measures such as health clinics, schools, grinding mills, and water wells, none of which may adequately reflect the community's true needs. In order to encourage the use of sustainable resource practices while simultaneously meeting livelihood needs, an understanding of local needs and realities is absolutely imperative if appropriate incentives are to be devised. 4b. Parks, Power and Political Ecology The influences of power and the political nature of national parks can be better understood within the framework of political ecology. By examining the resource-related practices of local people and then linking these actions to the broader web of the social and physical environments in which they act, political ecology provides a holistic perspective in which to understand the factors that influence resource-depleting practices. Political ecology is an appropriate framework in which to understand these linkages as it utilises a bottom up approach by first focusing on the direct resource users and considering the "contexts in which they act or do not act in a particular way towards a resource" (Peluso, 1992, p. 51). More specifically, "political ecology focuses on the political, economic and social structures and processes which underlie the human practices leading to degradation" (Neumann, 1992, p. 86). Peluso (1992) stresses the importance of locating ecology within the web of social relations that ties pastoral and farming households together, and understanding how this relationship affects the way they use the environment. The theory of political ecology views local physical access to forests as embedded in relations of authority and social identity and thus affected by the larger social structures and political-economic processes (Peluso, 1992). The importance of political ecology to this project is that the valuation of biodiversity, as something to be preserved rather than utilised, has resulted in exclusionary policies restricting local people from using the forest products that they have depended upon for generations. It has already been shown that the establishment of parks and protected areas impacts on the lives and behaviour of local land-users. From their inception, national parks as a political endeavour require "a 34' process of reallocation which involves the introduction of new social structures for controlling access to natural resources" (Neumann, 1992, p. 85). With new restrictions on resource use often accompanied by strict enforcement practices, local people's access to resources so critical to meeting their livelihood needs becomes a political issue. These highly exclusionary policies restricting local access to forest products are also aimed at devaluing local knowledge and experiences. Hence, these policies are very much a political manoeuvre as those with considerable power in Vietnam, including those involved with the park, determine how much access to subsistence items poorer local people will be granted. In order to design and implement effective and sustainable solutions to mitigate the impacts of protected areas, a holistic perspective on the implications that protected areas have on local people is required. This is due to the fact that forest protection initiatives, such as national parks, can be seen to deal with the symptoms of deforestation but not with its root causes, such as contradictory policies and market forces, social relations, and political hierarchies (Baraclough and Ghimire, 1995). As social and economic perspectives on protected areas have already been explored,,it is imperative to focus now on the political influences that affect local people's economic and social behaviours, and to understand how political factors underlie human practices leading to degradation. This section of the thesis will briefly discuss the political nature of wildlife conservation and issues of power as they relate to the involvement of different forms of knowledge and to the use of capital in protected areas. The Political Nature of Wildlife Conservation Wildlife conservation is highly controversial in that its benefits are generally distributed inequitably, and because the purpose of conservation is seen differently by various interest groups. It has already been shown that local people who do not benefit from the establishment of a protected area and who have little stake in its management likely will have little enthusiasm for supporting the protection of the area's natural resources. What is critical to acknowledge is that conservation in general, and wildlife conservation in particular, is a highly political act as prominent resources, such as large mammals, 35 have been given a higher priority than other resources, such as plants. "An emphasis on animal wildlife" with its "conventional association of men with animal resources...may act to marginalise women who, as gatherers and cultivators, are typically linked with plant resources" (Sullivan, 1999, p. 2). Therefore, the conservation of wildlife, which has been highly politicised throughout history (such as with elite safari-hunting ventures), fundamentally restricts who is invited to participate in dialogue around these conservation initiatives, thus disregarding the importance of gender perspectives (Sullivan, 1999). And it is the nature of the relationships within local communities, and between local people and the park, that will consequently impact on the conservation of wildlife. Critical to understanding the political aspects of conservation is the development of an awareness of how the primary stakeholders, that is the local people and park managers, through their own particular lenses view the same situation differently. Neumann (1992, p. 94) recounts the views that both officials and local people have on 'encroachment' in the Mt. Meru area of northeast Tanzania: "From the perspect ive of state officials, the vi l lagers ' init iatives and be l l igerence are c au se for a larm, represent ing for conservat ion is ts a threat to park managemen t goa l s wh ich has been label led 'encroachment ' . ' V i ew ing the situation from the 'bottom-up' and within the historical context of state manda ted change s in land and resource use , it is the park wh ich is s een to be enc roach ing on the.. .v i l lages". Another incompatible viewpoint between stakeholder groups is related to the management of the wildlife. Area managers and conservationists alike look to wildlife-related tourism as a major producer of foreign exchange. "International visitors and wildlife advocates want to preserve the animals which they prize as irreplaceable esthetic (sic)...treasures", while rural people see it as their rights as landowners and farmers to defend their crops, land and houses and to protect themselves from wildlife intrusions (Matowanyika, 1989, p. 34). Therefore, any number of stakeholder groups, each possessing their own views, can demand a say in conservation initiatives including: subsistence cultivators or hunters, protected areas managers, wildlife scientists, national and international conservation organisations, politicians and administrators, and possibly safari hunters. Because each of the stakeholder groups can potentially benefit from the management of wildlife, each of them has a legitimate stake in conservation initiatives. 36 Hence there is obviously a need to pursue a more holistic approach to protected areas management. However, the extent to which stakeholders are allowed meaningful political participation is largely determined by the wider political context and the distribution of power (Little, 1994). The issue of power, as it relates to the inclusion of knowledge and to the use of capital in protected area management, will be discussed next. Power and Knowledge The ability to make decisions, design management objectives, implement and monitor strategies, and to allocate scarce funds all share one common denominator: the need for power. The main difference between local communities and stakeholder groups is that "local communities, albeit numerically important, retain a weak power base and subsequently have little say in decision-making concerning...protected area management" (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997, p. 9). Therefore, the perspectives of local people who are so dependent on natural resources and whose actions directly affect the conservation of wildlife, are rarely sought in the development of protected area management plans, with the result being a lack of clearly defined objectives regarding the involvement and betterment of local communities in parks and protected areas. Because of this, Ghimire and Pimbert (1997) castigate protected area management plans as they "avoid even referring to structural issues such as land reform, income distribution, decentralisation of power, social mobilisation, as well as local rights...over resources, without which sustainable management and more socially oriented use of natural resources in rural areas is mere illusion" (p. 32). With such heavy dependence on the local environment, the 'situatedness' of local people means that they have much to say about the definition of the surrounding environment and the strategies designed to conserve it. The peasant's political ecology is an "ecological understanding...or worldview which influences peasant actions" and which leads the peasant to perceive the world, that is, the individual, the community, the natural world and the national society, as interdependent (Anderson, 1994, p. 5). Although possessing ecological knowledge specific to a location, why are the voices of local people commonly excluded from the process of designing conservation initiatives? 37 The answer is the inequitable distribution of power and the valuation of certain types of knowledge over other ways of knowing. With regards to the involvement of stakeholder groups in protected area management, it is important to ask: "Who has the power to choose which stakeholders are involved?" "How is power distributed among them?" and "Who distributes the power?" These are critical questions with regards to the possession of knowledge and expertise in conservation because local knowledge is often ignored in favour of scientific knowledge. The valuation of one form of knowledge over another is problematic for three reasons. First, the valuation of scientific knowledge over local knowledge is a fundamentally reductionist approach to conservation as scientists "tend to perceive ecosystems through the narrow window of their own professional discipline" (Pretty and Pimbert, 1995, p. 8). Because of this, control is sought over dynamic ecosystem processes, reducing an entire interconnected ecosystem to discreet units of study such as forest progression, changes in flora and fauna populations, water quality assessment, and soil structure. The knowledge produced by this approach emerges in the form of universal, context-free generalisations or laws, but does not tell us anything practical about how we should manage resources (Pretty and Pimbert, 1997). Positioning "knowledges" in opposition to each other, rather than striving to find ways in which they can reinforce and complement each other, is problematic for another reason. The valuation of one form of knowledge over another highlights issues of representation and power, particularly "whose knowledge is occluded in instances of 'development' based on natural resources" and "how this sustains the marginalisation of particular groups of people in terms of access to decision-making power enabling self-determination" (Sullivan, 1999, p. 21). Thus, those with power are given a voice in resource management activities while those who have been marginalised in the past are likely to remain so, being given at most a token involvement in the implementation of development projects rather than a role in their design and assessment. Arranging different types of knowledge in a hierarchy is problematic for a third reason. "Local" ecological knowledge is often dissected into "older" indigenous ways of knowing versus "newer" non-indigenous ways of knowing. By locating these groups in a 38 hierarchy, indigenous knowledge is seen to have more validity and authenticity than peasant and farmer knowledge. This positions these types of knowledge in direct opposition to each other, ignoring the reality that they share numerous strengths and points of intersection. With a heavy dependence on the local environment local people, both indigenous and non-indigenous, often have extensive knowledge regarding the interconnectedness of their own livelihoods and the natural environment. This is a critical point as the case study communities of Khe Sau and Viet Hai are not composed of ethnic populations, but the Kinh majority which form 88% of the population in Vietnam (Gough, 1990). Power and Capital Power is also central to a discourse on the use of capital in conservation initiatives. With power generally ceded to local government authorities, it is within their mandate to both demand financial compensation for the use of protected areas and to disperse funds for the policing of these areas. The primary means for a government to earn revenue from protected areas is through the implementation of licenses. These licenses, which can include everything from obtaining firewood and grasses to hunting large mammals, are a major source of revenue for the government. At the same time, licenses are often priced well beyond the purchasing capability of most rural people, hence local people are further removed from resources they depend upon (Matowanyika, 1989). From this revenue earned by the government, funds are distributed to maintain policing patrols in protected areas. "The emphasis on state...control, often encouraged by suspicion and distrust of local people, means that a substantial proportion of protected area budgets must be spent on policing activities" (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997, p. 22). Often the bulk of protected areas' budgets is thus spent on aircraft, radios, machine guns, armed guard's salaries, and anti-poaching equipment (Pretty and Pimbert, 1995). Even when funds are dispersed to conservation organisations to be used for the explicit involvement of local people in conservation initiatives, often it is the more powerful individuals and social groups that benefit. This issue also applies to the case study communities and will be discussed in detail in Chapter 5. 39 Where do we go from here? Without an assessment of power relations and the redistribution of power on behalf of local people, no progress in favour of community-based resource management can be expected. Local people need to be involved from the beginning of any conservation project, in order to assist in the design and implementation of objectives and to monitor and assess progress. Without an understanding of local realities, true local participation cannot be achieved as externally designed projects will emphasise "power-over" local communities. If their power is to be real, local people "must be involved at the earliest stages of problem definition, data gathering and data analysis, so that they can adapt and control the process of their own development" (Wright, 1994, p. 526). Without a voice in the design of such projects, local people will have no stake and no responsibility in conserving biodiversity, nor in the pursuit of sustainable resource practices. 5. The Convergence of Conservation and Human Needs The failure of parks to achieve conservation objectives, while at the same time having detrimental affects on communities dependent on natural resource subsidies, has led to the recognition that new partnerships must be formed. This realisation stems from the fact that neither local communities nor government agencies can protect wildlife and habitats on their own as "communities often lack the resources to tackle threats...or ecological problems on a regional scale, while governmental agencies lack the necessary knowledge and people on the undertake long-term conservation" (Kothari, Suri and Singh, 1995, p. 192). In response to this realisation, various forms of alliances between governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community organisations, and local people have been proposed. The objectives of these alliances, whether implicit or explicit, is that local people and communities dependent upon natural resources need to be engaged, and accordingly compensated, in conservation initiatives. These partnerships are often based on the recognised need for not only local participation in conservation activities, but also for the role that local knowledge can play in implementing more sustainable 40 resource practices. The following discussion will address three interrelated approaches that focus on local people's involvement in conservation initiatives. The umbrella ideology of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) will be explored first, followed by a discourse on the more specialised approach of co-management. Integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) will be discussed last because they differ from co-management in that they tend to be more focused on economic development initiatives. Community-Based Natural Resource Management "Local participation is inherent in the concept of community-based conservation, but such participation is not synonymous with conservation" (Wright, 1994, p. 526). Community-based natural resource management, herein referred to as C B N R M , refers to local initiatives involving a minimum of several households in which "at least one of the outcomes of local management practices is either the maintenance of habitats, the preservation of species, or the conservation of...resources and another outcome is improvement of social and economic welfare" (Little, 1994, p. 348). C B N R M encompasses diverse strategies such as social forestry, community-controlled fisheries, and community-based biodiversity conservation, and has been imagined differently by different advocates including conservationists, development organisations, social activists, and spokespersons for indigenous groups (Brosius, Tsing and Zerner, 1998). In general, C B N R M initiatives are designed to address the link between concerns about social equity and environmental destruction (Ibid, 1998). Hence, C B N R M attempts to engage local communities' ideas, experiences, and values and at the same time seeks ways for local communities to better benefit and be served by resource conservation. C B N R M is concerned with activities at the level of the community as this is where most of the decisions and actions affecting resources are made. Because of the importance of 'community' in C B N R M initiatives, there has been extensive debate regarding the definition of 'community'. It is important here to distinguish between a group of people and a community in order to understand how C B N R M engages local people differently at these levels. A group is usually based on some shared characteristics, such as age, gender, occupation or religion, and are usually segments of larger communities or 41 villages (Uphoff, 1998). In Vietnam, a hamlet such as Khe Sau could be considered a group as it represents a smaller social unit than the village, or community, of Tran Chau. In comparison, a community may be small or large, appears fairly homogenous in terms of language, wealth, and lineage, and may be either tightly clustered or loosely scattered in small hamlets (Uphoff, 1998). Agrawal and Gibson (1999) posit that what is most important to community based resource management is not a focus on the nebulous concept of 'community' perse, but on "the multiple actors with multiple interests that make up communities, the processes through which these actors interrelate, and...the institutional arrangements that structure their interactions" (p. 636). In fact, a community as a whole may not be as effective at managing a resource as smaller groups within the community which have shared interests in the use of the resource (Arnold, 1987). Although it is acknowledged that the study-site communities in this research project are heterogeneous in terms of age, gender, wealth, and social status, they can also be seen to share a relatively homogenous set of characteristics including location, amount of time lived in the village or hamlet, occupation, and overall income. Because of these shared characteristics, it can be assumed that many of the villagers have similar experiences and opinions with regards to Cat Ba National Park. It is imperative to identify the community and the group in each situation in order to acknowledge the role of various stakeholder groups. The identification, and subsequent involvement, of the various stakeholder groups is imperative as different groups interact with the natural environment in different ways, and thus different incentives will be needed to encourage each group to pursue appropriate conservation measures (Gibson and Marks, 1995). For Cat Ba National Park, there is a broad range of stakeholders including: NGOs at the international level such as Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and the World, Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), international aid organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), NGOs at the national level such as the Vietnam National Parks and Protected Areas Sub-Association (VNPPA), Vietnam's national government including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the staff of Cat 42 Ba National Park, and finally the local people living within and nearby the park's boundaries. Although not present in C B N P , nomadic herders and pastoralists contribute an added degree of complexity to the already multifarious task of identifying the needs and realities of all stakeholder groups. Co-Management The term "co-operative management", or co-management, has been used to define the "sharing of responsibility and/or authority between the government and local resource users to manage a specified resource" (Pomeroy et al, 1997, p. 34). The impetus behind co-management is the need to resolve once and for all the "persistent and aggravating management problems including inadequate local data, a lack of co-operation, limited funds for enforcement...and conflict amongst stakeholders" that plague natural resources management (Griggs, 1990, p. 55). Co-management can successfully identify stakeholders through the combination of two distinct forms of management: state-level management and local-level management. State-level management places the control of resources under a centralised system (usually under a federal or territorial government), while local-level management is decentralised with the control of resources under the community's jurisdiction and with enforcement through social sanctions (Berkes, George and Preston, 1991; Pomeroy era/ , 1997). Co-management can offer a new strategy for effective land stewardship through its dependence on local-level administration, that is, on the people who are active on the land and whose local-level management systems are embedded in the local social and cultural context (Berkes, George and Preston, 1991). Because of the incorporation of local knowledge and experiences, co-management requires a sharing of power and responsibility between the local and state levels. Therefore, one of the primary goals of co-management is to "redefine the relationships between all the stakeholders so that incentives to work co-operatively are promoted and the conventional roles of manager and user as guardian and villain are revised" (Griggs, 1990, p. 54). 43 Barriers to Community-Based Approaches Initiatives that strive to involve local communities have certainly not occurred without their share of barriers. Numerous challenges to C B N R M and co-management have been documented in the literature and include: 1) difficulties in the need for local users to trust in the devolution of authority by bureaucrats, and in the rebuilding and redefinition of their relationships (Griggs, 1990); 2) the need to recognise that both systems of management, that is the state-level and the local-level, have strengths and weaknesses (Berkes, George and Preston, 1991); 3) the need for Western-trained scientists and local governments to recognise the extent to which solutions depend on the expertise and power of local people (Getz et al, 1999). 4) a decrease in local participation often occurs and appears to be due to a lack of direct or immediate benefits (Tuyen, 1997); 5) the need to balance the needs of local groups for self-determination and the needs of the government to be assured that resources are being well managed (Griggs, 1990); 6) the reality that, with the full participation, planning and decision-making of local communities comes the risk that local people may wish to protect resources other than those the project aims to protect (Brandon and Wells, 1992); and 7) resulting from the centralisation of resource management objects, there is a need to overcome a long history of learned dependency through the transparent and accountable devolution of local authority and responsibility to local communities (Berkes, George and Preston, 1991). Integrated Conservation and Development Projects The "Integrated Conservation and Development Project" has been specifically designed to mitigate the impacts that the establishment of protected areas have on local communities. ICDPs can be seen as a more specialised form of C B N R M projects since they share a number of characteristics such as: they are focused on the needs of the community, they strive to incorporate local ecological knowledge, and they emphasise community participation throughout the duration of the project. However, ICDPs differ from C B N R M initiatives in that "they aim to achieve conservation by promoting socio-economic development and by providing local people with alternative sources of income 44 that do not threaten to deplete the flora and fauna of the parks" (Brandon, 1997, p. 93). Comparatively, C B N R M projects generally attempt to improve local socio-economic standards through the use of community-based resource management projects such as community fisheries, whereas ICDPs actively promote alternative income sources that are not necessarily related to conservation objectives. The primary objective behind the establishment of an ICDP is to reduce the pressure on a protected area by addressing the needs, constraints and opportunities of local people (Brandon and Wells, 1992; Wells and Brandon, 1993). Alpert (1996) states the main goal of an ICDP is "to link conservation and development such that each fosters the other" (p. 845). In this way, local people are seen to benefit from ICDPs through their employment or participation in development projects. ICDPs include a broad array of approaches that fall within a continuum of strategies that has increasing use and decreasing conservation on one end and increasing conservation and decreasing use on the other end. ICDPs attempt to link conservation and development by pursuing one or more of the following general strategies: 1) strengthening park management and/or creating buffer zones around protected areas; 2) providing compensation or substitution to local people for lost access to resources; and 3) encouraging local social and economic development. Buffer zones are generally referred to as areas adjacent to protected areas within which the sustainable use of natural resources will be permitted (Wells and Brandon, 1993). They are "safety corridors" which buffer protected areas from development pressures outside of their boundaries while serving to integrate the ecology of ecosystems with the economy of human systems (Huynh, 1997). Activities that may be allowed in buffer zones include hunting and fishing; collection of fuelwood and fodder; collection of medicinal plants; seasonal grazing of livestock; cutting of rattan, bamboo, and grasses; and harvesting fruit. Activities generally prohibited in buffer zones are the removal of live 45 trees, construction of buildings, burning the forest and other vegetation, and establishing plantations (Wells and Brandon, 1993). In this manner enough enforcement is provided, usually by the park in collaboration with the local communities, in order to ensure the forest structure is maintained over the long-term, while allowing local people to collect those resources which serve to fulfil their subsistence requirements. Unfortunately, the use of buffer zones is often unsuccessful due to a number of factors. First, there may already be intensive use in the areas surrounding the park in which case efforts need to be placed on finding alternative actions that impact less on the natural resources. As well, the monitoring and enforcement of activities within buffer zones are generally not within the jurisdiction of the protected area, therefore excess funding must be supplied to either local people or outside agencies to accomplish management and enforcement objectives (Wells and Brandon, 1993). Finally, and especially if the buffer zone has already been under a prolonged management regime by local people, direct and immediate benefits may not be observable for some time, therefore endangering people's trust in the buffer zone initiative. Compensation or the substitution of alternative resources is often offered to local people for lost access to resources. "The immediate objective of the compensation/substitution approach is to reduce the economic burden on those people who would otherwise have few alternative means of livelihood beyond continued exploitation of the park's flora and fauna" (Brandon and Wells, 1992, p. 560). In this way, ICDPs recognise that it is usually the rural poor who end up paying for the costs associated with protected areas, generally through the loss of access to much needed resources. ICDPs therefore attempt to mitigate these losses with compensation using cash, or through substitution with alternative goods or services. Peters (1998) cautions that the use of substitutions requires a thorough understanding about the importance of both cultivated plants and cultivation sites, as a substitution of alternatives may be neglectful of the cultural fabric. Local social and economic development is the third, and most common, strategy employed by ICDPs to combine conservation and development. This is linked to the prevailing (and not wholly incorrect) perception that poverty is a driving force in the decimation of forests as local people, lacking options, must depend on natural resources 46 for their subsistence needs. "The only hope for breaking the destructive patterns of resource use is to reduce rural poverty, and improve income levels, nutrition, health care and education" (Brandon and Wells, 1992, p. 561). Thus, development goals in ICDPs are usually pursued though nature tourism, road construction for market access, direct employment, and the provision of community social services, with the enduring belief that these development interventions will "trickle down" to those whose activities most threaten the protected areas (Peters, 1998). Barriers to ICDPs The failure of ICDPs to engender the sustainable use of resources on behalf of local communities has been well illustrated in the literature. Brandon and Wells (1992) examine some of the critical factors that hinder the success of ICDP projects; four of these factors will be discussed briefly. First, a thorough understanding of the local context and the interactions between local people and the surrounding natural environment are rarely, if ever, achieved. In accordance with this, ICDPs are seen to fail because they engender little understanding about the social and economic importance that natural resources have to rural communities. In this oversight, the social roles of harvesting and hunting are likely to be misunderstood and their replacement can endanger the carefully constructed social context of the community. Second, there is a lack of local participation in the design and implementation of the ICDP projects. Because ICDPs have as their core objective the conservation of the protected area, the involvement of local people in alternative income generating structures is seen only as a conciliatory measure aimed at reducing the depletion of plants and animals (Brandon and Wells, 1992). Again, with only a secondary focus on the role that local experiences can play in biodiversity conservation, ICDP's have generally been designed without adequate understanding of the local socio-economic context (Wells and Brandon, 1993). A third factor affecting the success of ICDPs is that there is often a lack of co-ordinated support or collaboration among donors, governments and executing agencies. Hence, rather than resolving the challenges faced by local communities, ICDPs are often seen 47 to add an extra layer of bureaucracy onto local communities thereby further alienating them from attaining social welfare (Gibson and Marks, 1995). And finally, the fourth factor is that a long-term commitment of financial and technical support is often not achieved due to the very nature of ICDPs. ICDPs necessitate a substantial amount of funding in order to accommodate the required participation of local people in the design and implementation of projects, with successful participation itself demanding that an explicit understanding of the local socio-economic and cultural context. Following the implementation of the project, results regarding the success of failure of the project are generally slow to be forthcoming, often taking decades. Therefore, an extensive amount of funding is required to implement a well-developed ICDP before any direct benefits can even be demonstrated and this is certainly not within the mandates of results-oriented, as opposed to process-oriented, aid agencies. Why Pursue Community Based Approaches? The section on participation provided reasons why local people should be involved in conservation initiatives, but still some uncertainty exists regarding the best method for involving local people. Three reasons to pursue the adoption of community-based approaches are: 1) these approaches are people-centred and community-oriented; they start from the premise that local people have an interest in sustainable resource use and that they understand and can act on their own problems; 2) these approaches recognise that local people possess site-specific knowledge about the intricacies of the surrounding ecological processes and that this knowledge can be further built upon, thus local ecological knowledge plays a definitive role in community based initiatives (Brosius, Tsing and Zerner, 1998); 3) these approaches strive for more active people's participation in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of management programs, thereby providing the communities with a sense of ownership and responsibility toward the project; and 4) these approaches are unique to individual situations and can potentially allow each community to develop a management strategy which meets its own particular needs, thus enabling a greater degree of flexibility and modification. 48 One benefit in particular that has been associated with the adoption of different C B N R M and ICDP arrangements is that the costs of top-down management are very high and can be reduced through the empowerment of bottom-up approaches, which are generally more efficacious and context-specific (Berkes, George and Preston, 1991). Although there are a number of barriers to the adoption of C B N R M approaches, these strategies can embody a number of potential benefits. Most important to the C B N R M process though, is that an understanding of the local people's realities and needs be developed. Chapter Summary Parks and protected areas have long been the norm for conserving biodiversity around the world and it is the efficacy of the national park's structure, in which conservation and wildlife management takes place, that is in question. The 'park' structure in its current conception is predicated on a top-down, hierarchical structure that utilises policing and enforcement to curb resource practices that impact on the protected areas. This structure is simply too rigid to incorporate local ecological knowledge into management activities. Because of their close association with the natural environment forest-dependent communities often rely on their knowledge developed over time to manage forest resources sustainably. Thus with no voice in the management of the resources they depend upon, with no value given to either their context-specific knowledge or their willingness to participate in management activities, local people are often inhibited from meeting their livelihood needs. Given the conflicts that often ensue regarding the establishment of protected areas, it is imperative that the local ecological knowledge be examined and understood. Because of the complexity of factors affecting the conservation initiatives within protected areas, an integrative framework must be adopted. This framework must treat the park as a system, one that integrates local communities, their knowledge, and conservation activities surrounding the natural environment, as well as the interconnections between 49 these factors. And it is within this framework that an analysis of socio-economic and political influences must be located. Socio-economic incentives have been pursued as the means to achieving improved levels of living so that local reliance on the park resources is reduced and so they have a real interest in protecting these areas. Incentives are seen to be motivating factors in the conservation of biodiversity in that: they recognise local people bear the majority of costs through lost access to resources and deserve to be compensated; local people's support for conservation initiatives is imperative, and participation in a local conservation area has been found to increase with increasing household affluence. It is also imperative to focus on the political influences that affect local people's economic and social behaviours, and to understand how political factors underlie human practices leading to degradation. The influences of power and the political nature of national parks can be better understood within the framework of political ecology as it focuses on the political, economic and social structures and processes which underlie the human practices leading to degradation. The importance of political ecology to this project is that the valuation of biodiversity, as something to be preserved rather than utilised, has resulted in exclusionary policies restricting local people from using the forest products that they have depended upon for generations. As well, power is essential if one is to make decisions, design management objectives and conservation initiatives, implement and monitor strategies, and to allocate scarce funds. Unfortunately, the local people who are so dependent on natural resources and whose actions directly affect the conservation of wildlife are rarely sought in the development of protected area management plans. Thus, their voices and experiences do not inform the design process. Without this local-level perspective, externally designed projects will not be able to meet the livelihood needs of local people nor overcome incorrect perceptions that local people may have regarding wildlife conservation. Because of their highly political nature, parks have become a major source of rural tension in many developing countries with local people often retaliating against the park 50 or protected area. It is commonly recognised now that parks as habitat protection vehicles are not only unsuccessful in achieving conservation objectives, but that they have also alienated and threatened the existence of many rural communities throughout the world. The failure of parks to achieve conservation objectives, while at the same time having detrimental affects on communities dependent on natural resource subsidies, has led to the recognition that new partnerships must be formed. The objectives of these alliances, whether implicit or explicit, is that local people and communities dependent upon natural resources need to be engaged, and accordingly compensated, in conservation initiatives. These partnerships are often based on the recognised need not only for the role that local knowledge can play in implementing more sustainable resource practices, but also for the role of local participation in conservation activities. In order for these partnerships to prosper however, a thorough understanding of local realities and the interactions between local people and the surrounding natural environment is required. There are a number of reasons to pursue power-sharing relationships when it comes to biodiversity conservation. These types of approaches are people-centred and community-oriented; they recognise that local people possess site-specific knowledge about the intricacies of the surrounding ecological processes; they strive for more active people's participation in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of management programs; they are unique to individual situations and can potentially allow each community to develop a management strategy which meets its own particular needs; and finally, these approaches recognise and respect cultural differences and strive to be inclusive of diverse forms of indigenous or folk knowledge. Community-based natural resource management approaches, whether they are focused more on the redistribution of power as with co-management projects or on alternative income generating sources as with ICDPs, can meet the needs of both local communities and conservation authorities. These approaches, rooted in the needs of the community, allow for regional differences in their adaptability and context-specific design. By starting from where the community is, what knowledge they possess, and by assessing their willingness to participate in conservation initiatives, small-scale projects 51 that meet local livelihood needs can be designed. Potential projects can range from community-forests and fisheries, to the employment of local people as tourist guides, to small-scale plantation agriculture. Most important to the process of initiating such projects is that a thorough understanding of local people's needs, realities, and knowledge on behalf of the park's employees be developed, and that the local people participate effectively in the planning of each project. 52 Chapter 3 A S y n o p s i s o n V ie tnam's History and C o n s e r v a t i o n Strategies The history of Vietnam must certainly be considered one of the most turbulent yet colourful of all national histories. It is believed that Vietnam has been continuously populated since the Lower Paleolithic times stemming from cultural artefacts and tools that have been found in caves (Gough, 1990). A tribal confederation in the Bronze Age was followed closely by Chinese occupation from 207 B C until 939 AD, leading to centuries in a medieval dynastic period, colonisation by France from 1897-1945, the rise of the Communist movement, an extended military conflict with the United States followed by an invasion by Kampuchean forces, and a move towards more liberal policies in the 1980s. Vietnam is notably rich for both its cultural and natural environments. Approximately 88% of the population is made up of the majority Kinh while the remaining 12% are comprised of ethnic minority groups (Gough, 1990). With over 50 million rural people living off the land, the village commune is of prime importance in understanding the impacts that social, economic and political influences have on rural communities throughout Vietnam, and the corresponding effect on the natural environment. This chapter consists of two distinct sections. The first section is divided into seven segments in order to provide an overview of the history of Vietnam: the traditional Vietnamese village beginning with the 15 t h century; progress and change under French Colonialism; the impact of different religious organisations on the local Vietnamese; the rise of the Communist movement; initial agrarian reform; the transition to socialism; and economic renovation. The end of this first section will attempt to extrapolate how these changes have impacted Vietnam's social, cultural, and biological resources. The second section of this chapter will discuss the challenging context facing conservation initiatives throughout Vietnam; introduce the formal conservation strategies adopted by the Vietnamese government; provide background information on the case study region, Cat Ba National Park as well as a description of the park's ecological characteristics; and a 53 description of the two communities involved in this study, Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village. Sect ion 1 The Tradit ional Vi l lage Understanding the structure and function of the traditional Vietnamese village is essential to understanding the impacts that economic liberalisation has had on both the rural Vietnamese people and their surrounding natural environment. However, in recognition that the rich history from the Bronze Age until colonialism could not possibly be discussed in the scope of this paper, only the period from the 15 t h century up until French colonialism will be included here. A convenient analytical tool for gaining insight into the traditional Vietnamese village is the Asiatic Mode of Production (AMP) proffered by Karl Marx. Marx wrote of the A M P as a process of historical development and economic formation of a society which was different from the historical process in Europe, essentially a theory built upon its difference from capitalism (Krader, 1975). A systematic outline of the A M P consists of a few crucial concepts: there is a hierarchical structure consisting of a ruling class of State officials and an agricultural/producer class interrelated by a weakly formed institutional network, the village is the dominant structure of society, there is a near-absence of private ownership of land as all land is owned by the State with peasant villagers granted usufruct rights, the State plays a primary role in the economy and political structure of the society, and finally, the communes tend to be religious and military in purpose rather than manufacturers (Gough, 1990; Krader, 1975). Each of these concepts will be explored in further detail below. Village Hierarchies The extensive dynastic period of Vietnam depended very much upon the maintenance of custom, tradition and filial relationships. At the head of the State stood the Emperor and, 54 following Confucian tradition conferred on Vietnam through centuries of Chinese influence, was considered to be the father and mother of his people. As the "Son of Heaven" the Emperor was seen to be the Heaven's representative on earth (Schonberg, 1979). Great responsibility befell the Emperor as he determined the fate of the people; if villages prospered it was due to his policies and if tragedies struck it was again because of decisions that he had made. Below the Emperor was a centralised bureaucracy consisting of the mandarinate, a chief and a council of notables. The mandarin was the Emperor's representative in the communes and his duties were to both the Emperor and to the citizens, having to always be ready to counsel the villagers if necessary (Popkin, 1979). Having met standards of high scholarship, the mandarin was responsible for the collection of taxes, the operation of common facilities such as dikes and waterways, and for peace and security within and between villages (Schonberg, 1979). The villagers tended to maintain a united front before the mandarin even if tensions and disputes occurred internally; this appears to be in accordance with the tendency to favour members over non-members within the communes. The council of notables was generally comprised of the oldest men in the village, reflecting the Confucian ideal that age was associated with wisdom (Popkin, 1979). The notables, themselves vertically stratified to some extent, were the ultimate decision makers who dominated village affairs and were charged with co-ordinating the actions surrounding land and labour (Adams and Hancock, 1970). The Village At the base of this hierarchy stood the village commune, the social unit of the Vietnamese peasant. The importance of the commune to the traditional Vietnamese peasant cannot be overemphasised and it has "guarded through the years its very high degree of internal autonomy in relation to the central political power...a little world of its own" (Houtart and Lemercinier, 1984, p. 21). A new village could not be formerly established without receiving a name and an edict from the Emperor to which communal worship could be directed; however, the importance of the Emperor remained very much outside the institution of the village as seen in the old proverb "the law of the ruler yields to the custom of the village" (Adams and Hancock, 1970, p. 92). 55 Within the village there was a sharp distinction between those who were members and those who were non-members. A patrilineal society, sons were favoured over daughters, women assumed the status of their husbands, the eldest son assumed the role as head of the family upon the father's death, and the household was allocated land according to the number of male members (Hickey, 1987). The traditional commune consisted primarily of agricultural farmers and small craftsmen organised into groups of households that were both the suppliers of labour and organisation for production, as well as the consumers of products (Ha, 1991). Crops consisted of rice, nuts, bananas, beans and peanuts, with some animal husbanding of fowl, animals and fish. Within and between villages, there was a great diversity of trades including basket-making, brick production, parasols, shoes, pots, conical hats, raising silk cocoons, weaving and wood working (Hickey, 1987). Often artisans or craftsmen would organise themselves in a guild or association in order to extend mutual aid in developing a specific trade and also to protect the village's traditional style. Ha (1991) notes that guilds were opposed to economic accumulation, hence their inability to contribute to the development of the rural economy. It is important to note that people were first of all peasants and the handicrafts, generally produced in free time, were used to supplement incomes. Time spent on handicrafts was time lost in the fields, something that poorer farmers could not afford (Adams and Hancock, 1970). For these products, small outdoor marketslocated outside of the village's bamboo fence were often set aside. As well, neighbouring villages would often organise a market located at a place most convenient for land or river transportation, with market days co-ordinated to avoid overlap with other nearby markets (Hickey, 1987). This small exchange of goods, with little industrial or technological intervention, had kept the productivity of the plants, animals and labour at a very low level, preventing the accumulation of capital and the promotion of the commodity economy (Ha, 1991). Labour sharing was common in the villages, likely because of the labour intensity required by rice cultivation. Groups united by common ancestry, worship or neighbours would unite to complete tasks more effectively and efficiently (Schonberg, 1979). 56 Gender roles were also slightly different in the south as compared to the north. In the northern, more-traditional villages, women were expected to be virgins upon marriage and to remain loyal to their husbands even after his death. Due to expansion of the southern frontier society, the villages in the south were characterised as less insular, more adaptive to local conditions with less emphasis on custom (Cotter, 1968). Likewise, elderly women in the south were accorded more respect than their counterparts in the north (Hickey, 1987). However throughout the country, women were considered subordinate to men; they were expected to be submissive, supportive and compliant towards their husbands and at the same time to work side by side performing the same, or even more arduous, labour (Jamieson, 1993). Land Ownership "Land is given by Heaven for all men to possess. The land therefore belongs to the people" (Maspero in Khoi, 1981, p. 285). Although the emperor possessed all rights to the land in traditional Vietnam, land was managed by villagers through usufructary rights granted by the notables. All fallow land was available for use as "no one had the right to let land lie fallow if there was someone willing to cultivate it, and no one had a right to cultivate land without paying taxes" (Adams and Hancock, 1970, p. 91). The process of redistributing land among villagers occurred either when power at the centre changed hands, in which the land of the supporters of the previous dynasty would be redistributed, or at three-year intervals (Hickey, 1987). This provided a means of insuring subsistence for the poor and for those who had experienced hardship such as widows, war veterans, or flood victims. It was also an effective way to prevent the concentration of wealth, land and power. Village communal lands and family plots were assessed taxes for men, usually those between the ages of eighteen and sixty, who were listed on the tax rolls. As taxes were paid on a male-head count, there would have been an incentive for the villagers to not always inform the mandarin of new male village members.. However this would likely be overcome by the fact that in most villages, land was distributed to only those on the personal tax register. Communal property was fundamental to village life, and consisted of more than just land held in common. Joint ventures often included those items 57 requiring upkeep and maintenance such as buffalo, ploughs or harrows, whose costs could then be shared among a few households or the entire village (Ha, 1991). State Role in Economy A fourth factor in the A M P is that the State would play a dominant role in the country's economy and political structure (Gough, 1990). This is apparent in traditional Vietnam as a massive system of dikes were built, using large amounts of manpower, in order to protect the northern deltas from river flooding as well as to defend and extend the empire (Fforde and de Vylder, 1996). The administration and management of these dikes and canals had to be co-ordinated at a higher level than the village and the emperor would be held responsible for flooding and droughts, regardless of the weather patterns that might lead to such occurrences. Villages as Religious and Military Centres Along with registering village members for land distribution, men's suitability for militaristic purposes was also recorded. Particularly important for the expansion into the south, a lengthy supply of military strength was necessary to ensure an emperor retained his domination (Adams and Hancock, 1970). The role of religion in the traditional Vietnamese commune was complex and its history extensive; it will only be discussed briefly at this point. By and large a Buddhist country, a great part of the rural population also practised a religion derived from a combination of animism, spirit worship, Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism (Houtart and Lemercinier, 1984). During Chinese rule, Confucian beliefs and practices were mainly available only to the elite. The examination system was transformed into the central Confucian institution, thus to achieve a higher rank one was required to be familiar with the Confucian doctrines (Cooke, 1994). Confucianism stressed a distrust of commerce and an emphasis on agriculture, hence the weak accumulation of wealth throughout the country prior to French colonialism. Merchants were distrusted and markets were set up outside the boundaries of the village as "the penetration of the sacred...village by strangers" would be viewed with alarm 58 (Gourou in Adams and Hancock, 1970, p. 98). Confucianism served to ensure the reproduction of the patriarchal family through the subordination of women. Buddhism, being more accessible and widespread among the masses, was generally the religion of choice for women and the poor. The A M P has been employed here as a tool for understanding the traditional Vietnamese commune as it is a convenient method for simplifying the enormous complexities of the village community. With a dependence on custom and familial relationships and well-defined methods for paying taxes and receiving land and welfare benefits, villagers in pre-colonial Vietnam appear to have served the State as the tax-paying producers of necessary agricultural products. French Colonialism Prior to a discussion about the peasant rebellions and communist uprisings that occurred throughout Vietnam in the early to mid 20 t h century, it is imperative to understand the class structure that led to these uprisings. The colonisation of Vietnam by the French served, as most imperialist struggles do, to create the foundations for the expansion of capitalist structures at the expense of indigenous groups. The country was split into three relatively autonomous administrative units: Tonkin in the north, Annam in the central region, and Cochinchina in the south. The primary aim of the French in Vietnam was to develop an export market for tropical agricultural products, particularly for rice but also for cotton, silk, paper and timber (Gough, 1990; Vickerman, 1986). Collaboration between the mandarins and the French advisors in the north humiliated the Vietnamese and discredited the idea of monarchy for most intellectuals; the result being an erosion of confidence in tradition and a lowered resistance to new ideas (Popkin, 1985). With the disgrace of the mandarinate, in 1920 the French abandoned the traditional mandarin exams, recruited civil servants with European-style educations, and replaced the use of characters with the romanized script (Popkin, 1979). 59 In order to achieve the development of the economic system required to benefit the French, mass changes throughout the country's infrastructure and institutional systems were required. Wiegersma (1988) reports that from 1860 to 1935, 15 625 miles of roads and 1570 miles of railroads were built and several canals opened up. Much of the costs of colonialism fell on the peasants, and the railroad in particular was essentially useless to the peasants as they depended upon the extensive waterways for transport. However these systems were not designed to benefit the peasants; the well developed telegraph system and increased rice-producing areas were aimed at benefiting the French .(Popkin, 1979). French decrees, which replaced the traditional methods for selecting village notables, destroyed the internal collectivity and mutual support that had previously existed and took the remaining small amount of control away from the villagers (Schonberg, 1979). Notables were replaced by what Popkin (1979) calls "illegitimate" notables, those who had prior European education and who were wealthy peasants, and taxes were collected directly from the peasants instead of through this notable. Taxes were collected from five major sources, two direct sources-the land and head taxes, and three indirect sources-alcohol, opium and salt. The latter three were particularly hated for they "touched the indigenous population in three aspects of its physical existence: a vice, the opium; a habit, the alcohol made of rice; and a necessity, the salt" (Vickerman, 1986, p. 31). The French also needed to establish a tax system based on landowners, and communal land ownership was clearly not consistent with their goals. In 1871, the French ordered villages to draw up current tax-rolls similar to the traditional land lists, and these were then given to regional French administrators to control (Wiegersma, 1988). Usufructary rights, instead of allowing land to be rotated through the villagers every few years, were transformed so that the landuser was deemed to be the landowner and communal lands were transformed into private property (Popkin, 1979). The imposition of individual ownership over a parcel of land combined with the ability to sell one's property had significant consequences for peasants under the new system of commerce. 60 The direct collection of peasant taxes by French administrators assured compliance, and the inability to pay resulted in money lending and indebtedness. Wiegersma (1988) posits that the ability of moneylenders to foreclose on loans served as the vehicle for the transition to large landholdings and tenancy, and drastic changes in the self-sufficiency of peasant lifestyles ensued. The mandarins and Emperors had always ensured that some of the crop output was reserved in order to overcome the desperation that inevitably accompanied poor harvests; however the French were concerned with maintaining a balanced colonial budget at the expense of the Vietnamese peasants. With no food reserve for times of low crop production and an inability to pay one's taxes, peasants were given no choice but to sell their lands and to assume roles as tenants (Popkin, 1979). By providing the opportunity for wealthier individuals to amass landholdings and hence their personal wealth, stratification between the richer and the poorer increased. Some peasants were in such serious debt that they resorted to selling their children, sons as slaves and daughters as concubines (Popkin, 1979). Notables would also often parcel off the communal lands for rent leaving no source of insurance for the peasants. A corresponding increase in industrial production resulted in a loss of the handicraft market, particularly in the north, but also the formation of a class of workers, essentially the proletariat that Marx spoke of (Gough, 1990). These peasants became the labour market for plantations, mines, and the construction trades, the former referred to by workers as hell on earth (Wiegersma, 1988). Gough (1990) reports that the oppression of the workers was enormous, combining wretched living conditions, long hours, low wages and women being often raped by local landlords. Along with this oppression came drastically low rates of illiteracy with as much as 90% of the rural poor being illiterate, and an average of 0.23 medical doctors and assistants for every 10 000 inhabitants (Le, 1995). Within this system was a relatively wealthy class of Chinese merchants who would buy rice at harvest time and then sell it back to peasants at twice the price later on in the year (Wiegersma, 1988). These merchants became the moneylenders and, unlike in the traditional villages in which village associations would help one to pay for funerals and 61 weddings, the workers were forced to assume the cost of these events alone. A subsistence living rarely allows for any sort of accumulation as everything of value is generally sold to meet the cost of food and housing; thus the struggle to stay alive compromises one's ability to invest in more efficient technology or productive land practices. Unfortunately, this aspect of rural Vietnamese life has remained to the present and impacts directly on the local people involved in this study. The purpose of examining the impact of French colonialism on rural Vietnamese people is to highlight the changes that occurred in the Vietnamese village throughout the duration of French rule that served to encourage the revolts and establishment of a socialist system later on. The struggle of the workers and peasants essentially established the groundwork for a nationalist campaign that would lead Vietnam into new relations with the world. The Seeds of Consc i ousness Arising from dissatisfaction with the colonial structure, a number of consciousness-rising organisations were established in the early 20 t h century. The Catholic movement, the two cult religions of Cao Dai and Hoa Hao, and the Communist Party were primarily the opposition in the Vietnamese nationalist, anti-feudal struggle. Their one commonality was the need to develop a strong power base while being actively opposed by the rural economic and political elite who were continually being strengthened by the colonial policies. The Catholic Church has played a major part in Vietnam's history. In particular, the Church's prosecution by the Vietnamese in the 19 t h century led to calls for support from the French government. The Church emphasised the enormous natural wealth of Vietnam and the great profits to be made from colonial exploitation (Popkin, 1979). The Church was mainly an elitist organisation and once it had secured support from the intelligentsia it could penetrate through the lower levels of villages. With its tax exemptions, the Church was able to turn vast tracts of swamp and wilderness into productive land; therefore starving peasants, not quite able to choose against the Church and its offerings of food and land, grudgingly accepted the Church and its 62 doctrines (Popkin, 1979). The Church supplied to the peasants what the colonialists had revoked: stability through alliances with other Churches and flexible taxation that forgave in bad years. Cao Dai has been called a syncretic sect stressing a merger of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism, but also incorporating mysticism, ancestor worship and witchcraft (Hickey, 1987). Modelled on the Catholic Church, Cao Dai is itself also a hierarchical structure; however the emphasis was on a base of small sects bound together by a set of religious oaths (Popkin, 1979). Clearly a critical factor in obtaining the support of the lower classes, Cao Dai, like Catholicism and Hoa Hao, offered protection from colonial powers and stability in daily agrarian duties. Cao Dai did not, however, appeal to the peasant; instead it too focused on the elite and was composed largely of Vietnamese working as employees for the French colonial administration (Popkin, 1979). With an emphasis on the provision of collective welfare in place of the charity given by landlords, the sect charged its members high taxes in order to ensure that it had enough financial security to provide in times of low production and weather severity (Hickey, 1987). Hoa Hao was more overtly egalitarian and anticolonial than Cao Dai. Spread mainly by word of mouth, this religion gained enormous popularity due to its emphasis on creating a Buddhist society of this world. Offerings were to be made only to Buddha, ancestors and national heroes as it challenged the notions of achieving peace in another world; hence its common name of "Buddhism of the home" (Popkin, 1979, p. 205). Being developed mainly in Western Cochinchina where the landholdings were extremely large, Hoa Hao aimed to decrease the peasant's dependency on landlords by collecting taxes to supply insurance and welfare and to transform abandoned lands into productive land to be sold at low prices to believers (Popkin, 1979). While Hoa Hao struggled to be a more peasant-centred movement, the Catholics, Cao Dai and Phan Boi Chau were focused on the bourgeoisie. Phan Boi Chau was a scholar and a revolutionary thinker in his recognition that emancipation from the French could only come about through armed uprisings (Wiegersma, 1988). He was the first author to speak out about the nation, and he included in his struggle women, minorities and Christians. His expectations about 63 women's role in the nationalist struggles were portrayed in a drama he wrote; in it, women were expected to act according to the same patriotic principles that motivated their husbands, fathers and brothers (Marr, 1976). Phan Boi Chau instigated the formation of the Vietnamese Nationalist Party (VNQDD), a bourgeois nationalist party, which recruited large numbers of petty bourgeois, students, soldiers, rich peasants, workers, government officials, and landlords; unfortunately it was unable to amass a large enough protest due to the small numbers of bourgeoisie in Vietnam (Duiker, 1972). The VNQDD was intent on revolution, operating outside the law but not in accordance with an organised theory of rebellion. Phan's shortcomings included his inability to understand the importance of such organisation and discipline in building an effective revolutionary movement, and for directing his appeals to the elite while simultaneously assuming the masses to be indifferent and ignorant (Duiker, 1971). The Vietnamese Communist Movement—Origins The Communist movement was far more successful than the sects, the Church and Phan's nationalist movement in contributing to a realisation within the Vietnamese nationals that their common history united them in front of any colonialists. A number of factors contributed to this rising nationalist movement, including a drastic increase in the number of workers combined with a depression involving seriously deteriorating living conditions, poor wages, and long work days. In 1925, Nguyen Ai Quoc (an early pseudonym for Ho Chi Minh) returned to Vietnam and set up the Revolutionary Youth League. As the precursor to the Indochinese Communist Party and the first Marxist-Leninist organisation in Vietnam, most League members were petty-bourgeois intellectuals who had trouble relating to the realities of the peasants and workers (Duiker, 1973). The membership was open to all youth over the age of 17 who would accept the aims of the organisation. Unity was highly stressed and regionalism and racism were strongly condemned; "it was emphasised that the final revolution must be led by a highly disciplined and united Marxist-Leninist party" (Duiker, 1976, p. 204). Nguyen Ai Quoc had emphasised repeatedly that the deciding factor in the success of the revolution would be the 64 participation of the proletariat and the peasantry, as they were the most alienated elements in society. The Revolutionary Youth League was thus charged with the task of uniting itself and the other nationalist movements of the time, including the VNQDD in Tonkin and the Revolutionary Party in Annam (Duiker, 1972). This is in accordance with Lenin's prescription that the application of Marxist ideals would require the communists to successfully apply Marxism-Leninism and to constantly develop and perfect socialism in harmony with the present period of human society (Dang, 1991). With the departure of Nguyen Ai Quoc in 1927 and a desire from the Tonkin end of the Party to set up a true communist party, a conference was initiated and the outcome was their recognition as a member party of the Communist International (Duiker, 1972). Upon returning to Tonkin the delegates of the conference formed the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP) (Wiegersma, 1988). With the establishment of this new party, members of the Revolutionary Youth League in the north joined the ICP. Mostly comprised of Tonkinese delegates, the ICP was not as successful in the South where the League was still strong. This lead to the formation of the competing Annam Communist Party (ACP) in 1929, and the two parties spent the next several years insulting each other over regional differences (Duiker, 1972). Calls came from the Comintern to unite the communist factions based on proletarian leadership and stressed the necessity of increased worker representation in the party; recommendations followed for a unity conference. In 1930, Nguyen Ai Quoc was given the role as the Comintern's official representative and, realising that the differences between the ICP and the A C P were based on regionalism and not a sincere discrepancy in ideologies, recommended that an entirely new, all-encompassing party be formed; the outcome taking the name of the Indochinese Communist Party (Wiegersma, 1988). The Manifesto of the Party included the requisition that all lands belonging to the foreign and native landlords and the Churches be handed over to the peasants (Nguyen, 1976). In the north it was easier for the ICP to link up collective ideals with the peasants' and workers' knowledge of the traditional community as the world capitalist economy did not penetrate as deeply as it did in the frontier south of Cochinchina; however in Cochinchina the peasants were more aware of the class differences and linked the suppression of peasants in the south with the property relations (Wiegersma, 1988). 65 With rising tensions between the French and Japanese, the latter occupying an island off Vietnam's coast, the French increased their corvees in Vietnam and built more roads and airfields (Wiegersma, 1988). With the fall of France to the Germans in 1940, Japan was able to invade Vietnam. Japan, however, wanted to collaborate with the French as its ultimate goal was to cut off Indochina from China and use it for a military base and for the production of raw materials and foodstuffs. Japan came to occupy part of Vietnam while France was encouraged to maintain administrative order in the country (Gough, 1990; Wiegersma, 1988). This sort of distanced relationship between the Vietnamese and Japanese meant that the Japanese did not have a direct relationship with the rural villages and extraction rates of raw materials were drastically increased (Vickerman, 1986). (For an excellent introduction to the patron-client relationships between Japan's sogo shosha and the economies of Southeast Asia, see Peter Dauvergne's "Shadows in the Forest", 1997). So important was Ho Chi Minh's "second coming", some authors posit that without it there would have been no Communist revolution in Vietnam (Popkin, 1979). The Viet Minh, also known as the 'Vietnam Independence League', led the nationalist resistance against the imperialist forces and employed a diversity of tactics such as developing a large following in tribal areas along with a small army and an extensive network of bases and trails in the central and northern areas, impassioning nationals by accelerating its propaganda effort with demands for peace and freedom and life without Japanese restrictions, and finally through the organisation of thousands of peasants to attack the Japanese (Popkin, 1979). Dang (1991) posits that Ho Chi Minh realised the applicability of Lenin's theory and prepared everything necessary for the proletariat of a backward, colonial and dependent country to overthrow the colonial forces in a revolution to achieve.national liberation and revolution. The Viet Minh decided that all of its efforts must be focused on a concentration of forces on essential tasks, unity of action and of command in military and political affairs, and acting with timeliness; these efforts resulted in the overthrow of the French and surrender by the Japanese (Gough, 1990; Huynh, 1971). Vietnam declared its independence as a sovereign state and declared the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) in September of 1945 (Harvie and Hoa, 1997). However, a bloody re-invasion by French forces became 66 known as the "people's war" since nearly all fighters of the People's Army and the guerrilla forces were peasants organised and fighting under the leadership of the working class (Nguyen, 1976). The First War of Resistance and Initial Agrarian Reform As Vietnam's economy was an agricultural economy, the redistribution of landholdings from both the "feudal" and colonial regimes was necessary in order to allow peasants to attain self-sufficiency. However, due to the urgency of military tasks from the re-invasion by the French in 1946, efforts were constrained by a "united front" policy and much of the intended agrarian reform could not be carried out. The strategy of the Viet Minh was one of total war based on the recognition that guerrilla warfare must be the tactic of the people as a whole, not of the army alone; hence every village was absolute in its resistance to the French (Bowden, 1977). The urgent need to feed eight million North Vietnamese and to counteract famine conditions, which were the result of excessive amounts of taxation and forced extraction by the Japanese, took precedence (Vickerman, 1986). The situation was worsened as vast areas of land were left damaged by drought and floods. In January of 1948, the Party reaffirmed its agrarian policy by undertaking a suppression on all supplementary rents, proceeding with the repartitioning of common lands and their equitable distribution, and giving to poor peasants land confiscated from French colonialists as well as land from Vietnamese traitors (Nguyen, 1976; Vickerman, 1986). It was not until 1953 that a radical reform of the agrarian policy was launched, the motives being that the mass mobilisation of the peasantry was necessary to counteract the threats of the USA (Houtart and Lemercinier, 1984). There were certainly some very positive developments for the poor during this period. Le (1995) remarks that 10.5 million persons were "emancipated" from illiteracy, and there was an expansion and rehabilitation of health care facilities. The end of the war arrived in 1954, and with the complete withdrawal of the French from the North the country of Vietnam was partitioned along the 17 t h parallel. The north retained the name Democratic Republic of Vietnam while the southern portion was named the Republic of 67 Vietnam. The next 20 years would see the economies and political systems of each half develop independently of, and quite unlike, each other. Transition to Socialism "Socialism is conceived as the regime of an ensemble of cooperatives... they are regarded as the essential content for democratizing the economy" (Khong, 1991, p. 9). Land reform was viewed as the fundamental condition necessary to restore the country's economy; the peasants however were unaware of the government's intent to increase food production. Using the slogan "He who tills the land will keep it for himself, land reform was presented by the Communist government in such a manner as to make the peasants believe that they were owners of plots of land (Hung, 1977, p. 54). However, the socialist transformation of agriculture required the movement away from "small-scale subsistence and petty commodity production by peasant households to large-scale co-operatives, collectives and state farms involving a formally organised labor force" (White, 1988, p. 166). Collectivisation, a Marxist-Leninist ideology, was introduced by the Communist government into the northern countryside as early as 1955 and was a process in which farmers could pool their resources, such as labour and equipment, and undertake joint agricultural projects by controlling the means of production and by sharing products in proportion to labour expenditure (Sikor and Apel, 1998). This process was carried out by the Party with vigour because the peasantry, securely based in agricultural co-operatives, were transformed into hired workers of the State and could supply the food production required to meet the needs of the State industries (Fforde and de Vylder, 1996; Khong, 1991). By 1959 more than 95% of the peasants belonged to low level agricultural co-operatives, and all citizens were either workers, co-operative peasants or craftsmen, intellectuals or cadres; no bourgeois remained (Gough, 1990). The percentage of the workforce in industry increased from 7% in 1960 to 10.6% in 1975, and with a simultaneous increase in agriculture to meet the growing population, it appears that a major constraint imposed on the growth of industry was both the amount of people engaged in agriculture as well as limits to food production (Vickerman, 1986). It is imperative to understand that the 68 development of socialism in Vietnam was very much dependent upon the success of the family economy. It could ensure the success of the home by providing a small plot of land (for the production of pigs and chicken, manure, vegetables and handicrafts for local sale) and protecting it from bankruptcy (White, 1988). The law of 1950 served to abolish patriarchy and the oppression of women; husband and wife were deemed to be equal, women acquired full rights as legal persons and were allowed to own their own property and thus, their own savings (Gough, 1990). White (1988) posits that the timing of the development of this new law and the collectivisation campaigns were likely not coincidental as many women in traditionally-arranged marriages often became spokespersons for collectives due to their ability to gain independent access to employment. Dion (1971) also notes that the presence of women in such large numbers in collectives was lauded as a result of the progressivity of socialism, without due attention to the unavoidable outside force of the bombings and conscription for the war in the south. Along with land reform policies, State-capitalism ventures were sought after to help consolidate the State's power. The bourgeois were coerced into selling their shops and small-scale industries and, just as the private sector started to gain momentum, the government began to take control of and limit the private entrepreneur's actions rather than use it as they had done previously (Hung, 1977). An emphasis on the development of heavy industry was focused primarily on those industries that could manufacture the means of production. These included the Song Da and Tri An hydroelectric plants, many small hydroelectric stations, the installation of transformer stations and high-voltage power lines, ship-building and repairing yards, large mines, exploration for oil, and even a nuclear power reactor in Dalat (Duy, 1985). By 1975 there was very little left of the North's private sector. All cultivated land had been confiscated and put into agricultural co-operatives, each family has been given a small plot of land for a family garden, and the socialist transformation was considered to be complete. In one author's view, '"the people's collective mastery of society' means that the state exploits everybody" (Nguyen, 1983; p. 23). 69 The formal reunification of Vietnam took place in 1976 with the establishment of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Along with the reunification of the rather industrialised north with the still-predominantly agricultural south was the intent to "normalise", that is, to achieve the accelerated socialisation of, the south (Ton, 1980). Factories in the south were brought quickly under the control of the State and attempts were made to manage them under central-planning methods (Fforde and de Vylder, 1996). Peasants were encouraged to join co-operatives and production collectives and this strategy, combined with state control over the factories, constituted the first Five-Year Plan (Beresford, 1988). While largely successful around Saigon, the remainder of the deltaic region was uncollectivised because peasants of South Vietnam were fiercely opposed to collectivisation as they been long been the beneficiaries of land expropriated from the landlords (Ton, 1980). The reunification of the country posed an enormous challenge as it involved the blending of a strong southern economy, availability of consumer goods, and the dynamic forces of free market prices and wages, with the north's rationing of goods and rigid central control (Hung, 1977). Many criticise that the State's attempt to too rapidly collectivise agriculture and abolish capitalist trade in the south and to develop heavy industries in the north caused the decline in nearly every important industrial and agricultural item (Chanda, 1983). In comparison, the health and education sectors were recognised as remarkably successful. Gran (1979) remarks that, as of 1977, the medical care in the North (and later in the South) consisted of large amounts of combined financial resources and a preventative rather than just a curative philosophy; as well, each commune had a Health Committee, a dispensary and a garden for medicinal plants, and there were comprehensive layers of health care at the district, provincial and national levels. Between reunification and 1986, efforts to collectivise the south slowed and strategic tasks were set out such as: the rapid development of agriculture to provide food and to accumulate capital for industrialisation, the organisation of districts into basic agricultural-industrial economic units, a rapid increase in exports and the transformation of education and technical training (Harvie and Hoa, 1997). To achieve these strategies, policy makers experimented with trial-and-error processes to encourage economic liberalisation that would accurately fit the context of the country (Vu, 1995). 70 One of these 'experiments' was the establishment of New Economic Zones (NEZ's), the movement of settlers into regions organised into co-operatives and State farms. Co-operatives allowed the villagers to choose their own management committees and permitted more flexible work schedules; in comparison the State-farms were owned and operated by the State and were often specialised in industrial crops in areas that were formerly tea and rubber plantations (Wiegersma, 1988). It is estimated that as many as five million people were resettled from the lowlands into the upland areas (Sikor and Apel, 1998). Although resettlement schemes were utilised by the government to move people from outside Cat Ba Island to Viet Hai Village in 1959 and to Khe Sau Hamlet in 1978, these areas were not considered NEZ's. These resettlements were instead due to the increasing population pressure in some of the northern mainland provinces, as well as to protect the island from future Chinese invasion. Another implementation was the legalisation of the contract system which, having been in existence illegally since the 1960s, stressed the need to respect the interests of the individual labourers, the collectives, and the State (White, 1988b). Land would be contracted out and the surplus would go to the peasants working the land while the state would control the purchase of the final products; the labourers could make the best use of their labour and of the land, fulfil their duties in a voluntary manner, apply technical innovations and allow overall initiative to flourish (Hill and Cheung, 1986). Renewal Vietnam embarked on its market reforms officially in 1986 with the 6 t h National Congress of the Communist Party. Referred to as doi moi, the renovations built upon the foundations of the 1980s move towards a multi-sector process through the promotion of competition, increases in the power of private enterprises and the implementation of policies regarding prices and subsidies (Do, 1993). In Vietnam, there are currently three fundamental forms of ownership: State, collective and private. In comparison to the previous five-year plans promoting the development of heavy industries, much of the emphasis of the reform has been on agriculture, the production of consumer goods, and exports. Particularly important to fisheries, forestry and agriculture has been the 71 encouragement of private investment, which accounted for 30% of the total investment in the country in 1993 (Do, 1993). One of the main problems with collectivisation was a lack of incentives for the farmer or producer. It had been found that the larger the scale of co-operatives and the higher the level of collectivisation, the lower were production efficiency, income of farmers and the savings of the co-operative (Khan, 1998). With a decline in the income of farmers often came a corresponding decrease in their confidence in the co-operatives and the collective-based economy; no motivation for increased production on the part of the peasant remained. Gran (1979) posits that what is necessary to overcome such a situation is for there to be some form of incentive for the farmers; only with this can production be increased and the optimum efficiency of the industrial system be reached. Under the contractual arrangements there has been a definite motivation for the peasants to maintain, and increase, efficiency. With a change from the payment based on piecework, farmers became "masters of planting, maintenance, and harvesting"; contracts allowed entire families to take on the responsibility of the production process, from seeding to harvesting, utilising their own work schedules in accordance with their individual situations while the co-operative invested in service and material supply (Tran, 1998, p. 35). It was finally with Resolution 10 that members (usually households) were allocated the long term use of parcels of land, generally for five years, essentially gaining the means of production while the State retained ultimate ownership of the land (Tran, 1998). Within the household and due to the recognition of their increasing responsibility, traditional family and kinship ties once again became crucial to the survival of the family and often extended beyond the scope of the immediate household to include other villagers (Khan, 1998). Increases were also noted in both the volume of rice to be exported as well as in the quality of the rice and this has been attributed in part to the 'green revolution' with its emphasis on new hybrid technologies and effective fertilisers (Do, 1993). The renovation process has certainly not been entirely positive for a number of significant reasons. With the transfer of land to the individual, a dissolution in the responsibility of the co-operative resulted. The co-operative would therefore no longer 72 be responsible for supplying social services such as allocating funds for education, social welfare, and local organisations; this proved particularly important to village associations of elderly people or war veterans as they had to think of ways to raise their own funds (Tran, 1998). Similarly, there are distinctly different advantages within the market system for those located in remote, highland areas as compared to those in lowlands. Pandey and Dang (1997) found that upland farmers who produced cash crops for income were able to attain more food security by selling these crops for income in order to purchase lowland fruits and vegetables; this was only a solution however if access to markets were improved. Those who do not participate in the market are also at a disadvantage within the 'new' Vietnam. In particular, women, who are the primary and unpaid gatherers of forest products such as food, fuel wood and fodder, may be disadvantaged by the lack of opportunity to participate in the market economy. As well, because the distribution of commodities will no longer be conducted by the State which had previously promoted equity, a differentiation in incomes and a disparity in wealth have served to increase social decay in the countryside (Le, 1995). This last problem was aggravated by an increase in the already-high numbers of unemployed due to a mass demobilisation of the armed forces, a large number of bankruptcies in credit co-operatives and a reduction of the number of employees in administration and enterprises (Le, 1995b). Vietnam's History and its Implications for the Environment With little incentive to maintain the upland watersheds, peasants embark on increased rates of forest extraction which are now threatening not only the mountain ecosystems but also those below. Changes need to be made that increase the intensity of agricultural production on open lands, and which prohibit the destruction of forested areas. One incentive for more sustainable land use practices could be an increased access to markets: if farmers are able to sell their products more often, increased financial security may translate into better land practices; without the market and its supplemental income, farmers may be forced to denude the forest in order to obtain subsistence products. 73 Vietnam is currently seeking investment for the expansion of agricultural and forestry products such as rice, coffee, natural rubber, peas and beans (ASEAN, 1999). High rates of forest conversion due to agricultural expansion and industrial logging, the conversion of wetlands into paddy, and increased soil and water pollution from the dependence of new hybrid rice varieties on fertilisers are all side-effects of Vietnam's reform (Perrings, 1998). As with much of the world's dependence on industrial production, no full-cost accounting of the consequences of Vietnam's development has been conducted. This is particularly problematic for Vietnam's unique wildlife species, much of which is endemic to only parcels of land throughout the country. The impact that Vietnam's economic liberalisation has had on the country's natural resources will be discussed further in the next section, however it is imperative to acknowledge here the implications that the move towards a more liberalised economy have had on the social fabric of the rural Vietnamese village. With an increased emphasis on the importance of cash in Vietnamese society, one with few remaining social "nets" that would provide aid in times of poor harvests or natural disasters, rural farmers were suddenly forced to earn a minimum annual income in order to meet even their most modest livelihood needs. This shift resulted in more desperation in poor times, with local people often turning to the sale of various forest products as a way to meet their new-found income needs. Therefore the dependence on forest subsidies, for many local people in Vietnam, has been aided by the move to a market economy. S e c t i o n 2 The Challenges of Conservation in Vietnam Vietnam measures 1650 kilometres from north to south, is only 600 kilometres at its widest and 50 kilometres at its narrowest (Harvie and Hoa, 1997) (Fig. 3.1). It is already one of the most densely crowded countries in the world, with a population of at least 63 million people and 80% of the people living off the land (Gough, 1990). At present, there are still approximately 2 million people whose lives depend on unsustainable practices such as shifting cultivation, forest burning, and animal hunting, and the total population 74 T-5 living within forest boundaries is 1.9 million (WCMC, 1994). The enormous population and its unrelenting rate of growth are challenges currently affecting the management of the country's scarce natural resource base as the hunting of wildlife for both personal consumption and trade combined with increasingly high rates of deforestation are weakening the natural diversity of Vietnam's forests. Various causes of deforestation in Vietnam have been proffered, including decades of war and the use of tremendous quantities of defoliating agents, an excessive reliance on forest products, an expansion in upland agriculture, the collection of wood for fuel, and a very high rate of population growth along with an already high population density (De Koninck, 1999; Fforde and de Vylder, 1996; Chung et al, 1998; W C M C , 1994). In addition to these factors are prevailing national policies of economic growth at all costs, such as the expansion of the cultivation of rubber trees or coffee and cashew trees, as well as a new A S E A N agreement aimed at increasing the export of agricultural commodities (ASEAN, 1999; De Koninck, 1999). The heterogeneous causes of deforestation in Vietnam have resulted in a rapid decline in the country's forest biodiversity, with estimates of the amount of land covered by forest in 1993 varying from a mere 10-16% (De Koninck, 1999). This is particularly significant as Vietnam is classified as the 16 t h most biologically diverse country in the world and contains an average of 6.2% of the global biodiversity (WCMC, 1999). There are estimates of 12 000 vascular plants in Vietnam of which only 7 000 have been identified, along with 224 species of mammals, 1012 species and subspecies of birds, 180 species of reptiles, and 80 species of amphibians (Weitzel, 1999). Vietnam has a higher proportion of endemic species than any of its neighbouring countries (with estimates of 50% of the national flora and fauna being endemic) and contains a large number of species that are Considered threatened by the IUCN (Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 1994; W C M C , 1994). It is essential to note that, unlike most countries in the world, a large number of new species have also been discovered in Vietnam over the last decade. These include a deer, two civets, a goat-like animal, and a pheasant (Weitzel, 1999). Vietnam also provides habitat for some of Asia's rarest animals such as the Javan Rhinoceros, Asian 76 Elephant, Eld's Deer, Crested Angus, and the Indochinese Tiger (Weitzel, 1999; W C M C , 1994) . Natural forests that have not already been replaced with rubber plantations are being partially replaced with scattered groves of exotic species such as pines, acacia and eucalyptus (Chung era/ , 1998). This is particularly problematic because, of the 14 species of primates found throughout Vietnam, none are commonly found in coniferous forests, to which pine species belong (Weitzel, 1999). Vietnam possesses 10 National Parks, 65 protected areas, and 32 cultural, historical and environmental sites encompassing more than 2 117 574 hectares of protected land and seascapes (Hoe, 1997). The planning, organising, and management of these areas is carried out through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). However, Hoe (1997) notes: "the entrustment of the responsibility for managing (these areas) has not been clarified, resulting in responsibility overlapping and slack management. The assignment of responsibility amongst the ministry and provinces is not clear" (p. 7). Several factors likely contribute to ineffective management such as the relative inexperience of staff within the management hierarchy and the relative newness of these bureau's owing to the fact that almost all of the protected areas and parks were established in 1986 (WCMC, 1994). Hence, the country's management plans for forested areas are usually little more than a biological description, and suffer from a lack of details about how to manage areas in practice (Hoe, 1997). It has been suggested that the most difficult task for the protection of Vietnam's protected areas and national parks is the resettlement of the local people who are currently living inside the parks, even in areas needing strict protection. This is because many of the communities inside protected areas carry out hunting and forest product exploitation, with many still dependent on shifting agriculture, for their survival (Vo, 1995) . Nevertheless, with such widespread deforestation and general lack of management, it is of significant importance to remember that forest cover, among other things, regulates the hydrological cycle on which the success of the country's vital rice harvest depends (WCMC, 1994). The involvement of local people and their experiences with regards to conservation initiatives is of critical importance to biodiversity conservation in Vietnam because, with a 77 primarily rural population, those that produce for subsistence are generally dependent upon subsidies from nature. In Vietnam, the importance of the village-level institution in communities can not be overemphasised as it is the centre of emotional and sentimental life, fulfilling the spiritual, social, economic, educational, and agricultural needs (Fforde and de Vylder, 1996). Thus, a focus on the potential role that community ecological knowledge, particularly within peasant communities, can play in the conservation of forest resources needs to be explored. A Recent History of Biodiversity Conservation in Vietnam Vietnam is a party to many of the world's international agreements, including: the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR); the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (Tran, 1999). Since its began its pursuit of "doi moi" in the 1980s, threats to the country's environment have increased due to the demands that modernisation and liberalisation place on natural resources. In order to maximise the potential positive impacts of modernisation while mitigating its negative effects on the environment, the government of Vietnam has pursued the development of numerous commendable conservation strategies. These strive to focus national attention on the responsibility that all Vietnamese people have in maintaining Vietnam's unique flora and fauna. Conservation began in earnest in Vietnam in the 1960s when the government promulgated decrees for protecting some forests and rare and valuable species such as tigers and elephants and established the first national park (1962); followed in 1972 when a decree on forest protection led to the recruitment of 10 000 special forest guards who were posted throughout the country (Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 1994). In the 1980s, the National Conservation Strategy (NCS) and the National Forest Policy of Vietnam were established, followed by the National Plan for Environment and Sustainable Development 1991-2000 (NPESD), 1994 Law on the Environment, and the Biodiversity Action Plan for Vietnam (BAP) in the 1990s. These last four strategies will be discussed briefly below. 78 National Conservation Strategy (NCS) Coinciding with the adoption of 'doi moi' policies, the N C S was developed at a time when it was recognised that the increasing rate of growth in the country needed to be tempered by the rational use of natural resources and environmental conservation. Adopted in 1985, the N C S had two important goals: "to satisfy the basic material, spiritual and cultural needs of all the people in Vietnam...through the wise use of natural resources" and "to define and establish policies, plans, organisation and action, whereby the sustainability of natural resource use will be fully integrated with all aspects of the country's social and economic development" (NCS, 1985, p. 49). The NCS 's main recommendations for achieving its goals included "bringing the population growth rate down to zero as soon as possible, launching massive reforestation programmes by planting millions of trees to restore the hydrologic balance of the land, and establishing a National Board of Environmental Co-ordination at the ministerial level with wide cross-sectoral powers to formulate and enforce new environmental legislation and regulations" (NCS, 1985, p. 4). The N C S was a progressive step in Vietnam's attempt to understand the impact of economic growth on the country's natural and social resources for a number of reasons. First, it recognised the need to integrate responsible development practices with conservation in order to ensure that natural resources are used in a way that meets both current and future needs. Second, it stressed that difficult decisions would need to be made concerning the use of natural resources given the complexity of interrelationships that exist between different conservation and development measures (for example, the costs that using pesticides would have on croplands, freshwater and coastal resources, industrial productivity, and forest resources). Finally, and of particular interest to this thesis, the N C S recognised the need for multi-level participation including more co-operation from the public, the police, and the army. It acknowledged that, in order to develop and maintain a system of protected areas, serious attention must be given to the needs of local people when designing and planning protected areas and it stressed the need for raising community awareness surrounding conservation values. 79 National Forestry Policy of Vietnam The National Forestry Policy of Vietnam was proposed in 1989 as part of the Tropical Forestry Action Plan (TFAP), which was itself developed in 1985 by the FAO and in cooperation with development agencies, NGOs, and representatives from more than 60 countries in which most of the tropical forests are found. The purpose of the National Forestry Policy was to: "provide direction to the forestry sector in long-term management and utilisation of the nation's forest and legislative directives for economic development, social betterment, and environmental protection" (FAO, 1993, p. 163). The National Forestry Policy recognised that much of the country's forest land was badly degraded and depleted, the forest-processing industry was poorly developed, and the restoration and reclamation of degraded lands through plantations, agro-forestry and other tree-planting programmes was urgently required (FAO, 1993). The general goals of the National Forestry Policy were to protect and manage the country's current and future forest resources; to increase forest-product yields; to improve harvesting, transport, processing and marketing while reducing waste; to increase people's participation and engage the state, cooperatives, households and individuals in the protection and utilisation of forest goods; and to contribute to improved living conditions and income generation for rural people (FAO, 1993). National Plan for Environment and Sustainable Development (NPESD) Prepared in 1990, the N P E S D takes the issues raised in the N C S as its point of departure. It's two main objectives are: to "provide for the gradual development of a comprehensive framework for...environmental planning and management" by incorporating the main recommendations of the N C S and the T F A P , and to "lead to specific actions that are required in the short term to address priority problems at their very roots" (NPESD, 1991, p. 5). "The N P E S D stressed the need for a clear law on the environment, laid out government policy for conservation and listed and prioritised action areas" (Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 1994, p. 3). The priority action areas from 1990-95 included the establishment of a single environmental authority, the development of programs in population control, and watershed management programs which included reforestation and the control of soil erosion (NPESD, 1991). Probably 80 most notable about the N P E S D is that each of the sectors, ranging from agriculture and forestry, to population, hazardous wastes, energy and transport, are accompanied by specific recommendations and strategies. These recommendations were developed with the recognition that an integrated framework was necessary in order to accommodate the numerous regional differences in income and endowment that exist throughout the country, and the realisation that some industries in one region may impact on other industries and activities in another location. Law on the Environment In 1994, the Law on the Environment was passed. The Council of Ministers produced a number of government decrees designed to outline the specific rights and responsibilities of all parties, national and local, in resource management. These decrees included: Decree No.90-CT-Urgent Measures to Immediately Stop Deforestation; Decree No. 17-HDBT-The Enforcement of Forest Resources Protection and Development Act; Decree No. 525-TTG-Policies and Methods for Continued Economic and Social Development in Mountainous Areas; and Decree No.551-LN/KL-Promoting Wildlife Protection to People's Committees. Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for Vietnam After ratifying the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1993, the government of Vietnam approved the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) in December 1995 (Tran, 1999). The B A P acknowledges that significant impacts on the country's biological wealth have occurred since embarking on market liberalisation, and it understands that the mitigation of these impacts will require an integrated approach. The recommended approach would involve international governments and NGOs, scientists and academics, planners and managers, as well as common villagers and resource users (Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 1994). The B A P consists of four main sections that review the status of biodiversity conservation in Vietnam, recommend biodiversity conservation policies and programmes, examine complementary actions for biodiversity conservation, and 81 recommend changes in the management of protected area. This latter objective is of particular interest to this thesis as the B A P lists Cat Ba National Park as one of only 12 sites (out of 32 priority sites) that have a globally significant biodiversity value (Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 1994). The B A P makes recommendations for parks and protected areas including: undertaking land-use planning in order to fully utilise buffer zones to better meet local subsistence requirements, improving official management plans, increasing staff training, and increasing the involvement of local people in all of the above initiatives. Cat Ba National Park Cat Ba National Park was established on March 31, 1986 under the Council of Minister's Decision 79-CT and encompasses 9800 hectares of terrestrial forest and 5400 hectares of marine habitat (Tran, 1995; WWF, 2000). The official mission of Cat Ba National Park is to effectively protect the primitive characteristics of natural resources on the island and the waters, and to organise tours, social forestry and environmental education (FFI, 1999). The park also strives to achieve an ambitious set of functions and tasks: to preserve the natural ecosystems and genetic resources; to restore the native flora and fauna through replanting, re-introduction and habitat improvement; to promote recreation and environmental education for the general public; and to promote scientific research relevant to the management of the park (Scott, 1989). Cat Ba National Park is considered by many in the world's conservation community to be a priority site for biodiversity conservation. The most prominent feature of Cat Ba National Park is the presence of Trachypithecus poliocephalus francoisi, the endangered Golden-Headed Langur (known as the Black Monkey to local people). This leaf-eating monkey is endemic to Vietnam and is found only in this particular park. There are estimates that the population currently consists of only 100-200 individuals, and demand for this animal within the wildlife trade is still high as it is believed to possess medicinal properties. Other characteristics in Cat Ba National Park that are of biological importance include: the presence of the endemic willow Salix terasperma, over 300 plant taxa having medicinal value, a large forested area containing the culturally significant and endangered Podocarpus fleuryi, 839 species of vascular plants of which at least 11 8 2 are either rare or endangered, 42 mammal species, 74 bird species, and 32 reptile species (Canh, Sung and Lee, 1997; Sang and Shim, 1997; Thuy and Lee, 1997). It has been acknowledged that the long convoluted coastline of the island (providing endless access points for hunters), the proximity and ease of access to China (a major wildlife market), the ubiquity of human presence in the area, and the rugged nature of the karst all combine to make Cat Ba an extremely challenging prospect to manage (Duckworth and Walston, 1998). Nevertheless, the 45 employed park rangers endeavour to manage and mitigate the impacts that Viet Hai and Khe Sau have on the park's natural resources through an attempt to integrate conservation and development. They do this through "strengthening the public awareness of local people on relevant government policies and the forest protection law; implementing agreements between local people, local authorities and the park on forest management and protection, hunting and the exploitation of forest products; cooperating with local organisations such as schools, youth organisations in conservation activities such as afforestation, workshops and public awareness campaigns; and technology transfer and creation employment of for island inhabitants" (Nguyen, 1998, p. 2). Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village In order to provide a more relevant context in which to understand both the localised impacts that Khe Sau and Viet Hai have on the park's forest resources, as well as the socio-economic needs within these communities, a brief background on the composition and the living standards of the communities of these communities will be discussed here. It is important to acknowledge that there are a number of disparities that exist to differentiate the communities of Khe Sau and Viet Hai including the location of the community, the agricultural land available to the community, local population, housing structures, access to electricity, and food and water availability. A further discussion about the implications that these living standards have on the use of forest resources is . provided in Chapter 5. 83 Khe Sau Hamlet Located on the main road that runs from Cat Ba Township to the park's headquarters, Khe Sau is in the southwest region of the park. The total land allocated to local people for agricultural purposes in Khe Sau is 15 hectares with an additional 7 hectares allocated for fruit trees and home gardens. Compared with the amount of land in Viet Hai, there is drastically less land available to farmers in Khe Sau given that the population in the hamlet is currently 425 individuals. Khe Sau is on the local electrical grid and thus has access to a constant supply of electricity. The majority of houses in Khe Sau tend to be made of concrete, many of which are painted bright colours (Fig. 3.2). There is however a local disparity within Khe Sau, with those living in the northwest end of the community being generally poorer than those in the southeast end. Those in the northwest end generally live in much smaller concrete houses, usually consisting of a single room, while those in the while those in the rest of the community generally live in the aforementioned larger, painted concrete houses (Fig. 3.3). Speculation regarding this disparity points to a higher proportion of the population living in the northwest end, hence people there have access to less land and hence less food than those in the other end. Viet Hai Village In contrast to Khe Sau, there is no road leading to Viet Hai, which is located near the core protected area of the park. Instead, there is a 10-12km strenuous hike to the park headquarters in one direction, with a 3km walk along a dirt path to the harbour in another direction. Because of its location, the village of Viet Hai owns one boat that is used to access the market in Cat Ba Township. In Viet Hai, there are 18 hectares currently under agricultural use and an astounding 20 hectares for fruit frees and home gardens. This is an extensive amount of land given that there are only 213 people in the village. Likely due to the difficulty in accessing the community, housing structures in Viet Hai differ markedly from those in Khe Sau. Only one of the dwellings is in the same concrete style as those in Khe Sau. The rest are thatch roof hunts with mud and grass walls and earthen floors (Fig. 3.4). As well, Viet Hai has no stable access to electricity. Instead, a communally-owned generator that is turned on nightly from dusk to 11pm. 84 F i g u r e 3.2 W e a l t h i e r house i n Khe Sau Hamlet F i g u r e 3.3 P o o r e r house i n Khe Sau Hamlet 85 86 Commonalties A similar array of crops are grown for local consumption in Khe Sau and Viet Hai, and consist of both vegetable and fruit staples, including rice, peanuts, green beans, corn, potatoes, chilli peppers, black beans, orange, lychee, and apples. A complete list of the plants grown by people in both communities can be found in Appendix I. Although the principal means of livelihood is agriculture within these two communities, the local people depend heavily on forest exploitation to meet many of their basic needs such as fuelwood. Viet Hai's impacts on the forest in particular, being located next to the strictly controlled core zone of the park and the endemic langur's sleeping caves, are of concern to the park rangers. It is crucial to mention here that the impacts of local people must be somehow mitigated as the island's forests are particularly valued for maintaining the island's water regime and this is essential given that Khe Sau in particular has an inconsistent supply of water throughout the year, which in turn impacts on the success of agriculture endeavours (WCMC, 1989). Communist Organizations in Cat Ba's Communities Both Viet Hai and Khe Sau possess the state organs which are elected by the local people and which are, in turn, accountable to them. These organs include the people's committee of the village, the women's union, youth union, elder's union, farmer's union, and the veteran's union. The People's Committee of the Village is a powerful actor in the life and economy of the community with its roles in setting local regulations, and collecting taxes and fees (Luu and Hoang, 1997). Each of the unions is open to individuals of the community, with each focusing on the various needs of its members. For instance, the Leader of Khe Sau's Women's Union informed me that the union is open to women between the ages of 22 and 55, and serves as both an educational resource where women can learn about birth control and children's nutrition, and an economic resource where women can access loans for animal husbandry. 87 Public Policies Affecting the Communities Local people in both Khe Sau and Viet Hai were resettled in these areas following government policies. These policies encouraged people to move to selected regions when their home territories become too crowded to allow every person access to necessary land and other resources. People in Khe Sau and Viet Hai were required to apply for resettlement, and came from a number of different areas in the north including Hai Phong, Thai Binh and Ha Bac. There are reports that the government encouraged . people to relocate by offering incentives such as one-year worth of free food. A 45-year-old male farmer from Khe Sau informed me that "when the Chinese left here, the government encouraged people to move here to do agriculture. The government encouraged people to grow food and gave people one year of food without them having to pay". Reports from those people interviewed show that the majority is satisfied with life on Cat Ba as the climate is cooler and more accommodating than on the mainland. The 1993 Land Law gave local people extensive land use rights over agricultural and forest land by providing long-term usufruct rights to households, groups of households and organisations (Sikor and Apel, 1998). In Khe Sau and Viet Hai, reallocation of land occurs only every twenty years. There are two main State initiatives that have been developed across the country to encourage local involvement in forest protection practices. The first is based on allocating forest land to local farmers to protect, while the other is focused on planting trees in barren areas to encourage the regeneration of forest. Forest protection contracts were established in 1995 with the intent of involving local people in forest management initiatives. Farmers involved in these contracts receive small cash payments based on the size of the protected area and are generally granted the right to harvest non-timber forest products such as fuelwood, bark, and leaves (Sikor and Apel, 1998). However, Sikor and Apel (1998) criticise this initiative as it does not afford local people genuine control over forest land; instead they are forest patrollers and are scrutinised during the State officials' periodic inspections. 88 The other project aimed at involving local people in forest management activities is Project #327, a tree planting program aimed at barren land development. Incentives for those farmers involved in #327 include free fertiliser and cash payments. There are a number of serious shortcomings with this project including: the project's top-down design, implementations that exclude local people, poor planning, and promotion of tree plantations on land that is crucial for local food security (Sikor and Apel, 1998). This project is also problematic because it uses exotic species such as Acacia and Eucalyptus, as opposed to using mixed plantations of native species which ecologists have stressed would provide better land cover, soil and water protection and better biodiversity conservation (WCMC, 1999). Sect ion Summary Because of the tenuous nature of Vietnam's biological resources, it is imperative that solutions be found that meet the needs of both conservation authorities and local people living in rural areas. The need for efficacious and creative solutions is all the more pressing given the biological richness of the country, the extent of endemism, as well as the rural nature of the population. With a focus on two communities living within Cat Ba National Park, Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village, I sought to develop an understanding of the implications that the park has had for local realities and I solicited recommendations put forth by local people on improving local livelihoods. The findings are presented in Chapter 5. 89 Chapter 4 M e t h o d s This chapter will address a number of factors related to the methods employed in this thesis. The topics of discussion will include research approach, data collection, data analysis, and data validity and research limitations. Research Approach Creswell (1994) identifies three factors that are pertinent to the use of the qualitative methods in this thesis: 1. the exploratory nature of the research; 2. the amount of variables unknown; and 3. the importance of the context. This research has been highly exploratory in nature given that there has previously been no similar research conducted with the case study communities. Furthermore, it was uncertain at the outset what types of local ecological knowledge would exist and whether or not local people desired to participate in the park's conservation initiatives. Because of the amount and type of unknown variables in this research, it was imperative to recognise that each of these factors were highly dependent on the local context and local realities. In order to better understand how certain constraints and opportunities affect both the use of local knowledge in management strategies and the participation of local people in such strategies, a case study approach was used. Two reasons for employing case studies, the intrinsic and the instrumental, have been identified (Stake, 1994). "The intrinsic case occurs when there is interest in the specific information of the case" (Octeau, 1999, p. 31). For this thesis, a number of non-governmental organisations, both local and international, stressed their interest in a study on the local ecological knowledge of people living within Cat Ba National Park. The instrumental case is used more as a tool in order to provide insight into external interests (Stake, 1994). The results of this research can add to the literature regarding the social implications that national parks and protected areas have on local people throughout the world. 90 Case Study Selection Because Vietnam takes a cautious approach towards allowing foreigners to conduct research inside the country, it was imperative that I work with the assistance of a local organisation. This organisation's support also demonstrates the applicability of this research to the local context of conservation in Vietnam, as well as ensures, as much as possible, that a vehicle for dissemination and follow-up to the results exists. The organisation that served as my sponsor, the Vietnam National Parks and Protected Areas Sub-Association (VNPPA), helped to arrange my work in Cat Ba National Park. This park was chosen primarily for two reasons. First, there are three communities within the park's borders, all of which depend to varying degrees on the forest's resources. 1 And second, the endemic langur is found only on Cat Ba Island and because its population has progressively decreased, local knowledge regarding the parks forest biodiversity was of interest to my sponsor as well as to the park's director. Data Collection Interviews Interviews were carried out in May and June 2000. My goal at the beginning of the interview series was to sample 10% of the population of Khe Sau and Viet Hai. I decided that interviews with people under 20 years of age would not be conducted. This was due to the fact that the park was only established in 1986, and I wanted to sample a group of people who could have memories of changes that had occurred in the wildlife and forest resources in the region, as well as in their own livelihoods, since the park's establishment. I decided that only those over 20 years of age would be interviewed as they would have been at least 6 years old when the park was established. It was very difficult to gather adequate population data for both Khe Sau and Viet Hai and the Leader's of each community supplied the following figures. At the time of my interviews, there were a total of 425 people in Khe Sau. 270 of these were over 15 1 Although there is a community living in the vicinity of the park's headquarters, only the other two communities within the park, Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village, were involved in this study. 91 years of age therefore approximately 27 people would need to be interviewed in the community in order to achieve my desired goal. In reality, I interviewed 28 people in Khe Sau. Viet Hai had a population of 213 people at the time of my interviews. 70% of these were at the labour age (15-60 years of age), meaning that I would need to sample 15 people to reach 10% of the population. Due to time constraints, I interviewed 13 individuals. I also interviewed the current director and deputy director of the park, the previous deputy director of the park, two park rangers, as well as the tourist guide at the park's environmental education center. Because these individuals are required to possess a certain level of education in these positions, at times throughout the thesis they are referred to as "experts". In total, I interviewed 41 local people as well as 6 people directly associated with the park (as current or past employees). My total sample size was 47 individuals. The specific age and gender distribution of the local people interviewed can be seen in Table 4.1 and Figure 4.1. Table 4.1. Age and gender distribution of interviewees from Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village, Vietnam. Age Women Men Total 20-29 2 3 5 30-39 8 8 16 40-49 2 6 8 50-59 3 0 3 60-69 2 2 4 70-79 1 3 4 80+ 1 0 1 Total 19 22 41 92 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80+ Figure 4.1. Age and gender distribution of interviewees from Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village, Vietnam. Two interview approaches were used to interview three different groups of people during this study. First, and most important, were the semi-structured interviews with the local people living in the communities of Khe Sau and Viet Hai. Semi-structured interviews were employed as the questions are typically asked in a systematic and consistent order, but this type of interview also allows the interviewer to digress; that is, "to probe far beyond the answers to his/her prepared and standardised questions" (Berg, 1989, p. 17). The interview questions were designed to address the four objectives of this thesis, and can be found in Appendix II. The interviewees were selected randomly by myself. As there was a severe drought at the time of the interviews, very few local people were working in the fields. This meant that many people were either in their own homes or visiting in other homes or, in the case of many men, were collecting products from the forests. The interviews generally occurred wherever the interviewee felt most comfortable and, although a few interviews took place in the fields, most occurred inside the home. In general, each interview lasted between 25 minutes and one hour. Although I endeavoured to keep the interviews private, there were almost always other people gathered around during the interview. These groups included children, parents and grandparents, and occasionally spouses. It is worth noting that wives were often present while their husbands were 93 being interviewed, however husbands were rarely home when the interviews were conducted with their wives. Although the observing groups generally kept quiet during the interview, at certain times one or more members of the groups would vocalise an answer to a question. Initially I thought that this would invite others to add their thoughts to a discussion, however the others generally remained quiet and the vocalised answer often encouraged the interviewee to add more specific details to their answer. Because of this, the data obtained may be richer than it would have been had others not been present. The same questions asked of local people were then used in semi-structured interviews with the park's "experts". I employed the same list of questions with the "experts" as I used with the local people in order to obtain comparable sets of data that could be used to examine the knowledge possessed by these different groups. Comparatively, unstructured interviews were used during informal meetings with other "experts" endogenous to the park. These included those involved in conservation programs at a university in Hanoi, those involved in development efforts with the UNDP, as well as those involved in conservation efforts with other non-governmental organisations including the V N P P A , Fauna and Flora International (FFI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). These meetings allowed me to get an in-depth sense of the priority research areas faced by each of these groups. The interview format followed the general interview strategies proposed in the literature (Foddy, 1993). Working through a translator, I first introduced myself, gave a brief background of who I was and where I was from, and proceeded to introduce the basic objectives of the study. Based upon the advice of my sponsor, and because I endeavoured to create a non-threatening and relaxed atmosphere, once an interview was agreed to I would proceed to ask the interviewee questions not directly related to the study, such as the size of their family and the age of their children. My sponsor also informed me that it is considered polite to bring candy for the local children (and for the adults), so I endeavoured to provide a wide selection of both sweets and fruit to both those being interviewed as well as to other local people. 94 With regard to the tape-recording of interviews, the permission of each interviewee was sought and their confidentiality was guaranteed. However, local people were understandably reluctant to agree to have their interview recorded. To compensate, my translator was required to translate consistently throughout the duration of the interview in order to prevent (as much as possible) paraphrasing. This meant that she was to sit very close to me and quietly translate each sentence that was being spoken by the interviewee. In this way, as much information as possible was obtained, and the interviewees seemed not to mind that my translator would simultaneously translate their information while listening to their next sentence. In order to obtain the most accurate data possible, I did discuss with my translator my expectations of the translation process and went through a small amount of training before the interviews began. However, as she was already an experienced translator who had worked for my sponsor for over a year, I felt relatively assured of her- abilities. Document Analysis In order to compare "expert" with local knowledges, a number of professional publications were sought. These were generally housed in the libraries at the offices of the UNDP, WWF, FFI, and the V N P P A . Most of the documents tended to be independent research papers that were unpublished in any formal journal, and which are unlikely to be found outside of Hanoi. However, a few of the reports used were published in books. Data Analysis Data provided by the local people and by the park's employees were analysed in the same manner but were analysed separate of each other in order to account for differences in knowledge. First, answers provided by the interviewees in response to the research questions were loosely grouped together. These data sets were then examined for patterns of information that tended to arise throughout the different interviews. These patterns of information were categorised together into sub-groups, and these groups were then used to formulate a discussion in relation to the conceptual framework. A coding system was developed by which to refer to each individual in my 95 fieldnotes, and this list was kept separate from the raw data. The interview process was conducted with the approval of the UBC Ethics Committee. Data Validity and Research Limitations Data Validity Foddy (1993) posits that a series of factors can influence the validity of data, and these can include the formulation of questions, the interviewer's skills, and the interviewee's responses. I would add generalization to this list as well. Each of these will be addressed in the following paragraphs. In developing the list and sequence of interview questions, I heeded the advice of Berg (1989). He cautions that "the arrangement or ordering of questions in an interview may significantly affect the results", and recommends beginning the interview with mild, non-threatening questions and ending with the complex and more sensitive questions (p. 25). I was well advised by my sponsor, and by foreigners associated with conservation NGOs, that asking questions about hunting would be seen as somewhat threatening. I was concerned that these would impact on the interviewees and would create an incompatible interview climate. To overcome this as much as possible, my unstructured interviews with "experts" particularly helped me to understand the threatening nature of my questions and to arrange the questions in a more appropriate order. As well, I deliberately did not ask interviewees about their personal experiences as hunters. Instead, I asked about hunters in the community in general. The skill of an interviewer obviously influences the quality of data obtained from the interviewees. Maxwell (1996) posits that there are three main ways of 'understanding' the data that can affect the validity of the research. Two of these, description and interpretation, are relevant to this study. "The main threat to valid description, in the sense of describing what you saw and heard, is the inaccuracy or incompleteness of the data" (Maxwell, 1996, p. 89). In this study, most interviewees were interviewed only once, and only a few occasions did time permit a second interview. This, combined with 96 the inability to record each interview, may result in an invalid description and conclusions. Valid interpretation of the data is affected by "imposing one's own framework or meaning, rather than understanding the perspective of the people studied and the meanings they attach to their words and actions" (Maxwell, 1996, p. 89). This can happen by not listening closely to the participants' meanings, not being aware of your own framework and assumptions, and asking leading or closed questions that do not allow local perspectives to come through. Maxwell (1996) suggests that, to overcome invalid interpretations, one must "attempt to learn how the participants...make sense of what's going on" (p. 90). For this study, it was imperative that I understand as much about the local people and the local context as possible, and this included understanding how local people perceived their own realities. Accordingly, I was concerned about the translation of the interviews. Although I have already stated that I felt relatively assured of my translator's abilities, I nevertheless was apprehensive at the beginning of the interview series. This is understandable for a number of reasons. First, the questions that I designed arose out of my own culture. Spradley (1979) notes: "The interviewer asks the questions, someone else responds with the answers. This separation often means that questions and answers come from two different cultural meaning systems. Investigators from one cultural scene draw on their frame of reference to formulate questions. The people who respond are from a different cultural scene and draw on another frame of reference to provide answers" (p. 83). Although my translator revised the questions prior to the start of the interviews, it is possible that her own fluency in the English-language allowed her to miss words that would not be compatible in Vietnamese. Spradley (1979) calls this translation competence and describes it as "the ability to translate the meanings of one culture into a form that is appropriate to another culture" (p. 19). This is particularly important given that I am uncertain how the words "threatened" and "benefits" from my list of interview questions translate. Triangulation was employed as much as possible in this research. Triangulation is essentially cross checking information from several different perspectives in order to 97 increase the validity of research (McCracken and Conway, 1988). To accomplish this, I employed the use of many professional publications and documents in order to compare "expert" data with interview data. However, the validity of this research could still be viewed as uncertain given the dearth of information surrounding both the biological diversity of Cat Ba National Park, and the social and cultural aspects of the park. Another threat to the validity of this research is the responses provided by interviewees themselves. Reactivity, that is the influence of the researcher on the setting or individuals, is a problem that needs to be accounted for (Maxwell, 1996). It was essentially impossible for me to eliminate the influence of reactivity on the research given that I was a Caucasian woman conducting research in relatively closed communities and who did not speak fluent Vietnamese. However, Maxwell (1996) stresses that the goal in a qualitative study "is not to remove the influence of reactivity, but to understand it and use it productively" (p. 91). A final factor that could influence the validity of research is generalization. The research conducted for this thesis is essentially a still photo of two communities in a particular locale at a specific time. Addressing the generalizability of social-cultural anthropology, Sarana (1975) says "it is true that the anthropologist works among a particular people in a fixed time and space. His account is a generalized picture of a particular community illustrated with particular examples" (p. 43). There are many aspects of this research that are applicable in other regions, including some of the impacts that the park has had on local livelihoods. However, there are also aspects of this research that are specific only to the communities inside Cat Ba National Park, such as their resettlement into the area and the establishment of a park subsequent to this. There is therefore a risk of generalising the results of my interviews in an attempt to make them reflect local realities elsewhere. In recognizing this, perhaps I minimise the risk of doing so by contextualising this research with prudence. Concerns Regarding the Research Initially, I had four main concerns regarding this research. First, I was concerned that many of the local people would not want to be interviewed by me. As I was a foreigner 98 who spoke an imperceptible amount of Vietnamese, I was afraid that local people would not take me seriously as a researcher. Language was just one of the many barriers that I had to contend with by conducting research in another culture. Caddy (1998) notes that any research of a foreign culture can be misrepresented due to a variety of barriers, including language, meaning, custom and belief, and she posits " outsider, by not being privy to the secrets of a particular culture, can never truly understand or represent it" (p. 30). However, like Caddy (1998), I too brought to this research an outsider's perspective. This may have afforded me the opportunity to remain more objective as I had no prior contact with these people and was not caught up in the social dynamics of the society. As well, my line of inquiry was genuine as I did not have many expectations for answers to my questions. In reality, I found that the absolute majority of individuals that I approached were more than willing to grant me an interview. Perhaps due to my status as an outsider, a Canadian, and a woman, I was afforded the opportunity to speak candidly with both men and women, and particularly with women who were close to my own age. My second main concern regarding this research was that, once interviews were granted, local people would provide me with answers that they thought I would want to hear. This would be likely to occur if local people believed that I could bring some form of financial security into the community, and I must acknowledge that this was occasionally the assumption on behalf of local people. I believe this was likely due to my status as a wealthy foreigner. Although I never promised to bring funds into the community, when asked what I would do with the results I did reply that I would share my research findings, and particularly the recommendations made by local people themselves, with other organisations who were interested in Cat Ba's communities. Hopefully this encouraged local people to reply openly and honestly to my questions, and to not ply me with the answers that they thought I wanted to hear. My third concern was a fear that local people would possess no identifiable ecological knowledge. Although the identification of this would have been important in its own right, my research had been predicated on the belief that people living in close contact with natural resources, even if only for twenty or so years, would still have some form of knowledge regarding changes in the wildlife and forest structures. 99 And my fourth concern regarding this research was with the "endogenous" acceptance of local ecological knowledge as a valid addition to understanding resource conflicts in Cat Ba National Park. Provided there was local ecological knowledge, and that I was able to document it, I was uncertain about its acceptance by both my sponsor's organisation and by the public at large (including my family, friends, fellow academics, etc.). As well, I am still uncertain of the acceptance of this type of research, which is often located at the threshold between science and social science, by the academic institution. Watson-Verran and Turnbull (1995), understanding the need to marry disparate systems of knowledge, posit a need to accept all forms of knowledge systems as equivalent to one another. "The work of g roups of peop le with var ied pract ices, ski l ls, and unders tand ings has to be rendered connec tab le and a s semb l ab l e into a coherent who le . . . . any know ledge s y s t em can be ad hoc, ununif ied, atheoret ica l , lack a c ommon measu re , and still be effect ive-fundamenta l ly be cause all knowledge s y s t ems are local and are the product of co l lect ive pract ice ba sed on the earl ier work of others" (p. 119). And the Western contemporary sciences, "rather than being taken as definitional of knowledge, rationality, or objectivity, should be treated as varieties of knowledge systems" (Ibid, p. 116). Therefore, it will be in this middle ground of communication, "where one system leaves off and another starts" that "locating cultural traditions can render visible the strategies and technologies...embodied in each of the systems" (Ibid, p. 131). Indeed the strength of local ecological knowledge lies in both its applicability to the specific local context from which it was developed, as well as to enlighten similar research in vastly different locales. Research Limitations The research conducted for this thesis has been necessarily interdisciplinary. In trying to better understand the constraints and opportunities that affect local people's participation in conservation initiatives, it has been imperative that a holistic framework be utilised. This framework has had to be inclusive of the different types of knowledge related to this research, including "expert" testimony, professional documents, as well as the voices of local people. The integrative nature used in this thesis has also drawn on a number of bodies of literature, particularly from the disciplines of cultural ecology, anthropology, resource 100 management, rural development, and conservation. Although this thesis has also broached the topics of socio-economic and political factors as they relate to this research, it has not been possible to undertake a completely comprehensive treatment of each of these factors due to practical limits on time and research effort. Much of this work relies on primary data collection and to a less extent on the use of professional publications. To my knowledge, no previous research has been done in this area, however some interviews have been conducted in the study sites with regards to tourism. Hence, this research can in no way be considered a complete account of what exists in a very complex rural Vietnamese society. However, this thesis has laid the groundwork for potential future research in the area, and is adequate in demonstrating that rural farmers do possess a detailed body of knowledge and do wish to participate further in conservation initiatives inside the park. 101 C H A P T E R 5 A n a l y s i s and D i s c u s s i o n of Resu l t s The purpose of this chapter is to describe and assess the results gathered from interviews. This chapter will consist of four sections, with each section loosely addressing one of the components of the conceptual framework presented in chapter 2. The first section will discuss local people's knowledge towards the park's forest resources. This section will include an assessment of local knowledge as it pertains to the park's medicinal flora and fauna, endemic species, rare flora and fauna, what local people perceive as benefits received from the forest, what activities local people perceive as threats to the park's forest biodiversity, as well as a brief discussion about local people's uncertainty in their own knowledge. The second section of this chapter will concentrate on local people's willingness to participate in the park's conservation initiatives, and will also address local knowledge regarding when and why the park was established. The third section of this chapter will concentrate on the constraints present in Cat Ba National Park that inhibit local people from participating in biodiversity conservation initiatives. This section will include an examination of local socio-economic, political and cultural factors such as food and water security, the impact that the park's establishment has had on the case study communities, corruption and nepotism, and cultural influences. The fourth section of this chapter will focus on the ICDP approach and its application to the communities within Cat Ba National Park. This final section will attempt to evaluate whether the ICDP approach followed by the park has been successful in conserving the park's forest resources and in improving the lives of local people. In each of the sections of this chapter, local knowledge will be contrasted with the knowledge of "experts". Expert knowledge will be that information provided by the director or deputy director of the park, park rangers or park employees, as well as published scientific material. This is an important component of this thesis for two reasons: first, local knowledge is often more accurate and more detailed than expert knowledge, and second, it will be shown that there are commonly inconsistencies between different types of expert knowledge regarding Cat Ba National Park. 1 0 2 Section 1-Local Ecological Knowledge Local people in both Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village possess detailed ecological knowledge about the Park's forest resources. Six specific categories of knowledge were deciphered during the analysis of the results: medicinal flora and fauna, endemism, rare plants and animals, changes in wildlife populations over the past twenty years, benefits received from the forest, and extinction. A brief discussion of local people's uncertainty about their own knowledge will appear at the end of the section, as will the general lack of scientific knowledge about the park's biodiversity. Medicinal Flora and Fauna The communities living within C B N P utilise a number of medicinal products that are derived from local flora and fauna. On a number of occasions my translator and I were served a tea made from the bark of a local tree, known locally as gia bat (possibly Exocecaria agallocha). Local people believed that this tea would help to cool one's internal body temperature in order to offer reprieve from the oppressive heat of Vietnam's summer. A 60-year-old male farmer from Khe Sau informed me that the forest contains over 180 species of medicinal plants and he was able to list a number of them including bach bo (Stemona cochinensis) and ngu gia bi (Acanthopanax trifoliatus). It is important to note here that there is an inconsistency in knowledge surrounding the amount of medicinal plants in the park's forest. While the previously mentioned farmer told me that 180 medicinal plant species could be found in the park, the guide at the park's Environmental Education Center informed me that there were 320 medicinal plants to be found in the surrounding forest. Yet Chung and Yen (1997) report that approximately 357 species of plants in the park's forest have medicinal value. Another commonly collected forest species was tac ke, the local gecko (Gekko gecko). This particular species is heavily trapped by local people and sold to the wildlife trade for use in "snake wine", large vats of rice wine filled with geckos, snakes, birds and other wild fauna (Fig 5.1). A local woman in Khe Sau informed us that two local birds, bim bip 103 104 Ion {Centropus sinensis) and bim bip nho (C. bengalensis) are rare because they too are commonly used in making snake wine. On one occasion I even noticed a monkey foetus in one of the jars of snake wine in Cat Ba Township. It is believed that drinking the wine will make one stronger, however I only witnessed men drinking it. As well, two monkey species on the island are believed to possess medicinal properties. Macaques (Macaca spp.), known locally as the yellow monkey or kia vang, are believed to cure cancer, thus local people buy "mat" made from the monkey's bile, while a "monkey balm" made from boiling down the body and bones of vooc dau trang, the Golden-headed langur (T. f. poliocephalus), is thought to be medicinal for pregnant women and for those women who have just given birth. Endemism An endemic species is a floral or faunal species that exists in only one specific area or ecological zone and is not found naturally elsewhere (Environment Canada, 1995). There are three endemic species found on the main island of Cat Ba: a large tree (Podocarpus fleuryi) known locally as kirn giao, a willow species (Salix tetrasperma) known locally as va nuoc, and the Golden-headed langur, known locally as vooc dau trang. P. fleuryi is endemic throughout Vietnam and is also present on Cat Ba. None of the local people were aware of the endemic status of P. fleuryi, which could be due to its relative abundance on the island. At the same time, it is somewhat surprising given the importance of P. fleuryi in Vietnamese legend. According to a 37-year-old man from Khe Sau, "Podocarpus is rare because in the past ancient people used it (the wood) for chopsticks to test whether the King's food had been poisoned with arsenic". The legend says that if the food had been poisoned, the wood would turn black. None of the local people mentioned the willow species in their interviews, and this may be due to two reasons. First, this plant is found only in a swampy region within the core-protected area where local people do not generally go, and second, it is also not considered to be a "culturally significant" plant. In fact the willow was only mentioned once, in an interview with one of the park rangers. In comparison to this, 80.49% of those interviewed in Khe Sau and Viet Hai mentioned the langur, with many of these 105 people aware that the langur is endemic only to Ca t B a . Th is shou ld be very encourag ing to those involved in the langur 's conservat ion as local peop le 's knowledge of the monkey 's status is a result of conservat ion awareness programs es tab l ished by both the park and N G O s . O n e important m isnomer on behalf of local people that I not iced w a s their use of the terms "black monkey" and "whi te-headed langur". The langur is common ly referred to as either the G o l d e n - h e a d e d langur or the Whi te -headed langur, s o this name is understandable. It is a lso reasonab le that local people call the langur the black monkey as it has a predominant ly black body. However , a few local people are under the incorrect assumpt ion that the black monkey and the langur are actual ly two different spec ies , when in fact they are the s a m e an imal . A 51-year-o ld w o m a n from K h e S a u told me that "the black monkey and whi te-headed langur are two s p e c i e s b e c a u s e the ranger descr ibes the spec ies and they have different character ist ics". It is entirely poss ib le that others are under the s a m e assumpt ion , espec ia l ly g iven the error made in a new educat ional publ icat ion. T R A F F I C , an organizat ion ded ica ted to s topping the il legal trade of wildlife parts, and in partnership with the I U C N and W W F , publ ished a 94-page booklet on the threatened wildlife spec ies in V ie tnam. T h e picture accompany ing the descr ipt ion of the go lden-headed langur is actual ly a different langur spec ies altogether ( T R A F F I C , 2000). Rare Plant and Animal Species Loca l people were asked which plants and an imals inside the park were cons ide red rare, vulnerable, threatened or endangered . T h e s e terms have common ly been def ined in the fol lowing manner : rare species are "small populations that are not currently endangered or vulnerable...are usually localised within restricted...habitats"; vulnerable species "are at risk because they exist in low numbers or in restricted ranges due to over-exploitation, extensive habitat destruction or other factors"; threatened species "are likely to become endangered if the natural or human pressures causing them to be vulnerable are not reversed"; and endangered species "are threatened with immediate extinction...if the factors threatening them continue to operate" (Environment Canada, 1995, p. 72). 106 What was important to this part of the interview was to not necessarily elicit exact lists of rare, vulnerable, threatened or endangered flora and fauna. Instead, I was hoping to elicit responses that would indicate that local people were aware that certain species had become less abundant and hence, less commonly observed. For this reason, the term "rare" was used to simply represent all species that were considered rare, vulnerable, threatened and endangered. Rare Plant Species Local people were asked to specify which plant species in the park they perceive to be rare for two reasons: first, in order to determine if the species listed are actually rare, and secondly to assess whether or not local people have witnessed declining numbers of particular species over the past twenty years. 45% of those interviewed were able to give the names of plants they believed to be rare, while 10% of respondents believed no plants in the park to be rare, and 45% were unable to provide an answer. There was a wide range of individuals, both gender wise and age wise, that provided a response to this question. The results show that most of the women interviewed provided a "don't know" response rather than an answer, and it appears that age was not a determining factor with regards to knowledge about rare plants (Table 5.1). Comparatively, more men gave an answer as opposed to a "don't know" response. The men who did give an answer tended to be in their 30's and 40's, while the men who gave "don't know" responses tended to be either in their 20-30's or in their 70's (Table 5.1). Table 5.1. Age distribution of men and women from Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village, Vietnam, who responded to the question regarding rare plants in the park. Provided Answers No Rare Rants "Don't know" Age Women Men Women Men Women Men Total 20-29 1 0 0 0 1 3 5 30-39 2 4 2 1 3 4 16 40-49 2 5 0 0 0 1 8 50-59 1 0 0 0 2 0 3 60-69 1 1 0 0 1 0 3 70-79 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 80+ 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 Total 7 11 2 1 8 10 39 107 While not all of the responses given were correct2, it was nevertheless impressive that local people knew the names of so many plant species. The list of plant names obtained includes nine separate species of plants, and is itself a display of local ecological knowledge (Appendix III). A complete list of plant species that were mentioned during the interviews can be found in Appendix IV. There are glaring inconsistencies with regards to listings of rare, vulnerable, threatened and endangered plant species, hence it is very difficult to know the official status of the park's plant species. According to the Deputy Director of the Rangers Office, kirn giao is the only rare plant. In comparison, the director of the park told me that this species of plant is not rare! The two rangers interviewed stated that kirn giao and va nuoc are both rare, and one ranger also posited that lim (Peltophoreum tonkinensis), and sen (Madhuca pasquieri) are rare. These discrepancies are compounded by two scientific field studies. The first, by Nguyen and Bo-Myeong (1997), posits the five rare plants in the park are kirn giao, va nuoc, cho (Annamocarya chinensis), lat (Chukrasia tabularis), and bac son (Caryota bacsonensis). In contrast, Tran and Byung (1997) documented an extensive list of all plants in C B N P that are threatened, rare, endangered or vulnerable. From their list, kirn giao is rare, cho is vulnerable, and there is insufficient research to determine the status of lat. Add to this confusion another recommendation that the rare plants are P. fleuryi, S. tetrasperma, Morinda officinalis (Family Rubiaceae, local name unknown) and Strophanthus divaricatus (family and local name unknown) (Deters, pers. comm.). Because of the numerous inconsistencies regarding the status of plant species, it is not feasible at this time to determine which plants are actually rare, vulnerable, threatened, or endangered in Cat Ba National Park. 2 The term 'correct' is used loosely here as there is uncertainty regarding which of the park's plants (and animals) are indeed rare. This point is discussed next. 108 Rare Animal Species Again local people were asked to specify which animal species in the park they considered rare, and again the inconsistencies between different groups are apparent. 76% of the 41 local people interviewed were able to supply names of wildlife species that they perceived to be rare, while 17% were uncertain and 7% reported that no animal species fit these categories (Table 5.2). In comparison to the question about rare plants, more women provided answers rather than a "don't know" response to this question (Table 5.2). Of the six women who provided a "don't know" response, none of them were in the 40-50 year-old class indicating that it may be the younger and older women who do not have knowledge about rare animals. More notably however, was the large number of men who provided a response to this question. Only one 23-year old man gave a "don't know" response, while 20 men provided an answer (Table 5.2)! Table 5.2. Age distribution of men and women from Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village, Vietnam, who responded to the question regarding rare animals in the park. Provided Answers No Rare Animals "Don't knoW' Age Women Men Women Men Women Men Total 20-29 1 2 0 0 1 1 5 30-39 5 8 1 0 2 0 16 40-49 2 6 0 0 0 0 8 50-59 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 60-69 0 2 1 0 1 0 4 70-79 0 2 0 1 1 0 4 80+ 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 Total 11 20 2 1 6 1 41 An extensive list of species was provided and included 18 different wildlife species (Appendix III). As with the list of plant species provided by local people, not all of the species listed are indeed considered rare, vulnerable, threatened, or endangered. A compilation of animal and bird species that were mentioned during the interviews can be found in Appendix IV. According to the local "experts", that is, the director and current and former deputy directors of the park as well as two park rangers and the Environmental Education 109 Center employee, those wildlife species with a status of rare, etc. are: vooc dau trang, khi vang, the red-bellied squirrel known locally as soc dung do (Callosciurus erythraeus castancarentris), an antelope know locally as son duong (Capricornis sumatraensis), an otter known locally as rai ca (Lutra lutra), and two wildcats known locally as meo rung (Felis bengalensis) and beo (Felis temmincki). There are a few important discrepancies between the different lists of rare species. An employee for FFI informed me that rare animals in the park include the hawksbill turtle {Eretmochelys imbricata), the langur, an antelope species known locally as son duong, the great hornbill known locally as hong hoang (Buceros bicornis), and the Asian Golden Cat known locally as beo lua (Felis temmincki) (Deters, pers. comm., Novermber 24, 2000). Canh, Sung and Lee (1997) reported that the only species from the Family Felidae found in the park was F. bengalensis, not F. temmincki as reported by the park rangers and directors. As well, Nguyen and Bo-Myeong (1997) provide a list of the rare and endangered mammals in the park. Their list excludes a number of those species suggested by local people, and includes other species not listed by any of the respondents. Furthermore, I obtained an unpublished list of animals that exist in some of Vietnam's national parks. It specifically reports that the otter species found in Cat Ba is not Lutra lutra, but is instead >4onyx cinera. At this point in time there are many inconsistencies and uncertainties between "local" and "expert" knowledge regarding the status of the wildlife species in Cat Ba National Park. As well, very little scientific research has been conducted about the wildlife resources inside the park. The director of the park informed me that one survey was conducted regarding the number of species found in the park (species richness), however the abundance of each species was not researched. The result is that there is no adequate data from 10-20 years ago in which to compare a current census with, thus accurate estimates about changes in bird and wildlife populations cannot be made. Because of this lack of data, it is not currently possible to make an accurate assessment of the status of many of the park's wildlife species. n o Changes in Wildlife Populations Local people were asked if there were more or less wildlife now than there were twenty years ago. 73% of local people interviewed said that there were fewer animals in the region than there were twenty years ago, while only 4% said there were more animals now. 12% said there had been no change in wildlife populations while 11% gave unclear answers. Many people recalled occasions when numerous wildlife species, particularly the macaque and the langur, would come down into their fields and gardens. Most of these people went on to say that they rarely, if ever, see these same species anymore. One 30-year old man from Khe Sau remarked: "before I could see many animals and now I cannot see as many as before". Another 41-year-old man from Viet Hai reported that "20 years ago I used to see it (the langur) running near the forest edge on the fields, but I only see it sometimes now because they have all gone away". A 72-year-old man from Khe Sau told me "I don't know why they (the langurs) don't come around...but I don't see them anymore." Local people also appear to understand that there is an interdependent relationship between the forest and the wildlife. One 37-year-old woman from Khe Sau said: "the forest will change if the animals disappear" and "a forest without animals is like agriculture without people". Another 36-year-old man from the same community believed that "the forest isn't a forest without the animals". And a 44-year-old man from Viet Hai reported that the animals are important to the forest because they have to pollinate the trees, and bees can help the plants in the forest and in the fields". Benefits Received from the Forest Local people were asked what benefits they received from the forest and 59% were able to list different benefits they received. What is interesting to note here is that, even though 41% of the respondents perceived no benefits from the forest, the majority of these people would continue on to comment that they would collect honey or firewood, which are themselves staples provided by the forest. In general, the majority of interviewees saw themselves as receiving some form of benefit from the forest (Table 5.3). i l l Table 5.3. Age distribution of men and women from Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village, Vietnam, who responded to the question regarding benefits they received from the forest. Recieve Benefits No Benefits Age Women Men Women Men Total 2 0 - 29 1 1 1 1 4 30 - 39 6 4 3 3 16 4 0 - 4 9 2 3 0 3 8 50 - 59 2 0 1 0 3 60 - 69 0 2 2 0 4 70 - 79 1 1 1 2 5 80+ 1 0 0 0 1 Total 13 11 8 9 41 Local people provided an impressive array of answers and the responses given can be separated into two categories: physical and service benefits. Physical benefits essentially consisted of any forest products they can use in needy times, such as collecting honey, geckos, firewood, bamboo, pheasants, and medicinal plants, and of course hunting and trapping. A 20-year-old woman from Khe Sau told us openly "sometimes we catch geckos to sell to town, some people form town come to the house to buy the geckos which are then sold in town". Another 30 year-old man from Khe Sau told me "the only benefits from the forest are honey and firewood". Indeed, the two non-timber forest products that were mentioned most by local people as a benefit from the forest were fuelwood and honey, which were identified by 80% and 17% respectively of those interviewed. Fuelwood appears to be collected differently by almost everyone interviewed, and includes collecting from 1-3 times each week up to only once or twice a month. One 30-year-old man from Khe Sau said "I go to the forest to get dead or broken wood or the branches cut off trees...these are used for firewood. We go 3 times per week to collect fuelwood to cook food for ourselves and to cook food for animal husbandry". Other physical benefits were construction materials for building or repairing houses, and collecting a particular plant species (known locally as day mo vang) to construct a thin rope for carrying baskets. A 39-year-old woman from Viet Hai showed us the rope and baskets, which are hung from both ends of a long pole that is then balanced on the shoulders and used for transporting a variety of items. 112 Service benefits included services provided by the forest and included the prevention of floods, the production of clean air, utilisation of carbon dioxide, production of oxygen, a barrier to the wind and storms, and retaining water for the fields. A 51-year-old woman from Khe Sau told me that "if there are more trees, the pollution in the environment is reduced". Another 37 year-old woman from the same community said "the trees produce oxygen and people need trees in their lives...when there are no trees our life might be like life in the desert". A 48 year-old man from Viet Hai stated "there are many benefits from the forest: it contributes to good weather and it helps to keep the water for the fields...and it uses carbon dioxide". Extinction The majority of local people revealed incorrect perceptions about the concept of extinction. Local people were asked whether or not it was possible for the animals of one species to "exist no more" or if all the animals of one species could be hunted so that no more remained. 91 % of the respondents reported that it was not possible to hunt all of one type of animal. A 37-year-old man from Khe Sau told me that one "cannot hunt all of the animals because they always exist elsewhere". Most of the reasons given for the improbability of extinction appear to be due to the ability of animals to both breed and to move elsewhere. A 31-year old woman from Khe Sau told me "the animals will live because they can breed". A 23-year-old man from the same community said simply "people cannot kill all of the animals or birds". A 70-year-old man responded that "the animals don't live here anymore, they live somewhere else in fewer numbers" and one "cannot kill all of the animals because no one can go into the deep forest to kill all of them. They have just gone away". Of the 9% interviewed who understood the reality of extinction, the responses given were quite accurate. A 33-year-old man from Khe Sau told me that "extinction means there are no more". A 41-year-old man in Viet Hai told me that "no animals left is extinction". Unfortunately, the latter respondent was quite sure that everybody in the village would understand the concept of extinction. It is thus absolutely imperative that those involved in conservation understand that these incorrect perceptions exist. If people believe that wild flora and fauna can exist in perpetuity, their actions will reflect 113 this belief and will show no sign of restraint when hunting, trapping, or collecting other forest products. In understanding this, such dangerously incorrect perceptions can be overcome through the use of educational programs and possibly through the implementation of socio-economic incentives. Perceived Threats In order to design effective conservation initiatives aimed at mitigating the impacts that local people (and others) have on the park's forest resources, it is imperative to first understand what activities local people perceive as threats to the forest. To achieve this understanding, local people were asked which activities they had observed in the park were threatening to the forest resources. The results were somewhat surprising in that 54% of those interviewed stated that no activities impacted on the forest. This could be explained as local people may see the interview process as somewhat intimidating if they assumed their answers would be used to prevent the activities mentioned, most of which are used by local people to attain livelihood needs. 44% of those interviewed did provide answers as to what activities they perceived as threats to the forest, while 2% provided a 'don't know' answer. Essentially any human actions involving the forest were perceived to be a threat to the Park's forest resources. Answers included: agriculture, hunting and trapping, collecting other forest products, and tourism. Agriculture Opinions about whether or not agriculture is a threat to forest biodiversity varied markedly. Most of the answers provided by the interviewees were with regards to agriculture. A 72-year-old man told me that "no activities threaten the forest, agriculture does not impact the wildlife, people don't go to the forest". Similarly, a 38-year-old woman replied that "no activities impact on the forest, they do agriculture only and there is no impact from agriculture because I don't cut down the trees". Only one 27-year-old man from Khe Sau perceived agriculture to be a threat to the forest. As mentioned above, most local people see agriculture as no threat to the forest as it does not visibly involve the forest in any way. 114 The previous deputy director of the park emphasised that the land under agriculture is minimal; however, he did posit it could be a threat in that it "may cause erosion on the bare slopes" and the rainfall run-off "containing the suspended soil flows into the sea and affects the coral reef ecology". Interestingly, the current director of the park thinks "of all the activities in the park, agriculture is the greatest threat to the park's biodiversity". He may view agriculture as a threat as shifting agriculture used to occur in the park, but a 23-year-old male farmer in Khe Sau assured me that this has been stopped for over two years. The director may also be concerned about the impact of agriculture because both Khe Sau and Viet Hai have expanded the amount of land under agricultural in the past, but the amount of land that has been "widened" is relatively negligible. In Khe Sau, there is a total of 15 hectares of land under agricultural use, with another 7 hectares of land used for growing fruit trees (called 'garden land'), and an extra 5 hectares of land has been widened by the people. The land that has been widened is in an area that used to be grassland, it has existed since before the park's establishment, and this area was expanded because local people needed more land for food. Viet Hai currently has a large amount of agricultural land compared to Khe Sau, with 20 hectares for rice and other vegetable production and 15 hectares for fruit production. As with Khe Sau, Viet Hai has also widened their agricultural land into flat grassfields. The widened land in each community belongs to the local people and not to the park. What is necessary here is to retain a perspective on the amount of land that is under agriculture and other human uses as compared to the amount of land that is not. Of the 9780 hectares of land within the park, only about 150 hectares are under agricultural use and about 330 hectares are under other human uses (Nguyen and Bo-Myeong, 1997). These figures of land use also include the population of 242 people that live in the area surrounding the park headquarters (Nguyen and Kyung-soo, 1997). Hunting and Trapping Although hunting and trapping were both mentioned by local people as activities that threaten the forest resources, it appears that these activities have changed since the 115 establishment of the park. 67% of the respondents believed that there are fewer hunters now than there have been in the past. This appears to be the prevalent perception for three general reasons. First, there are more Park rangers and thus the fear of getting caught is a strong deterrent. A 30-year-old male park ranger told me that "hunting is still a problem but it is more difficult because the law is quite strict. There are less hunters because the rangers go into the forest every several days and know the families who are the hunters". A second reason there may be fewer hunters is that there are fewer animals therefore hunting and trapping have become more difficult. This response was offered by a 45-year-old man from Khe Sau who said "hunting is more difficult now because the number of animals has decreased" and "they (the langur and the yellow monkey) used to come around and steal food and agricultural products, but now they don't come here because they are afraid of the people because of the hunting". And the third possible reason for less hunters is because many people want to remain at home. A 27-year old man told me that, if other jobs are available such as through animal husbandry, people will stay at home because "people won't go to hunt in the forest because this is a dangerous job". Nevertheless, hunting still occurs and appears to be both for local consumption as food, and for sale to the markets in Cat Ba Township and to other traders. Hunting has been reported as the main reason for the endemic langur's decline, and is reportedly for trade and not local consumption (Duckworth and Walston (1998). FFI (1999) also reported that continued hunting has meant that very few large animals are left on the island. Many local people reported that most of those who continue to hunt are from other villages, or come from the mainland to hunt. Other local people reported that hunters are also the local farmers. One 44-year man from Khe Sau told me that "those who hunt are also farmers, hunting is a part-time job but they are richer than others who just farm." A list of species that were once, or are currently, hunted and trapped has been compiled and can be found in Appendix V. It is also important to note that 15% of those interviewed spoke candidly about their experiences as hunters or trappers. Whenever the issue of hunting and trapping was discussed, it was almost always emphasised that many people hunt due to poor socio-economic circumstances. Some of the answers given with regards to hunting were very compelling. One 44-year-old 116 man told me that "animals are considered valuable so they hunt them. They are valuable because they can be used in medicines to treat broken bones or diseases." Another 27-year-old man said "the local people only collect products from the forest because of economic need. The nature of course is beautiful, but the people are so poor that they have to collect products from the forest." It is imperative to note here that many of the local people understand that their livelihoods depend upon the integrity of the forests and they appreciate the need to protect the forest and its inhabitants however, in accordance with what Infield (1988) found, local desires to protect the forest are moderated by the reality of poverty. A number of local people expressed similar sentiments. A 41-year-old woman from Viet Hai told me that "animals are important to the forest because animals live in the forest. It's not good to kill them but we have to because we have no food." A 60-year-old woman acknowledged the impact of hunting on the forest by saying "hunting impacts (the forest) but we have to depend on the forest". i Collecting Forest Products All but a few of the local people admitted to collecting fuelwood from the surrounding forest. Those who did not collect wood depended upon alternative fuel sources, such as burning corn and rice husks. The other most commonly collected forest product is honey, and it is collected both for local consumption and for selling in the market. The previous deputy director of the park reported: "anything that breaks the law of the park is a threat, including collecting honey". Again, local people's predominant viewpoint tended to be that they only collect products from the forest because of economic need. It is very difficult at this point to gauge how important a role non-timber forest products play in local people's lives, however it can be assumed that these products are supplements on a regular basis. Fauna and Flora International (1999) reported that "there is little physical evidence of heavy forest product collection...and there are no significant quantities of forest products in the market" (p. 2). 117 Tourism A few local people listed tourism as one of the activities that impacted upon the forest, and this is understandable given that tourism has increased dramatically over the past few years. A 27-year-old man from Khe Sau told me that "wildlife may avoid the nature trails which have the tourists". However, another 45-year-old man from the same community noted that "this is the only place for the langur and many people come to study it. We must preserve nature for the tourists because the tourists come to see the langur directly and many will spend days in a ro.w to see it". Uncertainties in Knowledge It is important to acknowledge that a number of local people interviewed displayed uncertainty in their knowledge. A 30-year-old man from Khe Sau stressed that "I'm no scientist, this work (finding solutions) is up to the people who work in the park, the scientists and the government". A 72-year-old man in the same community told us that he "isn't a scientist" therefore he doesn't know why he doesn't see the langur anymore. One possible reason that local people are uncertain about the validity of their own knowledge could be due to their perpetual non-involvement in the park and because their knowledge has rarely, if ever, been sought by the park's employees. Section 2-Local Participation in the Park's Conservation Initiatives In determining if local people are willing and able to participate in conservation initiatives within the park, it is also important to understand local perceptions about when and why the park was established. By determining how aware people were of the park's inception and reasons for it's establishment, the history of communication between the park and the local people can be better understood. After developing an understanding of this history, local people's willingness to participate in conservation activities will be explored. As well, the impacts that the park's establishment has had on the local communities will be examined. Constraints that inhibit local people from participating in these activities will be discussed in section four. 118 W h e n and W h y w a s C B N P E s t a b l i s h e d ? Asked when Cat Ba National Park was established, local people suggested a broad range of dates. Although 60% of the respondents were able to give an answer, a surprising 40% gave 'don't know' answers (Table 5.4). Of those who provided an answer, only 29% knew the correct answer was 1986. Other answers varied widely, including prior to 1978, to the early 1990s and as late as 1996. Although it may not be integral for local people to know the exact year of the park's establishment, it is highly problematic that such a variety of incorrect answers were given. The variety of answers indicates that many local people could have been completely unaware that the park was being established, which would also mean that they were not prepared for the impact that the park was going to have on their lives. The majority of men and women that did not know when the park was established were less then 40 years of age (Table 5.4). I expected to find that people who were under 40 years-old at the time of the interview (but over 20 years-old) would have known when the park was established. Table 5.4. Age distribution of interviewees from Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village, Vietnam, which responded to the question of what year Cat Ba National Park was established. Provided Answers "Don't know" Age Women Men Women Men Total 20-29 0 1 2 2 5 30-39 3 6 4 2 15 40-49 1 5 1 1 8 50-59 2 0 1 0 3 60-69 1 2 1 0 4 70-79 0 3 1 0 4 80+ 0 0 1 0 1 Total 7 17 11 5 40 Approximately 57% of those interviewed were able to suggest why the park was established, while just less than 43% were unable to provide an answer or gave a "don't know" response. Those who provided a reason for the park's establishment gave a broad array of answers. These included: "the park was established to conserve the environment (30 year-old man from Khe Sau); "because of the nice scenery and the endemic and rare species" (50 year-old woman from Khe Sau); 119 "the park was established to keep the forest for the tourists" (30-year old man from Khe Sau); "to prevent people from cutting wood" (39 year-old woman from Khe Sau); "the park was established so the animals were protected and the people were not allowed to go into the forest" (37 year-old man from Khe Sau); and "because there are many kinds of rare animals like the langur, yellow monkey (macaque) and the antelope, and there is a beautiful landscape here with many caves" (41 year-old man from Viet Hai). The previous deputy director of the park informed me that the park was initially established as it was discovered the area had a "limestone mountainous evergreen forest" and it was thought that "if the park was established, tourism could increase here." This type of evergreen humid forest is considered to be a relict of Vietnam's natural vegetation and thus the park is one of the representative protected areas in Vietnam (Nguyen and Jong, 1997). Local Involvement in Cat Ba National Park Almost immediately after Cat Ba National Park was established, local involvement in the park's management was determined to be an important factor. It was suggested that a definite protected-area management plan be created, using co-operative international efforts together with the input of local residents for better protection and sustainable use of the area (Chung and Yen, 1997). Contrary to this however, local people have been systematically excluded from participating in the park's management efforts, and it was shown above that local people's input was certainly not solicited when the park was established. Currently, there appears to be some dissatisfaction with the lack of communication between the park and the local communities. This was aptly expressed by a 50-year-old woman from Viet Hai who reported that "people want to be more involved with the park but maybe the park doesn't want to be more involved with the local people". However, this lack of communication has not decreased the willingness of local people in the region to participate in the park's management. In fact, the opposite is true. 69% of those who answered the question stated that they themselves or others in their community would like to be more involved in the park, while only 31% said they did not wish to be more involved in the park (Table 5.5). A 30-year-old woman from Khe Sau expressed her desire to participate in the park's activities in the following manner. "I want 120 to be more and more involved because if you want to live somewhere have to work to get it". Table 5.5. Age distribution of interviewees from Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai Village, Vietnam, who responded to the question of whether or not local people in their community would like to be more involved in the park's conservation activities. Yes No Age Women Men Women Men Total 20 - 29 0 1 2 1 4 3 0 - 39 6 5 1 1 13 4 0 - 4 9 2 5 0 0 7 5 0 - 59 3 0 0 0 3 6 0 - 69 0 2 2 0 4 7 0 - 79 0 1 1 2 4 80+ 0 0 1 0 1 Total 11 14 7 4 36 Although local people's willingness to participate in the park's conservation activities was clear, I wanted to know what types of activities would they actually be willing to participate in. Throughout the interviews it was immediately obvious that local people were willing to contribute physical labour in exchange for paid involvement in the park's conservation activities such as forest protection and tree-planting activities, discussed below. A 51-year old woman from Viet Hai said "I want to be more involved with the park but have no chance. I would like to plant trees or take care of the forest but I wasn't selected." Another 37 year-old woman from Khe Sau told me "I enjoy it (planting trees) because planting trees makes the weather good because the trees produce oxygen and people need trees in their lives." The park allocates sections of the forest to local families to be protected. Each family is given 30-50 hectares to protect, and approximately 8 households in each village are given this job. This type of work requires that at least one person from each family go to their forest plot about 6-8 times each month in order to look for hunters, trappers, and others who may be burning the forest or who may be cutting wood. According to the park director, the pay for this work is 50 000 VND (Vietnamese Dong)/hectare/year. Although 50 000 VND/year (approx. $3.50US) would amount to 1.5 million VND/year for the protection of 30 hectares, a 60-year-old man from Khe Sau told me that "the park 121 here only pays a little, they should pay much more. If they pay enough...the people will protect the forest." There appears to be some controversy about who should be involved in forest protection initiatives. For example, a 36 year-old man from Khe Sau who is known to be a hunter told me that "the forest should be allocated to the people who always go into the forest because they wouldn't go to the forest anymore." In contrast, two of the rangers specified that the families of hunters are never chosen for this type of work. As well, nepotism appears to be the deciding factor between which families were awarded forest protection work and which families were not. This issue will be discussed in greater detail in section 4. Along with the forest protection initiative, the park also supports Project #327-the "Program to cover the bare hills of the state" which is paid for by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). This project pays local people to plant trees in areas that have been previously deforested. Unfortunately, Project #327 is an unsuccessful attempt at implementing social forestry. The term 'social forestry' covers a range of tree planting activities including strip plantations along roadsides and canal banks, community-managed woodlots, and reforestation. The intentions of social forestry are that it provides fuelwood, fodder, small timber and other tree products to meet rural people's subsistence needs, with the objectives being to eradicate poverty by providing local people with both employment and access to wood (Nesmith, 1991). Social forestry projects are often criticised for planting trees that are useless in the local socio-economic and cultural contexts.. Ironically, most of the trees planted in project #327 are socially useful but at no time have these trees ever been intended for local use. Species planted under #327 in Cat Ba National Park include /ceo la cham (Acacia auriculiformis), bach dan (Eucalyptus spp.), lat (Chukrasia tabularis), Hm (Peltophoreum tonkinensis), vang vang (Magnolia dandyi), kirn giao (P. fleruyi), re (Cinnamomum spp.), sau (Dracontomellum dupereanumj, and goi (Aglaia gigantea). The previous deputy director of the park strongly disagrees with project #327 because of its use of keo la cham and bach dan, both of which are non-native trees. However, the remainder of the trees that are planted could contribute substantially to the livelihoods of local people. 122 For example, the wood of re is used for construction and its oil is used in medicines, sau provides valuable fruit and leaves that can be used in cooking, and the wood from goi is important in making agricultural tools and implements (Red Data Book of Vietnam, 1996). Unlike with the forest protection initiative, local people are allowed to volunteer for project #327. The director of the park only emphasised that families should have many young children to help plant the trees. Local people are paid 3-4 million VND/hectare ($215-$285 USD) for the first month for planting trees inside the park, and then 3 months later are paid another 1-2 million VND ($71-$143 USD) for 3 months of cutting grass in the area. Although more local people would like to be involved in tree planting activities, there is not enough money supplied by the government to allow more locals to participate. And although those who are involved in project #327 receive adequate payment, the park's previous deputy director notes that the trees planted "are not good for the people, only for the environment." This is in accordance with the fact that this project was initiated without adequate input from the local people and without careful consideration of their livelihood requirements. Local people are also involved in one other conservation initiative within the park. The guide at the park's environmental education center helped to establish the "Green Club" which was established in order to educate children in the local primary schools about the importance of the forest. The principal of the local school in Khe Sau supports this project because they "want to teach the children about the animals and plants in the community. They held a meeting last year to encourage people to protect the forest". The school has done this in the past by hosting a day of activities with a play, and songs about the environment, and by inviting everyone in the community to attend. The park's Environmental Education Center also strives to start up a "Conservation Club" that would be focused on adults and would be modelled after a successful program based in Cue Phuong National Park. This program uses slide shows and films followed by discussions to introduce the adults to local problems and potential economic solutions. As well, if local people request training in development models such as 123 agriculture or apiculture (bee-raising), experts will be requested to come to the community to give further details (Vu, pers. comm., May 24,2000). Section 3-Constraints Inhibiting Local Involvement in Cat Ba National Park There is no one single reason that local people living within Cat Ba National Park are unable to participate more fully in the park's conservation initiatives. Instead, there is a complex set of interconnected factors that serve to inhibit their participation. In this thesis, these factors were found to be socio-economic, political and cultural factors, and included food and water security, the impact that the park has had on the living standards of local communities, nepotism and corruption, and other cultural influences. Each of these will be discussed in the following sections. Socio-Economic Factors Food and Water Security Food and water security are two of the most important factors preventing local people from contributing to local conservation initiatives in Cat Ba National Park. This is understandable given the Environmental Education Center's employee's remark that "local people understand the value of the forest" (such as water purification and retention, shade/flood prevention and habitat) "but they have nothing to eat." Local people were asked if the harvests are enough to sustain the population. While 33% of those interviewed replied that there is generally enough food for their families, 64% said that there is not enough food to last them the entire year. It appears that the amount of food depended upon by each family differs, but in general there is just simply not enough rice and other food products to sustain the population throughout the year. Some families reported having enough rice for as little as two months (60 year-old man from Khe Sau), others for four months (38 year-old woman from Khe Sau; 32 year-old woman from Viet Hai), while other reported lacking food for three months of the year (37 year-old man from Khe San). Even the few who reported having enough food throughout the year cautioned that it was not enough to meet their livelihood requirements. A 38 year-old man from Khe Sau told me that "there is not enough food, 124 we eat enough but there is not enough food to sell." Another 41 year-old man from Viet Hai told me that "the food is fairly enough, we don't lack much but there is not an excess either." Local people were asked what they have to do in times when there is a food shortage. Replies varied and included: doing animal husbandry; fishing; growing other plants such as manioc, sweet potatoes, peanuts, chillies, beans, and cabbage; growing fruit; growing faster-growing vegetables (such as peanuts) to sell in the market; working for others doing construction or tilling the soil; buying food in the market; and going to the forest to cut wood or to collect geckos or medicinal plants. One 75-year-old man from Khe Sau told me that "in times of food shortage we must save the food and not eat as much." Collecting forest products is a viable option for local people when there is a food shortage as selling certain products in the market, particularly honey and geckos, can be quite lucrative. A 37 year-old woman from Khe Sau says that a bottle of honey (approx. 1 litre) can be sold for as much as 100 000-150 000 VND (approx. $7-$10US). According to a 40 year-old man from Viet Hai, a gecko is sold for 20 000 VND ($1.43US). The guide at the park's environmental education center told me that the endemic langur can be sold for $20US. Given the economic incentive associated with selling forest products to earn a living, it is absolutely imperative to heed the words of two different men from Viet Hai. A 38 year-old man said that "if my family has 300 000-400 000 VND/month ($21-$28.50US), I'll never go into the forest. I cannot earn 300 000-400 OOOVND/month, so I still go into the forest. I collect some trees for selling, bamboo for sale for fences or to build a small house." Another 41-year-old man told me that "the langur is not afraid of people, it is stupid and easy to hunt. If the living situation is still like this the langur will be extinct". A significant number of local people in Khe Sau informed me that there were also chronic water shortages in their region. Although Viet Hai generally has a more stable supply of water, the region also experiences its share of floods and droughts. Water supply for domestic use is mainly dependent upon groundwater wells that are 3-5m deep, and rainwater is also utilised in the rainy season (Nguyen and Kyung-soo, 1997). Although Nguyen and Kyung-soo (1997) posit the Cat Ba area is in fairly good condition 125 in terms of water supply, WWF (1987) reported that there is often an acute shortage of water during the dry season. For the two months that I was on Cat Ba, there was a severe drought and a number of wells in Khe Sau had gone dry. I was told by a 60 year-old man that "fresh water is difficult to get...if it rains we can get water, otherwise we cannot". The interconnectedness between food and water security is obvious to local people as they noted that their crop productivity is intimately tied to the amount of water. A 35 year-old woman from Khe Sau reported that" there is one crop of rice per year but the productivity is not high because of the lack of water. There is no water in the stream now and we start to grow rice in...June." Another 33 year-old man from the same community said "it is very difficult to grow peanuts because of the drought...productivity is never very high because of the drought." A third Khe Sau resident, a 51 year-old woman, told me that she "dislikes the lack of water. Some families don't have enough water for cooking and drinking so they have to go far away to get it." It appears that there is a dam that supplies water to Khe Sau, but that it is broken. I was told by a 35 year-old man that "the District Leader has applied for money to repair it but there has been no answer." As well, because Khe Sau is a hamlet belonging to the village of Tran Chau, they have to ask Tran Chau for funds to repair the dam. There is , also no irrigation in Khe Sau, the result being that "we have to take water by pail to the fields for growing rice" (33 year-old man from Khe Sau). The Park's Impact on Living Standards The impact that the park has had on living standards in Khe Sau and Viet Hai is a complex political factor that has manifested itself in decreased socio-economic standards. In general, it appears that most local people interviewed believe that their living standards have decreased since the park was established. A 72-year old man from Khe Sau told me "there are no benefits from the park, the local people only suffer because they...can't collect forest products". A 37 year-old man said "the people didn't want the park to be established because it is a barrier, the parks establishment affected people very much because they depended on the forest." Another 40 year-old man from Viet Hai told me that "when the park was established...people became poorer and there was more misery". 126 The park also appears to have had an enduring impact on local people, who told me that there is a lack of food and no other job but to go to the forest. "The people don't have anything to eat so they catch animals to eat and to sell because there are no other jobs" a 40 year-old man from Viet Hai told me. A 41 year-old woman from the same community told me that "people still hunt because they don't have any money or anything to do...they have no other job but to go to the forest". A 50 year-old woman said "now the people have become poorer so almost all people have to go to the forest to collect tac ke and other animals like the white-headed langur, antelope, yellow monkey, squirrels and honey". MacKinnon etal (1986) reported that changing the attitudes of local hunters might not be overly difficult because hunting is risky, difficult, and strenuous, and local hunters may be willing to adopt more sustainable ways of earning a livelihood if given the opportunity. In accordance with this, a woman from Viet Hai informed me that "if they (the hunters) have other jobs, they won't go to the forest because it is hard work". This is important as a 33 year-old man from Khe Sau told me "when I had no money I'd go to trap. I had 10 traps". Both the director of the park and the Environmental Education Center's employee are aware that, before 1986 when the park was officially established, local people had the right to cut the forest and to hunt whereas now they do not have this right. Although the leader of Viet Hai women's union reported that living standards in the village have improved over the past twenty years, she told me the following: "if the park wants to stop hunting or to protect the forest they may have to create jobs or increase the standard of living". The director of the park is aware of this and believes that "only 3% of the local people want to conserve the natural environment, others do not because their standard of living is so low and the price of animals is so high". In contrast, the deputy director of the park believes that local livelihoods have improved since the park's establishment due to better transportation (improved roads) and higher incomes. In spite of comments regarding the negative impact of the park, a few local people believe they have benefited from the park's presence. One 60 year-old woman from Khe Sau told me that people's impact on the forest "has decreased because agricultural products have increased in this area," and "people don't depend on the forest as much because the standard of living is higher than in the past". These local people also see 127 the forest as less destroyed now. One 41 year-old man from Vieth Hai told me that "in the past people were very poor and they used the forest. The forest is better because living standards have increased and people so they don't use the forest as much." In order to accurately determine whether or not local livelihoods have improved since the park was established, a series of in-depth interviews about local life before and after the park's establishment would be needed. However, what may be more important is to determine what forest-related activities local people deem imperative to their livelihoods, as well as what factors would enable them to decrease dependence on forest products. Political Factors Village Disparities Chapter 3 already introduced the disparities that exist between the communities of Khe Sau and Viet Hai. What is important now is to further explore the implications that these differences have on the livelihoods of local people in both communities. Due to Khe Sau's location on the main road from Cat Ba Township to the park's headquarters, transportation to the market is relatively easy. Often local people were witnessed walking the six kilometres into the township. In comparison, with no road leading to Viet Hai, the village of Viet Hai employs the use of the communally owned boat to make the two hour journey every two days to attend the market in Cat Ba Township. Because of the lack of access, selling produce in the market is understandably more difficult for local people in Viet Hai than for those in Khe Sau. The communities also differ in their access to electricity as Khe Sau is on the local electrical grid while Viet Hai has only a communally-owned generator. Ironically, when I was conducting interviews in the community the generator was not working and evening interviews were held around oil lamps. Access to electricity is important simply for the comforts it can supply such as the use of a fan to cool oneself during the oppressive humidity of Vietnam's summer. However, access to electricity is a far more critical issue with regards to conservation awareness as local people's access to information has partially been determined by their access to electricity. In Khe Sau, a 37 year-old 128 woman informed me that "local people can receive information from watching TV". The park's director told me that "local people see information on TV about the rare and endangered species in the park" because "the park puts the information on the local channel". Access to various sources of information is critical to raising awareness about the need for conservation in the park. It is important to acknowledge also that local people want to have more access to information. In particular, I was told by one 27-year man from Khe Sau that "there is not enough outside information...only 1-2 channels, there is not enough news and no newspaper". In Viet Hai, because there is even less access to outside information than in Khe Sau, this is a particularly important issue. One 41 year-old man told me that he "read in the newspaper that the langur is almost extinct, and that it is endemic and is found nowhere else". Nepotism and Corruption It is imperative to note that the term nepotism is used here as an attempt to describe the familial relationships that exist in Vietnamese society. Often promotions or the allocation of certain projects are given to the privileged few with relatives in positions of power, and I understand that this is the way that business is often conducted in Vietnam. However, I am also at a loss to find a term in the English language that befits the complexities of these familial relationships. Hence, I use the term nepotism in this thesis. Currently there appears to be a small yet significant amount of distrust, and possibly even contempt, towards both the park's employees and local authority figures on behalf of some local people in Khe Sau and Viet Hai. These feelings are likely due to relatively common nepotism, and to some degree corruption, on behalf of authority figures. Although only a handful of local people mentioned these factors during the interviews, it is entirely plausible that many or most of the other local people feel the same way with regards to both community and park authority figures. With regard to nepotism, local people were visibly dissatisfied with its influence on the granting of forest protection contracts and the subsequent impact it had on the community. One 65 year-old man from Viet Hai emphasised the injustice of this 129 nepotism by stating that "normal local people don't receive the forest to protect, only the leaders' family receives the forest. The locals don't have many sources of income but the leaders' family does." Another 44 year-old man from Khe Sau informed me that "those chosen need to be a relative, normal local people are not involved" and stresses "the park should give the right to care for the forest to the youth union so they can have the money and not give it to relatives". The practice of allocating these jobs to relative and friends appears to be a point of contention throughout these and other communities around Vietnam. Huynh (1997) observed that "especially those who were not chosen as forest keepers felt that they were being discriminated" against and were "inferior compared to others in the village" (p. 31). Speaking about possible corruption on behalf of the park rangers, a man from Khe Sau informed me that local people were able to cut wood in the park's forest as long as they had money to pay to the park rangers. A 30 year-old man from Khe Sau said "the rangers take money from the person who cuts the trees when the people transport the wood through the gates. The rangers take (the money) and let them pass." Whether these feelings of distrust are founded or not, it is important that the park's employees and the local authority figures do everything possibly to mitigate these perceptions. If in fact only the relatives of the community leader and park rangers are given the right to protect the forest, this needs to be corrected. If these are incorrect perceptions however, then there is a need for both trust and credibility to be established between the authorities and local people. Returning to Peters (1999), an open and free flow of information must precede any attempt at reconciliation between stakeholder groups. Loans The leader of the women's union in both Khe Sau and Viet Hai identified the loan process as inhibiting local people from increasing their standard of living. The leaders of the Women's Union in both Khe Sau and Viet Hai informed me that local women in both communities can borrow money for agricultural purposes, such as animal husbandry or planting fruit trees, but they are required to pay the money back within two years. A 36 year-old woman from Viet Hai told me that she needs "capital for farming for fruit trees 130 and animal husbandry...and I can borrow money but only for 2 years...this is not enough time to harvest fruit trees". The time limit placed on repaying loans is problematic because a lychee tree, for example, takes at least five years before the first fruit can be harvested. Cultural Factors There appears to be one final constraint inhibiting local participation in Cat Ba National Park's conservation initiatives. This is the presence of cultural influences that are inherently incompatible with conservation. While it is important to re-emphasise that the majority of local people want to be more involved with the park's conservation activities, it is also important to acknowledge that certain cultural factors may prevent true conservation initiatives from being successful. One important cultural factor in particular is the underlying belief that wild flora and fauna possess medicinal and strengthening properties. The trapping of geckos, mainly for sale to the island's wildlife trade, is ubiquitous due to demand for snake wine. It is not currently known whether or not snake wine is consumed in Khe Sau or Viet Hai, however the demand for this product has a localised impact on the island's ecology. As well, other local people believe that the langur, one of the local macaques, a local bird, as well as numerous species of plants possess medicinal properties. As long as these forest products are sought out relentlessly, be it for local or distant consumption, the island's ecological integrity will continue to be compromised and conservation will not be able to move forward. Pressures on the natural environment appear to be imbedded in complex social and cultural customs and will prove to be significant challenges if they are to be overcome. It has been written that current attitudes towards wildlife "remain for the most part entirely pragmatic. Everything that can be eaten, used, or sold is taken at every opportunity. Animal rights are not respected. Cruelty is commonplace, from the keeping of dogs in tiny cages prior to their slaughter for food, to the public teasing of exhibited animals in the national zoos" (WCMC, 1994). 131 The issue of medicinal flora and fauna however, presents an ideal opportunity for environmental education programs, carefully designed to counteract incorrect perceptions, to be offered to local communities. It is also imperative to acknowledge that there are positive cultural factors within the Vietnamese culture that relate to the natural environment. One in particular is the traditional Tet tree planting at the New Year in which school children are encouraged to plant and care for a few trees each year; trees are planted along roadsides and in empty corners of villages (WCMC, 1999). Section 4-lntegrated Conservation and Development in Cat Ba National Park In Cat Ba National Park, the park's director has attempted to integrate conservation and development by implementing ICDPs including technology transfer and the creation of employment for the island inhabitants (Nguyen, 1998). Unfortunately, the park's attempt at technology transfer does not appear to have been successful at this time as numerous local people expressed the need to have agricultural consultants teach them more effective farming methods, to instruct them on how to do animal husbandry, as well as to introduce them to more effective farming tools. "We should have a consultant to teach people how to do agriculture and animal husbandry because there is not enough news and equipment (TV) to know about agriculture and husbandry," reported a 27 year-old man from Khe Sau. Another 35 year-old woman from the same community told me "I need somebody to introduce me to the animals for animal husbandry and to show me how to do it." It is important to recognise that, at the very least, the park has identified the ICDP approach as one potential solution to improving local socio-economic standards while simultaneously decreasing dependence on the forest and promoting conservation awareness. For the future, it would seem that a viable ICDP approach could be achieved by essentially duplicating Cue Phuong National Park's successful conservation program. 1 3 2 The second component of the park's ICDP approach is to create employment opportunities for local people. Given the previous discussion about the park's employment of local people in forest protection contracts and tree-planting activities, it is difficult to conclude that this component has been successfully achieved! Ironically, it appears that only when local people have enough capital (gained through employment, the second component of the park's ICDP approach), can they be able to afford new agricultural tools and technologies (the first component of the park's ICDP approach). It is difficult at this point to consider the park's ICDP a success. With inherent nepotism, those who most need to have their living standards increased are unlikely to benefit from forest protection contracts and tree planting activities. These two initiatives also discriminate against families that do not have enough children to help plant trees, those who do not have someone who can go to the forest several times a month to patrol, and those families that are elderly. It is important here to recognise that these two initiatives have not been locally designed. Instead, they are top-down structures developed externally by the national government. Therefore, these two prevailing employment opportunities, tree planting and forest protection contracts, are not the only viable income earning projects available. Other options suggested by the local people themselves, including bee-raising and alternative fuel sources, will be discussed in chapter 6. 133 Chapter 6 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s and C o n c l u s i o n There are a number of innovative solutions that have been put forward by local people that can help to mitigate both the impacts that the park's establishment has had on their local livelihoods, and that their livelihoods have had on the park. As well as reporting their own suggestions, from a careful analysis of the results, I have put forth a number of my own suggestions for solutions that may also contribute to local people's sustainable livelihood practices. It is important that a new relationship between the park rangers and the local people be engendered, one that is based upon mutual trust and respect. At times, it seems enormously challenging to overcome the suspicions and distrust that have developed over the past 15 years since the park was established. However, moving beyond these cynical tendencies is definitely feasible as long as communication lines between authority figures and community groups are kept open, and especially as long as local people perceive themselves to be benefiting from their relationship with the national park. Chapter 2 emphasised that the rigidity of the park's approach inhibits more effective local participation and the involvement of local knowledge and experiences in the design of conservation strategies. Because of this, many of the recommendations presented in this section of the thesis will require a more flexible approach on behalf of the park. Suggestions put forth by myself and by the local people can be separated into three types: those that focus on the park's approach to conservation, those that focus on the needs of the local people, and those that focus on the interaction between local people and the park. The Park's Approach to Conservation First and foremost, the park needs to develop a comprehensive and official park management plan. Without this, it will be extremely difficult to monitor and gauge how successful the park's initiatives have been with regards to conservation, local 134 development, and education. A viable management plan for the park ideally needs to include four components: scientific research, local ecological knowledge, an environmental education program, and a tourism management strategy. Scientific Research A comprehensive set of scientific data surrounding the parks forest resources needs to be rigorously pursued. Wright (1992) posits "one of the first steps in management is to understand the resource and its potential" (p. 30). This is absolutely critical given the paltry amount of scientific understanding that currently exists about the island. As mentioned in Chapter 5, currently there is very little data regarding the wildlife resources inside the park. Essentially, only very broad estimates about changes in bird and wildlife populations can be made, and this is particularly problematic given the precarious state of the endemic langur's population. Further research could include soil mapping, annual rainfall data, biodiversity surveys, agricultural runoff, etc. By promoting more intensive scientific research, a better understanding of the forest resources will allow for more effective wildlife management plans to be developed. As well, it will become clear which areas should remain under the park's jurisdiction in the form of core protected zones, and which areas can potentially be downgraded to areas with less enforcement and more sustainable use. Local Ecological Knowledge It has been emphasised throughout this thesis that there is an immediate need to involve local people in protected areas planning and management strategies. By engaging their ideas and incorporating their knowledge, local people can become active participants in the design of conservation initiatives and hence possess responsibility towards the forest resources. Kothari, Suri and Singh (1995) recommend the "planning and management of protected based on a healthy interaction between formal ecological science and traditional knowledge" learning especially from local "practices which have helped to conserve and use natural resources sustainably" (p. 192). In this way, local knowledge can contribute to conservation plans in a number of ways. These can include, but are not limited to, changes in local bird and wildlife populations over decades; the collection, preparation and use of medicinal plant species; and the location of endangered plants and animals. In Cat Ba, this is much needed information as there 135 are no abundance reports spanning the past two decades for any of the park's wildlife species. Environmental Education A sound environmental education program for the park's inhabitants needs to be developed for several reasons. First, it will assist in transforming the currently debilitating relationship between the park and local people into a relationship based on mutual respect and trust. As well, environmental education is critical not only for increasing the well being of the people, but must form the backbone of any long-term conservation strategy (Wright, 1992). A well-designed program "is cognisant of the long years of experience of the people and is also appreciative of the values, knowledge, skills and attitudes that the farmers...have imbibed" (Ferrer and Nozawa, 1998, p. 146). It would effectively start from where people are at, what they currently know and think, what their previous experiences have been, what observations they have made over time, and would build on this knowledge in order to generate new knowledge. Only in being reactive to what already exists can an education program overcome incorrect perceptions that may exist, such as those surrounding extinction in Cat Ba. What is beneficial to Cat Ba is that a well developed, albeit rudimentary, environmental education program already exists. Hence, a solid foundation for further projects to both educate and train local people is already present. Although the rangers speak only infrequently to local people about the importance of conserving the forest, many of those interviewed stressed that they appreciated the opportunity to learn from the rangers and that they always attended the conservation-related talks. In spite of its acceptance by local people, the education program on Cat Ba needs to be expanded to include more of the local population, especially adults, as well as to provide training. Training is an important component of a conservation awareness program because it can generally be assumed that, only if local people benefit from their participation in environmental education initiatives, can they be expected to remain involved in them. Training activities can take numerous forms, and can include: more sustainable agricultural techniques, animal husbandry practices, sustainable apiculture, monitoring wildlife species, and conducting forest density surveys. At its best, training 136 can meet many of the needs of local people including fulfilling livelihood requirements, providing opportunities for future employment, as well as building confidence locally. Tourism Management Strategy Tourism in Cat Ba National Park, as on the rest of the island, is increasing. Busloads of tourists, both Vietnamese and international, can be seen departing numerous times a day from the township for the park's headquarters. Many Vietnamese and international organisations are concerned with the steady increase in tourism on the island, and are attempting to design tourism management strategies accordingly. Only one organisation, the Vietnam Parks and Protected Areas Sub-Association (VNPPA), has interviewed local people about their perceptions of tourism and if they see themselves as benefiting from tourism within the park. The results have yet to be released. Nevertheless, tourism needs to be managed for its impact on both the cultural and biological diversity of the park. Controlling its impact on specific species, especially the endemic langur, is critical in order to maintain the resources that tourism is dependent upon. It is also imperative to ensure that tourism provide funds for the park's maintenance and provide economic opportunities for local people wherever possible (Wright, 1992). In Viet Hai, it will be easier to ensure local people benefit from increased tourism as plans are underway to build a locally-run lodge in the village. In comparison, Khe Sau is rarely, if ever, visited by tourists. The Needs of the Local People Local people living within Cat Ba National Park suggested that in order for their dependence on the forest to be reduced, their quality of life must be improved. To achieve this, a number of requirements must be fulfilled. First, they need to have a more stable supply of water in order to have more food security, and at times when the food supply is unstable they need to have money in order to purchase food (especially rice). This will require funds, and could include the building of one or more dams on the local creek, as well as investing in some form of irrigation system. Local people living inside the park also did not ask to be given money, but were requesting access to more 137 employment opportunities and exhibited a willingness to contribute labour and time in paid positions. Loans would be more acceptable to local people if the repayment period was more realistic in relation to the time it takes to produce a plant that can be harvested. In Bach Ma National Park, villagers faulted the loan process as loans were often recovered by the lending institution at pre-harvest period, the time when people were busily dealing with hunger, not with repaying money (Nguyen, 1997). Local people also requested that 'consultants be supplied by the park in order to provide much needed training in order for them to learn better agriculture techniques as well as how to do animal husbandry, among other things. In both Khe Sau and Viet Hai, alternative fuel sources need to be sought as the collection of fuelwood is both time-consuming and strenuous for local people, as well as damaging to the forest habitat. Possible alternatives could include burning the husks from corn and rice harvests. This should be successful because in Bach Ma National Park, 100% of Khe Su villagers used wood as cooking fuel, but after a Technical Economic Feasibility Study was implemented, it was found that 80% of the households switched to using rice husks instead (Huynh, 1997). As well, the introduction of fuel-efficient cooking appliances, such as solar ovens, could greatly reduce the time and effort required in the preparation of meals. In Viet Hai, local people also expressed a need to have a stable supply of electricity to make life a little easier (for example, by having a fan), and to gain access to important outside information such as the park's conservation awareness programs. And finally, there needs to be a fair distribution of the benefits and costs associated with the current employment opportunities inside the park. The provisioning of forest protection contracts and tree-planting opportunities needs to be assessed and redistributed to those earning less income, or given to the youth union to encourage youth employment. This is particularly important as some of the youth have left the villages for Cat Ba Township (or for other cities), or have turned to illegal hunting due to the lack of employment opportunities in the villages. 138 Without meeting local people's livelihood needs, the park can in no way expect to reduce, and certainly not to cease, local reliance on forest products. Fortunately, a diverse set of livelihood strategies that can possibly meet local livelihood needs present themselves in Cat Ba. Currently there are at least seven alternative income generating opportunities that could increase local well-being. These are: forest protection initiatives, tree-planting opportunities, animal husbandry, apiculture, growing fruit trees, the sustainable commercialisation of certain forest products, and tourism guiding. Forest Protection Contracts F P C s should be maintained and, if possible, redistributed away from those who are wealthier or who are family of rangers and community leaders, to those who most need them in the community. However, increased funding should be sought from both the State and the park's board in order to provide more of these contracts to the local people. Funding from the park can be rationalised because involving local people in park protection activities can reduce the parks cost of policing and enforcement (Baraclough and Ghimire, 1995). Tree planting opportunities Planting opportunities should also be continued, however more emphasis should be placed on using native trees and those that can provide benefits, such as fruit or bark, to local people. Caution should also be taken with regards to tree planting locations as the previous deputy director warned that trees have been planted in the grass fields. The grass fields need to be protected as they are the habitat for a deer species that is now extant from the area because there are no longer any more grass fields. Animal husbandry Animal husbandry has been mentioned throughout this thesis as an economic opportunity local people consider as important to their livelihoods. Many local people attempt to carry out animal husbandry, however most of these people expressed the need to meet with a consultant in order to learn proper techniques. 139 Apiculture Many local people go to the forest to collect honey from wild bee hives, while a smaller, yet still substantial, number raise honey bees in their gardens. Raising bees for honey is both lucrative and relatively easy to do, and can provide an added and stable income throughout the year. The Vietnam Bee Corp. has assisted bee raising projects with the communities inside Cue Phuong National Park, and they may be able to provide assistance in Cat Ba (Nguyen, 1997). Fruit Trees Growing fruit trees in order to sell fruit in the market is an alternative for local agriculturalists. A large variety of fruit is grown in Khe Sau and Viet Hai, and includes: jackfruit, pineapple, orange, lychee, apples, grapefruit, papaya, peach, and persimmons. Sustainable Commercialisation of Forest Plants This strategy could work if it is carefully planned and implemented for only a limited selection of forest products. The regulated collection and selling of a medicinal plant that is in high demand could be marketed to the tourist industry. Collection of plants would not necessarily need to increase if demand were to eventually increase. Instead, prices could be adjusted to obtain the maximum payment for the minimum effort and disturbance to the ecosystem. As well, wild plant varieties could be cultivated in local gardens in order to reduce the effort of collecting them even further, as well as to decrease the impact that collection has on the forest. Tourism Guiding Training local people as tourist guides could provide an effective and sustainable form of income throughout the year. In Viet Hai in particular, local guides could be trained in wildlife and plant ecology as it pertains to the endemic langurs which use sleeping caves located near the village. Another cave important in Vietnam's history is located near Khe Sau, and local people could, with assistance from the park and the Environmental Education Center, establish a guided tour from the hamlet to the caves. 140 The key to successfully introducing alternative income generating strategies into Khe Sau and Viet Hai is to take a diversified approach. This means that not everyone in the community can have a forest protection contract, and only some can do apiculture. "A complex mosaic and integrated mix of different habitats, corresponding to different community needs, priorities and abilities, may prove to be the best mechanism to conserve biological diversity in areas where local livelihoods are directly dependent on continued access to natural resources" (Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997, p. 36). This strategy could work very well if it was to draw on the historical aspects of past Vietnamese societies such as communal ownership and co-operative community efforts. For example, if the community could obtain a relatively accessible piece of land, it could be cleared and prepared for a community/stakeholder gardening project. This integrated land use could allow those who are interested and involved in growing fruit trees to share the land with those cultivating wild plants. Those doing apiculture could house the beehives on this area of land as well. If it is known what plants are needed in order for the bees to produce good quality honey, these could also be planted in the same general area. Obviously this type of co-operative effort requires that each person contribute to the maintenance of the area; and since people in both communities are congenial to their neighbours, a group effort at forming a management schedule should not be a barrier. There is one final thought on the community garden concept. The previous deputy director told me that both Khe Sau and Viet Hai need a small "factory" to process their products. Although it is not clear at this time what form such a "factory" would take, it would certainly be worth exploring the possibility of pursuing a combined effort. In this way, local people may be able to process peanuts, honey, fruit, and wild plant products to sell to the tourism industry. The Interaction Between People and the Park Once Cat Ba National Park develops an effective park management strategy with the local people, the specific roles that local people can play in conservation initiatives will become clearer. This is because "effective participation in management of a communal forest area may require several communities, while the fate of an endangered species 141 might depend on only a few village hunters" (Wright, 1994, p. 527). Without such a management plan, the park will not understand the dynamic changes occurring within its wildlife populations, and will be unable to offer local people a role in conserving the natural resources. Ghimire and Pimbert (1997) stress it is imperative to ask: "what is the social purpose of establishing a park?" (p. 38). Certainly it has already been emphasised in this thesis that protected areas and parks are necessary and effective at conserving wildlife in many regions. However, by alienating local people from the resources they have depended upon, often for generations, and decreasing their access to income generating alternatives, rural people are essentially forced into a relationship whereby they are dependent on their surrounding forests for all of their livelihood needs, including food, fuelwood, fodder, water, as well as many saleable items. The conceptual framework emphasised that the current approach to parks must be made less rigid in order to meet local needs and in order to be more responsive to local realities. The current approach can be made more flexible in as many different ways as there are different localities. This first requirement is the recognition that conservation and livelihood needs do not come into direct conflict everywhere. When they do conflict, a solid understanding of the resources will allow prioritisation of conservation activities and will determine how much access to resources can be allowed before too much disturbance is detrimental to the more vulnerable resources. If there are no highly threatened species or ecosystems in the immediate area, rural people should be encouraged, and trained, to use the natural resources in a more sustainable manner. This thesis has continuously stressed the need for meaningful local involvement in the park's conservation initiatives. This type of involvement requires that local people be able to use their ecological knowledge when they participate in all aspects of park management strategies, from the problem identification stage through project development, data gathering and analysis, options generation, and into the assessment and redesign phases. Furthermore, local peoples' involvement in the social production of conservation, such as the development of the local knowledge base, funding priorities, 142 and management plans, is essential if the management strategies are to respect the local context (Ghirmire and Pimbert, 1997). However, the first step to involving local ecological knowledge and experiences in conservation activities is for the park to recognise the legitimate resource rights of the communities and to recognise that measures must be taken to meet those needs (Kothari, Suri and Singh, 1995). This is likely unattainable without a series of opportunities where local people cap educate the park's staff. This could include a history of where they were resettled from, what their expectations of the resettlement were, how the park's establishment has impacted on their livelihoods, and recommendations they possess that would help to alleviate the pressure of the park. Again, a more flexible approach to conservation can incorporate the needs of local people into park management activities, while still maintaining effective conservation activities. The manner in which local people interact with the park is affected by one last critical component: the government. Wright (1994) stresses the participation of governments is indispensable as "extension, training, arbitration, and consultation between and within communities all commonly fall within the purview of governments" (p. 527). Hence, the participation of, and more importantly the initiation and support by, governments can make the difference between success and failure in conservation initiatives. As well as providing training and consultation though, the government has a critical role in providing "a system of decision-making and governance that is designed to address sustainability" as well as promoting "values that support sustainability through information and education" (Walter and Wilkerson, 1998, p. 680). In Vietnam in particular, a national conservation education campaign, developed apart from but in co-operation with park's authorities, could serve to reduce the nation-wide demand for animal products such as snake wine by educating about the importance of each animal species. Of course, by emphasising the uniqueness and rareness of these species, the demand for such products could actually increase rather than decrease. In this instance, the central government again has an important role to play in levying fines and penalties against those caught trafficking animal products. 143 Conclusion The purpose of this thesis was to contribute to an understanding of the opportunities and constraints of involving local people in a forest-dependent community in biodiversity conservation initiatives. In Cat Ba National Park, there are a number of potential opportunities that could enable local people to meet their livelihood needs and to increase their personal incomes somewhat. However, there also a variety of challenges that need to be overcome that currently inhibit local people from participating further in the park's conservation objectives. Some of these opportunities and constraints are listed in Appendix VI. Although there are a number of barriers preventing further local participation, Cat Ba National Park has already laid the foundation for more effective local involvement. Through its "Green Club" focused at primary school children and its annual to semi-annual meetings between park rangers and local people, the park has demonstrated an . ability and commitment to raising local people's awareness of the importance of conservation. Although more planning and funding are needed in order to build upon these efforts, listening to local people's voices about what they need to improve their livelihoods can result in more locally specific and sustainable conservation initiatives. For local people in Khe Sau and Viet Hai, a commitment to improving their livelihoods combined with pride in the beauty of their surrounding natural environment is apparent. These factors compel local people to inquire about access to more stable employment opportunities that will decrease their dependence on the forest's resources. With minimal funding, local people should be able to diversify their livelihoods enough to achieve a stable and improved standard of living. What is important here is their desire to work, and to work hard, for change. Without their active participation in setting goals and strategies, the park essentially is forcing local people to depend on the forest for their survival. Two of the most compelling statements illustrating local people's important role in determining whether Vietnam's conservation initiatives are successful or not are given by two very different Vietnamese nationals. In the words of a 61 year-old woman from 144 Khe Sau, referring to the interdependent relationship between the park and the local people: "The relationship is like fish and water. They both need each other and depend on each other". And in the words of former President Ho Chi Minh: "A hundred times easier without the people is impossible, ten thousand times more difficult with the people's effort will be possible" (Cao, 1997, p. 47). 145 References Adams, J . , and Hancock, N. (1970). Land and Economy in Traditional Vietnam. 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Public Understanding of Science, 1(3), 281-304. A p p e n d i x I C r o p s grown for persona l c o n s u m p t i o n in K h e S a u Hamlet and Viet Hai V i l lage C r o p s G r o w n The following is a list of the vegetables and fruits that are grown in Khe Sau Hamlet and Viet Hai village. When there is no English name for the fruit or vegetable, the local name has been used followed by a brief description of the plant if possible. Vegetables Fruit kohlrabi peanuts green beans corn potatoes mustard cabbage tomatoes rau muong (similar to spinach) manioc mung toi rice chili peppers black beans jackfruit pineapple orange lychee apples grapefruit papaya peach melon (watermelon) persimmons 162 A p p e n d i x II Interview Q u e s t i o n s Interview Q u e s t i o n s A . C o m m u n i t y and Forest History 1. Can you tell me about your family's history on Cat Ba? 2. List all of the reasons that you can think of which are the main ones for your decision to live here? (Potential answers: National Park, born here, job, family relations or relatives, living conditions)? 3. What events would give you concern to move? 4. Are the harvests enough to sustain the population here? If not, what do you do? 5. Is the forest closer to the village or farther away from the village now than it was 20 years ago? 6. Are there more animals now than 10 years ago? Can you give examples? 7. Is hunting better now than it was 10 years ago? In what ways? Can you give examples? What about trapping? 8. Can you think of any animals that you used to see but that you don't see anymore? Do you think it is possible for all animals of one species to disappear and to not exist anymore? B. Threats to C o n s e r v a t i o n 1. Which plants in the Park are rare? Which animals in the Park are rare? 2. Of the activities that you have observed in the Park, which are the most threatening (Potential answers: Logging, hunting, agriculture, tourism, and natural disasters)? Why? What could be done about these activities? 3. What benefits do you receive from the forest (Potential answers: water, shade, animal habitat, timber, prevention of soil erosion)? C. K n o w l e d g e of Park 1. Do you remember when the National Park was established? 2. What is the role of the National Park? 3. Do the rangers from the National Park talk with you about the Park? 4. Would you like to be more involved with how the park operates? 164 5. What do you suggest the park staff and director do to better include your village in the Park's management? 6. What do you like about living inside the Park? What do you dislike? 7. What do you think you need to improve the quality of your life? (consultants, bee keeping, furniture making, dam, waterpumps). A p p e n d i x III S p e c i e s Perce ived as Rare by L o c a l P e o p l e -Rare Plants -Rare B i rds and A n i m a l s Rare Plants. B i rds and A n i m a l s The following are lists of plants, animals and birds that local people perceive as rare in Cat Ba National Park. Where possible, the common names have been cross-referenced using the Red Data Book of Vietnam (1996) Volume 2-Plants. More than one Latin name appears if it is currently unknown which species is found in C B N P . Wherever possible, family and common English names have been included. A blank occurs next to a local name when Latin names for the species could not be found. When no Latin names are found, a brief description of the plant is given if possible. Rare Plants cham-lndigofern tinctoria kim g\ao-Podocarpus fleuryi, Family Podocarpaceae lat- (cay lat hoa)-Chukrasia tabularis, Family Meliaceae lim xanh-Erythrophloeum fordii, Family Leguminosae. Lim xet is endemic. mang-Pterospermum spp, Family Sternculiaceae; mang la lon-P. diversifolium; mang cut-P. truncalobatum. cho-Annamocarya chinensis (cho xanh)-Terminalia myriocarpa, Family Combretaceae, cho chi-Prasfrorea chinensis, cho nau-Dipterocarpus retusus, Family Dipterocarpaceae dai-possibly dai bo-Family Leguminosae, Paralbizia lucida, used in house building and making poles and implements ma but-vang chum (vang-Endospermum chinense, vang trung-E. sinensis) Family Euphorbiaceae Rare Birds and Animals (b)=bird bac ma (chon bac ma bac)-Melogale moschata moschata (Gray), Family Mustelidae bim bip Ion (b)-Centropus sinensis intermedius (Hume), Greater Coucal, Family Cuculiformes bim bip nho (b)-C. bengalensis (Gmelin), Family Cuculidae cao cat-(cao cat bung trang)->4rrt/7racoceros malabarius (Blyth) cay huong-V/Vem'ci//a indica, Family Viverridae, civets hoang-Muntiacus muntjak (Zimmerman), common barking deer, Family Cervidae hon huou (huou sao-Cervus nippon) (Temminck), Family Cervidae khi vang-Macaca mulatta (Zimmerman), Yellow monkey/macaque khuou bac ma (b)-Garrulax chinensis chinensis (Scopoli), Family Timliidae rai ca nho-Aonyx cinera, Family Mustelidae ran ho mang-A/a/a naja, Family Elapidae rua (rua da)-Dermochelys coriacea, Leatherback Sea Turtle soc bung do-Callosciurus erythraeus castancarentris, soc bung do duoi trang-C. e. castaneoventris (castaneoventis?) (Gray), Family Sciuridae, red-bellied squirrel son duong (also known as than)-Capr/'corn/s sumatraensis (Bechstein), Family Bovidae, serow tac ke-Gekko gecko, Family Gekkonidae, tokay gecko tran-(tran dat)-Python molurus vooc dau trang-Tranchypithecus francoisis poliocephalus, White-Headed Langur, Cercopithecidae 167 Appendix IV Complete List of Plants Compiled from Interviews Complete List of Birds and Animals Compiled from Interviews Plants The following is a list of the plants that were mentioned by local people during the interviews. Where possible, the common names have been cross-referenced using the Red Data Book of Vietnam (1996) Volume 2-Plants. More than one Latin name appears if it is currently unknown which species is found in C B N P . Wherever possible, family and common English names have been included. A blank occurs next to a local name when Latin names for the species could not be found. When no Latin names are found, a brief description of the plant is given if possible. bach dan trang-Eucalyptus camaldulensis, bach dan chanh-E. citriodora, bach dan lieu-E. exerta. Family Myrtaceae bac ha-Family Lamiaceae. Possibly also bac ha bac-Kurrimia robusta, Family Celastraceae bach bo-(bach bo nam-Stemona cochinchinensis, bach bo hoa tim-S. collinsae, bach bo dung-S. saxorum, Family Stemonaceae, medicinal buo'\-Citruc maxima, Citrus spp. cham-lndigofern tinctoria cho-Annamocarya chinensis (cho xanh)-Terminalia myriocarpa, Family Combretaceae, cho ch\-Prashorea chinensis, cho nau-Dipterocarpus retusus, Family Dipterocarpaceae cot toai-identified by locals as a medicinal plant dai-possibly dai bo-Family Leguminosae, Paralbizia lucida, used in house building and making poles and implements day mo vang-a fibrous plant made into a cord which is used to hang baskets from either end of a pole which is carried across the shoulders de-this may be another local name for re (Cinnamomum spp.) gia bat-possibly gia-Excoecar/'a agallocha, Family Euphorbiaceae. goi-(goi nep)->4g/a/a gigantea, Family Meliaceae hong-D/ospyros kaki, Persimmon huong nhu-(huong nhu tia)- Ocimum sanctum (sancium) keo la cham-Acacia auriculiformis, Family Leguminosae kim g\ao-Podocarpus fleuryi, Family Podocarpaceae lat- (cay lat hoa)-Chukrasia tabularis, Family Meliaceae lim xanh-Erythrophloeum fordii, Family Leguminosae ma but-identified as a rare plant by local people mang-Pterospermum spp, Family Sternculiaceae; mang la lon-P. diversifolium; mang cut-P. truncalobatum. man tau-identified by a park ranger as a rare plant moc thong-idenitified by local people as a medicinal plant mung toi na-possibly na hong-M/7/usa balansea, Family Annonaceae, custard apple, ngu gia b\-Acanthopanax trifoliatus, Family Araliaceae, medicinal nho\-Bischofia javanica, Family Euphorbiaceae nhoi nep nhoi tiet que-Cinnamomum cassia, Family Lauraceae rau ngot-Sauropt/s androgynus. rau ren re-Cinnamomum camphora, C. litseatolium, C. iners san-Manihot coculenta (esculenta?) 169 sau-Dracontomellum dupereanum, a fruit tree; Drancontomellum mangiferum, Family Anacardiaceae, sen-Madhuca pasquieri, Family Sapotaceae, s\-Ficus retusa, Family Moraceae, fig tree va nuoc-Salix tetrasperma, willow vang chum (vang-Endospermum chinense, vang trung-E. sinensis), Family Euphorbiaceae vang vang (vang tam-Magnolia dandyi), Family Magnoliaceae xoan-Melia azedarach, Family Meliaceae, (xoan dao-Pygeum arboreum, Family Rosaceae, xoan dau xanh-P. macrocarpum). 170 Bi rds a n d A n i m a l s The following is a list of birds and animals that were mentioned by local people during the interviews. Where possible, the common names have been cross-referenced using the Red Data Book of Vietnam (1996) Volume 2-Plants. More than one Latin name appears if it is currently unknown which species is found in C B N P . Wherever possible, family and common English names have been included. A blank occurs next to a local name when Latin names for the species could not be found. When no Latin names are found, a brief description of the plant is given if possible. (b)=bird bac ma (chon bac ma bac)-Melogale moschata moschata (Gray), Family Mustelidae beo (beo lua)-Fe//'s temmincki (Vigros et Horsfield), Family Felidae bim bip Ion (b)-Centropus sinensis intermedius (Hume), Greater Coucal, Family Cuculidae bim bip nho (b)-C. bengalensis (Gmelin), Family Cuculidae cao-Vulpes vulpes, fox cao cat-(cao cat bung trang)-/\/itf7racoceros malabarius (Blyth) capnong-Bungarus fasciatus, Family Elapidae, Braided krait cay (cay hoi)-cay huong-Viverricula indica, cay \on-Herpestes javanicus, cay mac cua-H. urva, cay giong-Viverra zibetha, Family Viverridae, civets chim ngoi (b)-Streptopelia tranquebarica humilis (Temminck), Family Columbidae chuot-(soc chuot)-Tamiops matitimus hainanus (J. Allen), Rodentia (Sciuridae), also Bandicota indica, Mus caroli, Rattus flavipectus, R. koratensis, R. molliculus co-(b)-Egretta spp, Bubulcir spp, Ardeola spp, Butorides spp, Ixobrychus spp. co trang (b)-Egretta garzetta cu gay-Streptopelia chinensis cu hau (b)-barnowl, Family Tytonidae dieu hau-(b)-Milrus korschun lineatus or M.k.gorinda, (black) kite dim [=nh\m)-Histrix hodgson, Family Histricidae, porcupine ga dong-watercock ga loi (b)-Gallus gallus, pheasant hoang-Muntiacus muntjak (Zimmerman), Family Cervidae, common barking deer hon huou (huou sao-Cervivs nippon (Temminck), Family Cervidae khi vang-Macaca mulatta (Zimmerman), Yellow monkey/macaque khuou bac ma (b)-Garrulax chinensis chinensis (Scopoli), Family Timliidae ki (b) ky da hoa- Varanus salvator meo rung-Fe//s bengalensis, Family Felidae qua (b)-(qua den-Corvus macrorhynchus leraillantii (Lesson) or C.m.colonorum (Swinhoe), qua khong-C. torquatus (Lesson), Family Corvidae, Large-billed crow quoc-Bronze-winged Jacana rai ca nho-Aonyx cinera, Family Mustelidae ran ho mang-A/a/a naja, Family Elapidae rua (rua da)-Dermochelys coriacea, Leatherback Sea Turtle sam cam (b)-Eurasian coot sau den (b)-S. nignicollis (Peykull), Family Sylviidae 171 soc bung do-Callosciurus erythraeus castancarentris, soc bung do duoi trang-C. e. castaneoventris (castaneoventis?) (Gray), Family Sciuridae, red-bellied squirrel son duong (also known as than)-Capr/corn/'s sumatraensis (Bechstein), Family Bovidae, serow tac ke-Gekko gecko, Family Gekkonidae, tokay gecko tran-(tran dat)-Python molurus trau rung-Suoa/us bubalis, forest buffalo vooc dau trang-Tranchypithecus francoisis poliocephalus, White-Headed Langur, Cercopithecidae 172 A p p e n d i x V A n i m a l S p e c i e s hunted in Cat B a National Park A n i m a l s Hunted for Persona l C o n s u m p t i o n or T rade The following is a list of animals that are hunted by either local people or outsiders in Cat Ba National Park. The common names have been cross-referenced using the Red Data Book of Vietnam (1992) Volume 2-Animals. More than one Latin name appears if it is currently unknown which species is found in C B N P . Wherever possible, family and common English names have been included. bac ma (chon bac ma bac)-Melogale moschata moschata (Gray), Family Mustelidae cao- Vulpes vulpes, fox cao cat-(cao cat bung trang)->4ntf7racoceros malabarius (Blyth) cay (cay hoi)-cay huong-V/Verr/civ/a indica, cay \on-Herpestes javanicus, cay mac chuot-(soc chuot)-Tamiops matitimus hainanus (J. Allen), Rodentia (Sciuridae), also Bandicota indica, Mus caroli, Rattus flavipectus, R. koratensis, R. molliculus dim (=nhim)-H/sir/x hodgson, Family Histricidae, porcupine khi vang-Macaca mulatta (Zimmerman), yellow monkey/macaque ky da hoa- Varanus salvator son duong (also known as th a n)-Capricornis sumatraensis (Bechstein), Family Bovidae, serow tac ke-Gekko gecko, Family Geckonidae, tokay gecko trau rung-Suoa/us bubalis, forest buffalo vooc dau trang-Tranchypithecus francoisis poliocephalus, Family Cercopithecidae White-Headed Langur 174 Appendix VI Potential Opportunities and Constraints of Involving Local People in Conservation Initiatives A list of the potential opportunities and constraints of involving local people in Khe Sau and Viet Hai in the park's conservation initiatives. The list of opportunities has been divided into those factors that will directly involve local people in conservation initiatives, and those factors that could indirectly reduce their dependence on forest products by increasing their living standards. Opportun i t ies direct -tree planting activities -forest protection contracts -tour guiding indirect -apiculture -fruit tree growing -animal husbandry Const ra in ts -lack of education -inherent cultural influences -nepotism/favouritism -food and water insecurity -lack of jobs/poverty -inappropriate loan repayment schedules -officials' attitudes and planning approaches -small-scale plant commercialisation 176 


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